My personal definition of what “Mental Toughness” is:
A chosen lifestyle of holding yourself to a higher standard of belief within yourself; even when everyone else around you believes that your failure is imminent.
“Mental Toughness” is probably the most misused, misunderstood subject in the athletic world. Every success story ever told gave credit to their “mental toughness”; how it’s 90% mental, 10% physical. You hear about mental toughness all the time in the athletic world but do you really, truly, understand what it really is and how to acquire it?
Becoming mental tough is not something you just start doing one day. It doesn’t turn on and off like a light switch. It’s a lifestyle, a chosen lifestyle and you have to live it every single waking moment of your day. To be mentally tough is to have complete control of your entire existence. By choosing to control your internal environment by making the choices that will better yourself today, tomorrow and every single day after that. Being mentally tough is choosing to make the hard decisions that require you to do things that are not much fun. Like getting up at 3:30 am to run 5 miles, while your opponent is still sleeping or hard drilling for 15 more minutes in the wrestling room because you know your opponent is out with his girlfriend. To be mentally tough you have to retain the desire to be the best you can be at everything you do. You cannot pick and choose what you stride for; you have to put the hard work and effort into EVERYTHING you do. You have to remember your purpose on this earth is to be the best you can possibly be by mastering yourself. When you master yourself you have developed mental toughness.
There is a magnitude of self-help books on this very subject. Some are great and others not so great. The one common denominator of them all was “choices”. Your “choice” is the starting point and ending point all at once. By choosing everyday that you will focus on how to improve and master yourself is the key to your success. The choice you make today will forever effect your tomorrows. By choosing to hold yourself in high regards, and that you are indeed worth the effort is the beginning steps to becoming mentally tough. Why shouldn’t you believe in yourself, and your abilities? Is there an unwritten rule out there that I am not aware of that you need to beat yourself down and adopt everyone’s disbeliefs that success doesn’t happen to “people like us”? What does that mean anyway? Does that mean that successful people are made differently than you and I? They somehow come from a different mold? No it doesn’t. When you actually think about it, it’s quite absurd to think that you need to be “special”, like some pedigree dog breed, to be successful. I say B.S.!! You have a right and an obligation to believe in yourself and it starts right now! Right now I want you to choose to hold yourself to a higher standard by believing in yourself, and taking the first steps to mastering you!