Six Proven Ways to Increase Your Mentally Toughness and Grit

Daily Quote:  “It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, “Always do what you are afraid to do.”” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

1. Mentally strong people don’t make excuses for losing or failing to reach their goals. They accept responsibility and ownership for their behavior. They work hard to improve their mental habits by being positive in the “here and now” moment, instead of bringing excuses to justify their actions. Mentally strong people seek to live in the moment by understanding that the past has its place but will seldom solve your current problem. Learn the lessons of the past but do not get locked-in to the idea that there is only one perfect solution.   

2. Mentally tough people don’t expect immediate results from training or deliberative practice. They are patient and persevere no matter the results. Change and mastery of skills and clear thinking come in a step by step way and this process is honored.

3. MT people manage expectations–Whether they are working on improving their strength or physical endurance or just getting started in a new activity, mentally tough people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills, energy and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.

4. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure–Mentally strong people don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as challenge to learn and improve their skills. They look for ways to see the obstacles for change as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right by always doing the the Best they can do in any activity.

5. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control–You won’t hear a mentally tough person complaining over lost of a match or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude.

6. They Don’t Shy Away from Challenges and Change–Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change and challenges. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be open minded and flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to renew, grow and develop their talents. 

Daily Quote and 4 Affirmations to help sustain Personal Change in 2014

Daily Quote: “In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The ill-trained will find themselves
equipped to live in a world that no longer exists,” Eric Hoffer. 

Reflection: So if learning and dealing with change are the keys to living an enriched life, why do so many people fail to keep their New Year’s Resolutions. I have been pondering this and looking for wisdom from a wide variety of sages. Take a read through the the following quotes and see which one might help you stay on target for reaching your goals for 2014.

  • “What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Now whether you are willing to do it, that’s another matter.” – Peter F. Drucker
  • “Free will and determinism are like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you is determinism. The way you play your hand is free will.” – Norman Cousins
  • “I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” – Pearl S. Buck
  • “They can conquer who believe they can. He has not learned the first lesson in life who does not every day surmount a fear.”  Emerson

Self-Coaching Challenge: “To believe in yourself and assert your willpower is simply to be mentally tough. Be clear on what you need and want, and then do what you need to do in this moment in a non-judgmental way. “ MW Hardwick , Ph.D.

Using one of these quotes stay motivated by writing yourself a reminder on a  “sticky note” and paste it on your bathroom mirror or computer.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Ralph Waldo Emerson on Success

Daily Quote:

” To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children,
to leave the world a better place,
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived,
this is to have succeeded”. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Reflection: If you are struggling to find a purpose in life this quote will get you going.It’s message clear, concise and compelling. Especially his focus on making one life better and leaving world a better place.

Self-Coaching Challenge: 

” If you want to fill your cup with knowledge, you must first empty your cup of your knowledge”. Confucius  

If you want to discover your purpose or meaning in life, you must first empty your mind of all the false assumptions and absolute beliefs. Some of these beliefs you have been taught by parents, teachers or spiritual leaders and others you have just made up to get by in life. 

So how to discover your purpose in life? While there are many ways to do this, here is one of the simplest ways to accomplish this challenge  The more open you are to this process, and the more you expect it to work, the faster your positive “self-fulling” proposition will kick-in for you. 

Here’s what to do:

  1. Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up blank document in your word processor .
  2. Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”
  3. Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you energized and you feel in your gut. This is your purpose.
  5. Post your purpose statement in a visible place by your computer or on your mirror at home.
  6. Verbal repetition and affirm through practice will help you keep your purpose top of the mind as you go through a busy day. 

Daily Quote and Reflection: Trust Is…

Daily Quotes:

“Our distrust is very expensive…Self-trust is the first secret of success.” Emerson

“Being connected and personal is to be in the process of discovering and accepting each other…trust begets trust; fear escalates fear.”    Jack Gibb . author of Trust: A New View of Personal and Organizational Development

Trust is . . . is a critical part of being human.  It’s as simple as that. If we can’t trust and openly share who we are, our sense of self-worth diminishes—and we won’t trust others or ourselves ” Dr. Carl Rogers

Reflection: In another post I defined trust.

Here are some of my random reflections and comments about trust that I have learned in over thirty years of listening to and observing others when they are talking about trust.

Trust is …is being courageous enough to open fully to another and accept the vulnerability of this state of being…

The unexpected truth behind building trust, connecting with others, and inspiring collaborative action is belief in yourself and others “to do what they say they will do”. ( DWYSYWD)

When we are sincere and authentic we usually earn other people’s respect and trust. They begin to open up and now are more amenable to influenced and change.  Imposing our point of view only makes others defensive and resistant to change.”

Action Assignment: Complete the following sentence to get at how and why you trust others.

Trust is___________________________________.

Then reflect on your  sentence and try to figure out whether you give trust freely to others or they have to earn trust.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Why Trust begins with Yourself and other observations

Quote:  Emerson once said: “Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great”

Reflection: Emerson was talking about how to learn to trust, connect with others and build loyalty. His point of view is that trust doesn’t start with the other person, but begins by looking in the mirror and deciding what it takes for you to trust others. Do you give trust away automatically or do you make the person earn your trust? Do you expect great things from others or just wait for them to screw-up and then remove trust?  Essentially, Emerson is talking about how to connect emotionally with others. He is expressing his belief that in order to build an effective relationship we must start with trusting others. Trust needs to be demonstrated through your behavior not just by mouthing the words to others.  As I reflect on my own experiences in building an effective team I think trust is the cornerstone for creating a climate that accelerates cooperative working and building together the behaviors that support effective and efficient teamwork. 

If your team individually and collectively is supportive of others and respectful you can build on this positive climate to create the potential for team synergy (1+1 =3. In building synergy you tap the energy and commitment for the team  to reach way beyond what any one individual could accomplish by themselves. Effective and synergistic team members are shown to stretch way beyond what is expected by being engaged in both work and personal issues to achieve organization goals. Trust like this reduces defensiveness and unhealthy competition so that you team can produce spectacular and high levels of satisfaction for themselves and clients or peers they work with.  This respectful approach of giving trust away reduces individual insecurities and opens the door for maximizing possibilities. Your expectations and ability to trust will great enormous energy and self-belief in others and after growing in this positive environment, they’ll not only believe and trust you, they will prove to themselves that they can accomplish more than they thought they could. I think Emerson is coining the idea of the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (SFP) before Robert Merton, social psychologist, identified and labeled the power of this concept to influence and motivate people to be the best they can be no matter the stress or situation they find themselves in.