Editor’s Note: Wanha from Reddit, shares his advice on what it takes to increase mental toughness.
I’ve always been fascinated with mental toughness and athletes who possess it, and I’ve spent many years trying to understand this topic.
Much of our physical ability is determined by our body structure. I can train as much as I want, but I’ll never beat Usain Bolt in a footrace. Mental toughness, on the other hand, is something that can be learned and cultivated, it can be forged through practice and struggle. Naturally some people are born with a higher level of mental toughness than others, but on the whole it’s a skill that anyone can cultivate to a relatively high level.
Mental toughness is the ability to perform at an optimal level when the stakes are at their highest. Whether that means closing a huge sale or fighting back from the brink of defeat, mental toughness means we don’t allow the situation to overwhelm us emotionally.
One of the most respected NFL coaches, Bill Belichick, defines mental toughness as
“doing what’s right for the team regardless of how you might be feeling at the time.”
In other words, mental toughness is about sacrifice, doing something that’s difficult, pushing past your threshold, playing injured or playing a role you might not be comfortable playing. It’s about putting the team first.
But talking about mental toughness is easy. For every athlete that is mentally tough, there are probably ten athletes that aren’t.
So how do we improve our mental toughness?
Boiled down to its most basic elements, mental toughness comes down to two choices: to control your mind, or to let your mind control you.
When we don’t control our minds, we accept whatever programming that has been inputted earlier. You see, most of us never chose our current mental programming, we simply stumbled onto it, and now it’s the way we deal with life’s various challenges and situations.
For example, if your default reaction to high-stake moments is fear, anxiety or over-excitment, it’s because somewhere down the line you learned that that strategy works for you. That’s obviously not a particularly smart strategy, but at the time when you accepted it as part of your programming it was clearly good enough. And once we accept a programming, we usually stop thinking about it and it becomes our default reaction for similar situations.
So if we want to increase our mental toughness, we are going to have to do a little reprogramming of our minds first. From my experience, the key to being mentally tougher is to control your focus and eliminate the little voice of doubt and critique.
It’s All in Your Mind
Most articles you will find on this topic break mental toughness down into various subcategories, such as focus, poise, confidence, courage, and so forth. Although that may make sense from a scientific perspective, I’ve found that such an approach makes it difficult for the average person to put any of the advice to use.
So what follows is my attempt to provide an easier and more natural process to help you perform better when it really counts. I’ve successfully used these techniques myself over the past few years and I believe they can do the same for you.
Let’s get to them.
I. Be Positive. I Mean REALLY, REALLY POSITIVE
It’s easy to get down on yourself and let the inner critic run free when things aren’t going well, but that isn’t going to help you.
Instead, fight the urge to criticize and ask yourself if you can make a commitment that you will only bring forth positive energy for the remainder of the match. I’ve found that when you prioritize eliminating all negative thoughts, your focus automatically shifts to the positive ones, and that in turn makes you more likely to enjoy and excel in the big moment.
II. Focus Only On What You Control
Yes, we play to win, that’s why we keep score. But spending time thinking about the potential outcome just diverts your focus and fills your head with unimportant, distracting thoughts.
The remedy is to be present in the moment and let nature take its course. Focus only on the things you actually control: your approach and your attitude. What happens after the next point or after the match doesn’t matter. I’ve found this approach helps me relax, focus and play my best at the key moments.
III. Keep Your Emotional Level Steady
Some of us get more easily up and down that others. The more up and down you get, the more likely you are going to get over-excited or overwhelmed by the situation, and that puts you in a bad spot to win the big points consistently.
The key is to distance yourself from the game just enough so that you’re not swept away with the emotional tides. Don’t only focus on not getting down – also make sure you don’t get too high either, because that disrupts your focus also. Visualize remaining calm and composed in even the biggest situations. Act like you’ve been in those situations a hundred times, and eventually you’ll feel like it too.
IV. Enjoy The Big Moments
This is probably my favorite technique because it takes a moment that is stressful and intimidating and turns it into a moment that’s fun and exciting – something you actually look forward to.
The next time you find yourself in a big moment in a game (e.g. a tiebreak in tennis), remind yourself how exciting and fun these big moments are compared to a casual game with nothing at stake. These are the moments you’ll remember and what you’ll all discuss after the games – enjoy them, embrace them, and feel them with every cell in your body.
V. A Prepared Mind is a More Confident Mind
It’s been said that self confidence is ‘your ability to influence the world around you’. What better way to do that than through practice?
When you know you’ve practiced a single shot a thousands of times, you have a lot more faith in being able to rely on your training in a big moment. You don’t need to ‘will’ yourself to do something that has very little chance of succeeding. Remind yourself that all that sweat and sacrifice was a price you paid so you could be victorious today.
