By Roz Jones
I once watched a TED talk about what separates ‘A’ students from ‘B’ students and generally why some students perform better than others. Angela Duckworth said that it’s not the talented, or intelligent that make it, it’s those students that persevered, it’s those students that tell themselves that no matter what they will succeed. She called this grit! I would like to think that this is what mental toughness is. Mental toughness is deciding to succeed against all odds, it’s what will push you when your back is against the wall and things do not seem to be working well for you. Mental toughness is what stands in between success and failure.
The beautiful thing about life is that it does not have favorites. Challenges happen to us all and for some people, those challenges are a reason to give up and for others, they are reasons to go forward. When choosing the path of success, you are guaranteed obstacles but it is only your mental fortitude that will get you through those times. The way we think about things often makes a difference. When you have mental toughness, you condition your mind to only see success. Not that failure is non-existent but that you are focused because you know exactly what you want.
One of the definite signs that someone lacks mental toughness is a lack of focus and direction. When anything happens, you run with it and when things do not go your way you panic. Mentally tough people are focused and can put things into perspective, just because you run into some hard times it’s not a reason to throw in the towel. The mind is where the battle is, once you tell yourself that you can overcome, you certainly will, but once you think of yourself as a failure that’s exactly what you will be. Without mental toughness, any setback ceases to be seen as an opportunity for growth and progress but as a hindrance that stops you from going for the things that you want.
Success is an issue of mind over matter. It does not choose where you come from or who you are, it is all lodged in the mind. A tough mind possesses strong self-belief. Most people do not believe in themselves; they believe everything else just not themselves. You can achieve anything as long as you believe that you can. Success is for believers, people who believe in themselves and what they can do.
After every cloud, there is a silver lining. We have heard this quite too many times. The hardest thing though is that during the storm when the clouds are gathering you cannot see any better. When you go through tough times as an individual, everything you have heard or know goes out the window and all your focus is on fixing the problem. The challenge is that when the storm drags on, naturally we give up. This is not true for people with mental toughness. They understand that tough times do not last. This is the true attribute needed to make it in life. Knowing that no matter how much the troubling times, a day will come when that silver lining will appear. Mental toughness begets perseverance and patience, understanding that ‘not now’, does not equate to ‘not ever’. A day will come and all the work and the sacrifice will come in handy.
Mental toughness is truly the separator between success and failure. It all rises and falls on our thought patterns and the things we believe to be true about ourselves. Without mental toughness when the rigorous tempests of life come, we throw in the towel on issues that could have led us to a better tomorrow. Your success or failure in life depends on you as an individual, you become what you think. When your mind is strong, you think positively, you think like a winner, but with a weak mind, you can flee at the first sight of trouble.