The Secret to Mental Toughness

(Excerpt from NO ONE Gets There ALONE)

We are as only as sick as our secrets.

So, here is the secret to mental toughness (And why I HATE it).

If we want to KEEP our mental toughness, we HAVE to give it away.

We can not help other people WITHOUT also helping ourselves! If I tell my daughter that she can NEVER give up, that same exact voice echoes in my head if I want to quit or stop.

That’s the secret to mental toughness! You have to give it away to keep it. 

If we help others to just keep moving, then we will keep moving. If we encourage others to not give up, then we persevere as well. If we share with someone else the importance of confidence, then we can’t help but help ourselves with being more confident.

When we communicate with someone else not to let a situation bother him or her, then we help ourselves by not allowing our own junk to bother us. Even if we are going through a tough period in life, if we do not isolate, but connect with others, then a better us starts to make a better you.

If we help enough people reach their goals; then we will reach ours.

I HATE the secret because I KNOW THE ANSWER, but knowing and doing are two different things. And I can’t stand being reminded of the answer!

Mental Toughness is not mental toughness when things are going great! [Tweet “Mental Toughness is not mental toughness when things are going great! Mental Toughness is not mental toughness when things are going great!]

I HATE the secret to Mental Toughness because when I am NOT confident, I isolate. I don’t share with others how they can be confident. I feel like a hypocrite. I feel I am of NO use to anyone else and that my experience is questionable.

Why would I want to bring other people down with my junk anyway?  But, if I stay in that space, the more I need others! We can’t coach ourselves…

Mental Toughness is not a secondary goal or aspiration or a deal with ourselves, meaning if things are going well, then I will be tough. It has to be the sole focus. Before any endeavor, we need to be intentional about becoming other-person focused and giving away what we possess.

I’m in life for the miracles and there are around us everyday. The miracle for us is that we can be transformed. Allowing God to help us focus on others and to use our strengths. To give away what we want to possess in ourselves. That is the secret to mental toughness.


Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness 

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