VI. Forget About How You Might Look
Sometimes we start thinking how bad we might appear to others if we lose this point – or how embarrassing it would be to blow a big lead. But the moment you start thinking from the outside in, you lose your focus and your ability to stay calm and composed.
Thinking from the outside in is toxic. You are not doing this to “look good” or win the admiration of onlookers, so put all thoughts about looking bad out of your mind and just focus on playing the game one point at a time. Win or loss – do it your way.
VII. Have a Short Memory
This is also one of my favorites. It’s so easy to get angry and criticize ourselves when we make a mistake, but all that usually does is turn one bad play into another.
If the previous point or play didn’t go your way, you need to forget it immediately and concentrate on the next one. Don’t let one bad play ruin the next one.
Just make a note and move on.
VIII. Don’t Expect Perfect Circumstances
It’s easy to say the conditions were poor, you had a little ailment or that nothing is going your way today. But these are all just excuses that tempt you down the road of surrender.
You only get the perfect circumstances so many times in life. Don’t dwell on what has gone against you. Don’t worry that the conditions favor your opponent. Ignore the pain you feel in your knee.
What you have is what you have. There will never be another chance to win this game.
Be like MacGyver and use everything that you have at your disposal to succeed right now.
Mental toughness is really just about approaching the game from the right perspective. The next time you step out onto the field, ignore the score, focus being in the moment and tell that little, criticizing and excuse-seeking voice in your head to shut the hell up. You’ll be glad you did.
8 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Be More Decisive
Tackling Procrastination and Indecisiveness
Hi, Joel Brown here. As the person behind Addicted to Success and Mind Strong, I’m often asked about tackling procrastination and making swift, effective decisions. It’s a common struggle in today’s world, where distractions are endless.
Procrastination often creeps in when we’re bombarded with social media notifications, breaking news, and the hustle of daily life. This leads to a fear-driven indecision, where we’re paralyzed by the thought of failure or judgment.
Here’s a video breakdown of how to stop procrastinating and be more decisive if you are more of a visual person:
Embracing Speed and Momentum to Stop Procrastination
One of the most impactful lessons in my journey is understanding the role of speed in overcoming procrastination. A mentor of mine, a highly successful individual, always emphasized:
“Success loves speed, and money loves momentum.”
This principle is crucial in combating procrastination. It’s about seizing opportunities quickly, not just for financial gain, but for the invaluable experiences and connections they bring.
Understanding Analysis Paralysis: A Key to Overcoming Procrastination
A major hurdle in decision-making is what’s commonly known as analysis paralysis, a significant form of procrastination. It happens when our decision-making process, governed by the prefrontal cortex, gets overwhelmed. To break free from this form of procrastination, try calming techniques like deep breathing. It’s surprising how such simple steps can clear a cluttered mind and help you move past procrastination.
The Long-Term Effects of Procrastination and Indecision
Procrastination isn’t just about putting off decisions; it can lead to a reduced sense of life satisfaction over time.
In a conversation I had with Tony Robbins, we discussed how the quality of our lives hinges on the quality of our decisions.
Therefore, overcoming procrastination and indecision is vital for a fulfilling life.
My Top Strategies for Beating Procrastination
- Seek Guidance from the Experienced: To combat procrastination, connect with people who’ve achieved the goals you’re aiming for. Their experience can be a guiding light when you’re stuck in indecision.
- Use Deadlines as Anti-Procrastination Tools: Setting deadlines is a powerful way to break the cycle of procrastination. They create a sense of urgency that pushes you into action.
- Accept Imperfection to Move Past Procrastination: Understand that no one is perfect, and that includes you. Accepting this can alleviate the pressure that often leads to procrastination.
Identify Your Procrastination Type to Find Solutions
Procrastination manifests in various forms. I’ve developed a quiz (find it at mindstrongacademy.com/quiz) to help you identify your specific type of procrastination. Understanding your personal procrastination style is a crucial step in addressing it effectively.
Additional Tips on Making Quality Decisions and Beating Procrastination
When it comes to decision-making, it’s important to not get too bogged down in analyzing pros and cons. While analysis is important, excessive scrutiny can lead to procrastination. Trusting your intuition often plays a crucial role in breaking free from procrastination.
Handling Major Life Choices Without Procrastination
For significant decisions in life, whether in your career or personal relationships, procrastination can be particularly challenging.
To address this, break down these big decisions into smaller steps. Assess the potential outcomes realistically to understand that often, the fear of a negative outcome is more intimidating than the actual consequences.
Conclusion: Your Journey Away from Procrastination Begins Now
To wrap up, remember that overcoming procrastination and indecision is about understanding your own patterns, seeking wise counsel, setting deadlines, and embracing your imperfections. It’s time to start making those impactful decisions and enjoying the journey of life.
