10 Everyday Ways to Build Mental Toughness
Define it first— Mental Toughness = How we deal, cope, and handle adversity.
Thus, adversity must be present! Now this is about testing AND training your mental toughness, know the difference.
1. Look everyone in the eye.
The eyes tell it all. Your eyes give you away!
The reason we won’t is that we aren’t confident in ourselves. Maybe it is because we are troubled or uninterested in the other person. Don’t just gaze and look away either but right up to the point of it being uncomfortable.
2. Ask a question.
Ask for clarification or elaborate on every conversation you’re in. Not only will it show your paying attention, but also you’ll learn more. Few people ask questions for fear of looking stupid, so it’s even better to ask a question in the presence of several people, such as a meeting.
Seek to understand, rather than to be understood first…
3. Write out your goal for the day.
This is the easiest test, but don’t just make it a to-do list. Most of us just think about the goal instead of writing it down. If you write down what you want to accomplish, you’ll achieve it.
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4. Get your workout on.
Whether you’re a corporate athlete or someone on scholarship, everyone is an athlete. All athletes get physical. These everyday ways to build mental toughness must include physical activity. It does not mean flipping big tires either! It’s not the be all-end-all but it has to be a part of it.
5. Wake up 30 minutes early.
This is a huge indicator of success and this everyday mental toughness test is a cornerstone for our 30-day challenge.
The first hour of the day sets the rudder for the rest.
Can you fight the innate urge to hit the snooze and just get up? What will you do with the extra 30 minutes?
6. Work through lunch.
In the movie, Wall Street, Gordon Gekko said it best “ Lunch is for wimps.” Pack your lunch; take a break and be present while you eat and recharge, then grind ahead. Everyday Mental Toughness tests take sacrifice and getting uncomfortable. I’m not saying “SKIP” lunch either. Get real…
7. Turn off your phone.
This is the toughest one for everybody because how long do we go without our phone anyway, 5 minutes? Plan when you get home to shut your phone off during a certain amount of time. Be present and be patient. These everyday ways to build mental toughness are simple, but NOT easy!
8. Take 30 seconds of a cold shower.
9. Listen to someone.
Too often, when someone speaks, we merely start talking about ourselves. Instead, just listen and put yourself in their situation. Ask a question and look them in the eye.
10. Forgive someone.
You can check this one off by forgiving someone who cut you off in traffic, or you can seriously work on this step and choose someone who really hurt you. This is an exercise in patience…
Remember, resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Sometimes the most difficult person to forgive is ourselves.
Some of these action steps will come easier to you than others, but our mental toughness will grow every day the more often we utilize these challenges.
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Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens.
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