Formula for Peak Performing : Physical + Mental (thinking /feelings) + constructive action = Self 3 (hardy-resilient-constructive action self)
Life cycle: Stuck——————-Surviving—————————Growing/learning (Mental Toughness )——————Peaking ( Self 3- Active Performer)
None of this is very useful information unless you know what to do about it and how to use it to your benefit and create a better selves. Mental Toughness (MT) is a very broad and complex topic involving the brain, neurology and psychological research, but where I would recommend starting by learning what the “hardy-resilient ” personality is.
Self 3 is broken down into four separate characteristics: Self-awareness, focused attention, integrated discovery learning, commitment to a constructive plan of action. These characteristics of Self 3 are based in an existential theory of personality and is defined as a person’s basic stance towards his or her place in the world. ( Frankl 1954, Kobasa 1979; Dr. Rock 2010).
1. Self-Awareness (SA) is the ability to know ones strengths and weakness through experiences in life. SA means being observant and growing from involvement in life activities by involving oneself in, rather than standing by and watching life pass you by. It means being in touch with our true make-up (strengths/weaknesses). People with high emotional intelligence know that life will end and have a generalized sense of purpose that allows them to identify with and engage in meaningful activities, persons, and events to bring pleasure and happiness to their lives.
2. Reality and Control are the elements that allow you to think, feel and act as if one is competent and influential in making a difference (self-efficacy), rather than helpless, in the face of many difficult and high pressured situations and experiences in life. They lean-in to life because there was a time when they did not exist . Persons with perspective and balance in their lives do not naively expect to determine all events and outcomes but rather perceive themselves as being able to make a difference in the world through their exercise of imagination, knowledge, skill and choice.
3. Challenge is the tendency to believe that change rather than stability is normal in life and that changes are interesting occurrences to grow from rather than threats to security. So far from being reckless adventurers, persons with challenge are rather individuals with an openness to new experiences and a tolerance of ambiguity that enables them to be flexible in the face of change.”
In sum, the greater your levels of SA, Learning (commitment, control and challenge) when faced with a stressful situation, the greater your chances of performing well and doing so without a negative impact on your mental and physical health.
The catch here, is that a high level of self-awareness must be involved in order to assess these characteristics within yourself. This is called “metaknowledge” and is the ability to think about the way in which you are thinking.
The next time you are faced with a high pressure, stressful situation, read through that list of the three hardiness factors and ask yourself to what degree do feel commitment, control and challenge. If you’re coming up low in any of those categories, try to stop and focus on what behaviors you can control and then make the necessary changes.