I believe in your ability to conquer procrastination and live a life of purposeful decisions.
Unlocking Success: Subconscious Reprogramming, Mindset, and Transformative Strategies for Improved Wellbeing and Business Performance
What if I told you that the negative thoughts or self-limiting beliefs that you may have, are not actually yours?
In this article, I will discuss subconscious programming and how it can be reprogrammed in a way that allows you to reach your greatest potential. I will also provide tips on how you can integrate this information as a leader within the workplace.
The subconscious mind is shaped before we begin forming our own conscious thoughts, and these conscious thoughts are influenced by the subconscious mind. This means that even the thoughts that you’re consciously having, are merely an extension of that pre-existing conditioning.
When something becomes deeply ingrained within your mind through repetition, and there are other supporting thoughts that reinforce it, you will identify this information as your truth. These repeated thoughts become beliefs, and your actions will align to support and validate these beliefs.
The Importance of Observing Your Thoughts
If you continuously tell yourself that you aren’t capable or good enough, how likely are you to put in the effort to challenge this narrative? If you’ve always been a procrastinator and tell yourself that you always will be, you’re going to continue procrastinating. If you run into an obstacle and don’t believe you can overcome it, you’re not going to look for solutions or try your best to resolve it.
It’s extremely important for you to become an observer of your thoughts and understand the impacts of how those thoughts can impact your life, relationships, and overall outlook on life.
Here are some questions to help guide you:
– What are your recurring negative thoughts, and how are they impacting your performance and relationships?
– How have these thoughts held you back from achieving your goals and living the life that you’ve always dreamed of?
– What have these thoughts already cost you and what else will they cost you if they don’t change?
Societal conditioning, influenced by a lower level of collective consciousness, has made the experience of debilitating thoughts highly prevalent. It’s not your fault that you have them, but it is your responsibility to change them and choose better ones.
The Subconscious Must Be Reprogrammed
Reprogramming the subconscious involves positive affirmations, visualization, and consistent repetition to replace negative beliefs with positive ones. You have to become aware of the thoughts that make you feel bad and do not serve your best interest.
What are the growth-oriented thoughts that would you rather have instead? Any time that a debilitating thought crosses your mind, always correct it with new thought that uplifts, encourages and empowers you. Be consistent, be patient and understand that your logical mind will not make this process easy for you at first.
Being Delusional vs. Consciously Creating a Better Reality for Yourself
By definition, the term delusional means “holding false beliefs or judgments about external reality that are held despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary”. When you have held onto debilitating beliefs for so long and your previous actions have served as evidence to confirm their truth, it is inevitable that your logical mind will deem your new thoughts as delusional. This is where embracing change tends to become most challenging, as it involves confronting this resistance with unwavering commitment.
What you have to understand is that your former beliefs and former actions do not dictate your future, unless they remain the same. As the old beliefs become obsolete and new beliefs take their place, there will also be new aligned actions that produce different results, and this will serve as evidence to support your new truth. That being said, the most delusional thing that anyone can do is elect to keep an unfavorable mindset that was programmed for them by external factors and willingly relinquish their own personal power as a result of it.
Success is Fundamentally Rooted in the Mindset
How we show up for ourselves and others, communicate with employees, and perform in business are deeply connected to our mindset and everything that has shaped it. Let’s delve into these interconnected aspects and explore five transformative tips that will catalyze positive change in the workplace.
A growth-oriented mindset encourages resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace challenges. On the other hand, a fixed mindset hinders progress and limits potential.
Tip 1: Embrace a Growth Mindset
- Establish the belief that abilities can be developed.
- View challenges as opportunities for learning and improvement.
- Cultivate a positive attitude toward continuous growth and development.
Unpacking Trauma and Navigating the Impact
Unresolved trauma can cast a long shadow over our personal and professional lives. It shapes our reactions, influences decision-making, and impacts our interactions with others. Acknowledging and addressing trauma is essential for creating a healthier, more productive work environment.
Tip 2: Prioritize Trauma-Informed Leadership
- Cultivate empathy and understanding for individual experiences.
- Provide a safe space for open communication about trauma.
- Implement support systems and resources for employees dealing with trauma.
Elevate Relationships and Sales Performance
To enhance relationships, communication, and sales performance, a holistic approach that intertwines mindset and trauma-informed practices is key.
Tip 3: Implement Empathy-Driven Communication
- Train teams in active listening and empathetic communication.
- Create an environment where open dialogue is encouraged.
- Recognize and validate diverse perspectives, creating a culture of inclusivity.
Tip 4: Invest in Professional Development
- Offer continuous learning opportunities for employees.
