Mental Toughness Starts with Self-Awareness

Mental-ToughnessI’m intrigued by the concept of mental toughness because I believe many of us could use a little more of it. But don’t confuse toughness with being stubborn or oppositional. It’s a special quality that means sticking to your guns while being able to listen and reconsider options when needed. The key is to develop high self awareness.

Self-awareness is the ability to accurately perceive your own emotions. To be successful, you must stay alert to emotions in order to manage behavior in various contexts.

It’s not enough to be aware; mental toughness means you are both willing and able to tolerate the discomfort of negative feelings.

“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” ~ Lao Tzu

You don’t need to spend time discovering the deep dark secrets of your inner world but rather develop an honest understanding of what makes you tick. Often people request coaching in order to help them become more self-aware. It’s hard to see yourself without an outside observer.

Mental toughness strengthens your ability to distinguish positive emotions from negative ones. Then you can choose to express feelings appropriately in a way that connects with other people, their needs, and desired outcomes.

When you become more sensitive to feelings, you can do three things:

  1. Identify what creates stress
  2. Pinpoint what motivates positive behavior
  3. Listen and talk in ways that resolve conflicts rather than escalate them

Also Required: Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is not an attitude of harshness; instead it requires inner strength to choose what you will make a priority. To become competent in your field, you’ll have to study, practice, make mistakes, and find new ways to solve problems. This means you have to persist until you find a path that works successfully.

In terms of instilling the values of mental toughness and work ethic, discipline is the gift that keeps on giving. ~ William Baldwin

As a result, you create authentic skills you can rely upon when confronted by obstacles. This is how you build mental toughness and strength to do things better, more confidently.

To improve your mental toughness, you’ll need to become more self-observant, self-aware, and apply self-knowledge to how you choose priorities and make decisions.

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. Contact me here and on LinkedIn.

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