Mental Toughness: A Key to Success

Mental ToughnessMental toughness is an important quality for all of us to develop and is one of the keys to success in business and in life.  It is our ability to cope in the challenging situations which we all face from time to time.

I see mental toughness as a habit or “muscle” that needs to be developed.  We work out to build physical muscle strength. It may take some time and discipline, but after a while, we begin to see visible progress.  We feel stronger and more in shape and we begin to notice definition in our muscles that may not have been there before.

Discipline and Consistency are Key in Developing Mental Toughness

The trick in working out is to maintain the habit consistently; otherwise, the muscle will atrophy over time. The same discipline is needed for developing our mental toughness.

We Need to Acknowledge and Enhance Our Strengths

Most of us are well aware of areas where we feel we are lacking. We have the ability to easily rattle off all of our weaknesses.  In order to develop mental toughness, we must spend more time acknowledging and enhancing our strengths.  Acknowledging our strengths allows us to leverage them to create success in our businesses.

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How High Achievers Conquer Self-Doubt

self-doubtWe all experience challenges with self-doubt.  However, the high achievers among us have developed a special capacity that allows them to overcome self-doubt and achieve their goals.

Let’s begin by exploring the concept of self-doubt. Self-doubt is a state of uncertainty in which people become immobilized and cannot move forward. Stumped, stymied, frustrated, and blocked are some of the many words clients use to describe the mental state that self-doubt represents. It implies that we are somehow unwilling or unable to act on something or move toward a goal that we are striving to accomplish. We have a destination but are unable to reach it.

How a Coach Can Help With Self-Doubt

So how does one address these roadblocks?  As a coach, I support my clients in two ways:

  • First, I help them to clarify their goals.
  • Next, I encourage their self-belief in what they are capable of accomplishing.

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Willful Blindness

willful blindnessI recently had the luxury of a free morning due to client vacations, so I took some time to watch a portion of the Rupert Murdoch parliamentary hearing on CNN.

After a series of questions posed to Murdoch, a panel member asked him if he was familiar with the concept of willful blindness.

The definition for this term varies, but Margaret Heffernan clarifies it beautifully in her book, Willful Blindness (a great read which I highly recommend).   Heffernan describes her book’s title concept as the following:

An opportunity for knowledge and a responsibility to be informed that is shirked

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