What do you think of when you think of a mentally tough person?

For me the term conjures up the image of an athlete at the starting blocks of the Olympics waiting for the starter pistol to start the race.  This is quickly replaced by the memories of the hundreds of female survivors of domestic abuse I’ve supported in my time.  To survive daily torrents of abuse and threats and to make the choice to leave a situation where leaving is not an option, takes immense mental strength and resilience. The Olympian is perceived to be mentally tough, however the survivor is perceived to be weak for putting up with the abuse, perception however, is an illusion.

Both the Olympian and the survivors have battled to get where they are, every battle taking courage, bravery, confidence and fortitude. The Olympian has worked hard daily on nutrition, developing physical fitness and stamina while  working towards achieving their goals. The survivor has fought to go from victim to survivor taking the onslaught of verbal and or physical blows, threats to their life and living on edge daily, they have been broken but yet they make a choice to leave and start a new life.

The definition of success is achieving your desired goals, outcomes or results, making success or the perception of success subjective. For example, someone battling depression may feel that getting out of bed is success, for the business person achieving the next contract is a success, for the stay at home mum, seeing her children happy is success. Mental toughness is the combination of resilience, confidence, motivation and action. Again rather subjective, the victim of abuse who survives every day being bombarded emotionally, physically and verbally, has an inner strength that no one will ever understand, unless you’ve been there and survived.

Mental toughness and resilience benefits everyone from leaders, children, athletes, parents, to teachers. It is built on a solid foundation of emotional empowerment, taking the right action and focus. It lie in both the internal and external motivations of each individual person and can be developed.

Mentally tough people are not super humans but they do have a few tricks up their sleeve that we can all learn from.

1.   They are in control of their goals, they focus on and commit to the journey, the process and the outcome. They challenge their fears, they step out of their comfort zone and they do not accept failure as an end result, instead they learn from their mistakes and carry on.

2.   They prioritise and organise. They decide what is important to their journey and dedicate time taking the actions that will help them achieve their goals. They don’t get caught up in the unnecessary detail of life; if they have no control over it, they let it go.

3.   They choose to invest in personal development. They treat every experience as an opportunity to learn, every mistake, every success, every failure and every encounter. Learning is integral to their personal and professional development.

4.   Perseverance is key, they take the rough with the smooth. They have developed the resiliency to bounce back from the bad days and roll with the good. There is an acknowledgement that real life brings adversity, it’s met with a positive attitude, much the same as the good days.

5.   They make careful choices about the people they surround themselves with, they build teams of people who will lift them up, they choose business associates that mirror their values, they form friendships with people who make them happy.

Even though the mentally tough are not super humans, they recognise that self knowledge is a super power, one that supports their mental strength.

If you’re ready to develop mental toughness and become emotionally empowered, get in touch Hayley 07966189084 or hayley@justthebeginning.co.uk