- Develop leadership skills to enhance communication and relationship-building.
- Prioritize sales training programs that align with evolving market dynamics.
Tip 5: Maintain a Positive Work Culture
- Create a workplace where employees feel valued and appreciated.
- Implement recognition programs to celebrate achievements.
- Encourage a balance between professional and personal well-being.
By embracing a growth mindset, acknowledging and addressing trauma, and implementing empathetic, integrated strategies, individuals and organizations can create a transformative ripple effect. In this interconnected web of personal and professional growth, how we show up truly matters, influencing the outcomes we achieve and the impact we leave on those around us.
Enjoy the Journey
As you embark on the empowering journey of subconscious reprogramming, remember that change takes time, and self-compassion is your greatest ally. Surround yourself with positive influences, whether it be supportive friends, inspirational books, or mindfulness practices. Seek guidance from mentors who have walked a similar path and found success in reshaping their mindset. Embrace the discomfort that may arise during this process, for it signifies the shedding of old layers to make way for the new. Reflect on your progress regularly, celebrating even the smallest victories, and be patient with yourself as you navigate the intricacies of transformation.
In the spirit of rewriting your narrative, I encourage you to take the first step today. Commit to a daily practice of positive affirmations, visualize your desired reality, and consistently challenge self-limiting beliefs. If you would like support along the way, consider joining like-minded communities, Facebook groups, and curate your social media to reflect these new changes you want to embody.
Remember, thoughts become actions, and actions reinforce beliefs. It’s never too late to embark on an empowering journey to reprogram your mind, and achieve the life you have always dreamed of!
For more tips and strategies on how to improve your mindset, follow me at @bigdivineenergy.
5 Ways To Achieve Your Goals (With Examples)
Setting goals is a crucial first step, whether you’re striving to reach personal or professional milestones. However, achieving those goals requires planning, determination, and focus. In this post, we’ll discuss five actionable strategies that can help you achieve your goals in 2023, and we’ll provide real-life examples to inspire and motivate you. By implementing these tips, you can train your brain to achieve your goals and make meaningful progress toward your aspirations.
1. Write Down Your Goals
The first thing needed to achieve a goal is to have one. A goal becomes very clear and precise once you have written it down most simply and easily to remember.
Here are some examples:
- I am the world’s best dancer!
- I am the greatest athlete!
- I have created the world’s most innovative tech company!
They are all written with the belief that these things have already happened. Once you start believing it has already happened, other people too can sense your confidence and things start happening.
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” — Andrew Carnegie
2. The One Page Plan
A simple one-page plan to accompany your goal is much more powerful than a detailed 30-page plan. After you have written your clear goal – write down all the things you will have to do to achieve it. Make it as simple and direct as possible so that you can refer to it every day and take action. A simple plan is easier to follow and keep up with.
3. Get The Right Skills
Once you have a clear goal that has been inked into your mind, and a clear plan in place, it is very important to invest in the skills you need to achieve your goal.
So for example, if you want to become a movie star, you should immediately start developing your acting skills. Observe how other actors perform, join an acting class, read about acting, and most importantly, start honing your craft by joining a local theatre group and going for as many auditions as you can. Practice is very important for mastering any skill.
Struggling To Achieve Your Goals? Here Are 9 Possible Reasons Why!
4. Surround Yourself With The Best People
The best way to achieve our goals is to make sure we have the best people supporting us. People who succeed are always those who understand the power of people.
So let’s say your goal is to be an entrepreneur and you have developed your entrepreneurial skills, the next step would be to get the best people to join your team to help you achieve your goal. These would be people who you consider to be the best marketers capable of getting you the best customers and investors.
Once you have the best people supporting you, it becomes much easier and faster to achieve your goals.
“It takes tremendous discipline to control the influence, the power you have over other people’s lives.” – Clint Eastwood
5. Power of Faith
Nothing beats the power of faith and belief. Sometimes you might face challenges, sometimes things might not be going your way, and you might feel like giving up – these are the times when faith and belief will keep you going.
So many people give up, just a few inches away from victory. I am sure you are not one of them since you are investing time into self-development which gives the highest returns! Now go out there and start achieving your goals!
Need more motivation? Read our blogs on motivation and become your best self now!
- 10 Things Stopping You From Achieving Your Goals
- 6-Step Process For Reaching Your Goals
- Powerful Life Lessons From David And Goliath Story
- Reasons Why It Is Important To Follow Your Dreams
- Signs That You’re Self Sabotaging
- Why Perseverance Is A Major Key To Life
- 6 Personal Growth Challenges To Transform Your Life
- 11 Habits To Achieving Greatness In Your Life
- 21-Day Rule That Can Change Your Life
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