5 Steps to Mental Toughness

5 Steps to Mental Toughness

February 23, 2016 by Stella Petrou Concha

By now you’ll have noticed there are people who succeed at work, regardless of the pressure or difficult circumstances they face.

If you’re really paying attention, you’ll also see that it’s not just those with the qualifications or experience that get ahead. There is another essential component, and this is something that anyone can possess – mental toughness.

When you turn up to work with a mindset that is mentally tough, you’re focused, positive and ready to seize opportunities and face whatever your day throws at you. To succeed at work, you’ll need to be capable AND possess a mentally tough mindset.

Turning up to work with a mentally tough mindset is your responsibility, but what exactly does it mean? I’ve broken it down into five key questions you need to answer to focus your energy and arrive at work mentally ready to succeed.

1) What is your ultimate purpose?

The first step is to identify your purpose in life. When you look at your core, what is it that you really want? It could be anything, and it will have personal significance to you. For some people, this is clear – for others it can be a difficult question to answer. But it’s essential to your success, so dig deep and find it.

When you discover what is truly important to you, everything in your life becomes easier and clearer. You know why you are doing what you are doing and can link this to what you are trying to achieve. This kind of focus is a trait of the mentally tough. It allows you to be confident in your decision-making, will bring clarity to your day and you’ll find passion for what you do.

2) What are your goals?

Setting goals is not a new concept, and most people have made an attempt (or many) at writing down some goals to achieve. But often a list is as far as it goes – and without action nothing happens. To turn any dream into a reality you need to figure out the steps to take to get there. These steps are your goals, and each of your goals must be achievable, or you’re just setting yourself up to fail.

For your goals to have meaning and lead you to success, you’ll need a series of short term goals that each take you closer to where you want to go. Once you have these milestones mapped out you become motivated to achieve them, which leads to a more determined and focused state of mind – a key component of mental toughness.

3) Do you believe in yourself?

Adopting a positive attitude goes a lot deeper than you may think. When you approach your day with positivity and believe in yourself and what you’re doing, it has a massive impact on your success at work and at life.

Self-belief is essential – if you don’t think you can achieve your goals, you won’t. Your belief in yourself is critical and it gives you the confidence to take on and overcome new challenges. Knowing your purpose and your goals plays a big part in building your self-belief, because you have clarity and confidence in what you are doing, which in turn leads to mental toughness.

4) Are you ready to take up the challenge?

There will always be challenges, and the difference between those who are mentally tough and those who are not, is how they face them. Life is not easy for anyone, but those who are mentally ready and prepared for whatever happens, can deal with the challenge, learn from it and move on, rather than be defeated by it.

To be successful you need to accept that there will be challenges and be ready to take risks – if you’re not you’ll fail to grow and will not get closer to your ultimate purpose. Accept that it won’t be easy, and approach life and work with a sense of adventure as this is what will take you forward. If you fail to adopt this attitude you put limits on what you can achieve. The mentally tough realise that you won’t achieve your goals unless you’re prepared to take risks and learn from setbacks.

5) Can you keep on going?

Becoming mentally tough is not easy – and it won’t happen without hard work, focus and determination. You have to be prepared to keep going and not give up. It’s important to realise that failure is not a reason to quit and it’s not the opposite of success – it’s actually a vital part of succeeding. Failure teaches you much and you should not let fear of it stop you from doing anything.

A mentally tough mindset allows you to keep going no matter what and the mentally tough among us create opportunity from adversity. When you no longer fear failure but use it to propel yourself forward, you’ll possess a crucial piece of the mentally tough mindset.

Mental toughness is within your reach… and it’s your responsibility

If you’re not coming to work mentally tough, you’re not achieving your full potential. The good news is that it’s totally within your power – and within your reach – to become mentally tough, and you can start today.

The benefits – success in your work and life – are well worth the effort. So put in the thought and focus your energy, attitude and actions. Adopt a tougher mindset and become one of the successful people in your workplace.

Can we send you an email?

Join more than 7,000 other smart finance professionals by signing up to our newsletter. You'll get a monthly email with new blog posts,  job news, views, and insider tips. Don’t miss out on this valuable advice!