Why is it Important to Develop Mental Toughness?
As humanity continues to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic, people of all ages have been battling the war on two fronts. Through two years, the pandemic has waged a conquest on people’s physical and mental health.
Through vaccines, masks, and innovations in modern medicine and healthcare, humanity has found its way to, at least, safeguard physical health. On the other hand, the trials continue to protect people’s mental health as isolation, unemployment, and desolation continue to grow rampant worldwide.
In a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, conducted early this year, it was found that the economic recession the COVID-19 pandemic has caused led to a rise in cases of anxiety and depressive disorders. In the US, 4 in 10 adults reported having consistently experienced these symptoms.
In 2020, it was also found that adults have experienced adverse effects on their mental health and wellbeing. Negative effects have primarily been recorded to be difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%), due to worry and stress over the coronavirus, according to the KFF.
Think tanks, organizations, and governments around the world over, however, aren’t backing down without a fight. During the pandemic, health organizations all over the globe have been working closely with the World Health Organization and the United Nations. As of the study’s writing, authorities have released general considerations and resources to address the mental health and wellbeing of people affected by the pandemic. With mental health concerns still rising, however, these conditions are still likely to persist.
These circumstances present the need to protect one’s mental health. This is the reason for which a need to develop mental toughness arises. Mental toughness is a broad concept. The ultimatum, however, is that mental toughness is an asset that can benefit individuals in critical aspects of society.
Mental toughness is seen in many different things people do. The grind develops it, and the consistency people go through throughout their lives. Most importantly, Mental Toughness is a lifestyle that demands commitment.
Forbes Writer Caroline Castrillon eloquently summarized Mental Toughness in five key aspects and definitions.
Believing in Yourself
It was the Tennis Great Venus Williams who said: “Just Believe in yourself. Even if you don’t, pretend that you do, and at some point, you will.”
Self-belief is the battery that powers the daily grind and the force that enables men to fight to become legends. In the context of a professional setting, the University of Melbourne, through a study, discovered that self-confidence is an integral part and determinant of workplace success.
It gave confident people an edge, empowering them to become prime targets for raises, promotions, and leadership roles.
If you want to know the foremost example of the consistency, look no further than the icon, the Black Mamba himself, the late great Kobe Bean Bryant.
Throughout his career and even after his passing, players, colleagues, and executives alike shared stories of legendary feats by the man himself. Among these stories, however, there was a constant factor in all the tales of his legacy — consistency.
When working out, he always pressed the hardest; when going to the gym for practice, he was always the earliest, and when he came to winning, he kept fighting to become the best.
Growing to become mentally tough is to become focused, goal-centric, and consistent. Looking into the life and wonder that was Kobe Bryant, the constant factor about mentally tough athletes, was that they religiously followed a routine or regiment with consistency. It’s what separates the good athletes from the all-time greats.
The perfect moment will never come. Take a moment and make it perfect. Leaders who flourish and blossom are those who put in the work to build positive habits that will allow them to rise beyond slumps.
Successful leaders focus on their goals and work through hurdles that may impede them. Great leaders do what they have to do in a consistent fashion and at a high level. Because when excellence becomes a habit, then distinction becomes a stride more significant and more increased.
Castrillon could not have said it any better: “Mentally strong people manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success.
Focusing on Strengths
Tony Robbins once said, “Energy flows where attention goes.” And there could be no more accurate statement.
Attention elevates performance, production, and efficiency. Focusing on your strengths will energize them, and your weaknesses react the same way. Augment your strengths by keeping them top of mind and utilizing them when the need arises.
Studies in the past have proven that people who utilize their strengths at work become happier, more enthusiastic, more focused, and grow and develop faster. It has also been found that managers who fully support people’s strengths record enhanced performances and succeed in achieving their goals.
It is as the adage says: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
One of the most famous analogies on embracing challenge is the butterfly emerging from its cocoon. The only way that this butterfly can escape is by struggling against the walls that confine her and breaking free. Unbeknownst to it, it is that very struggle that makes its wings strong enough to bestow upon her the ability of flight.
Brent Gleeson, the mind behind the book “Embrace the Suck” claimed that “mentally tough people view obstacles as a challenge, not as a paralyzing event. They look at their failures and mistakes as lessons to be learned from and growth opportunities. In other words, they embrace obstacles better than others because they lean in.”
In hindsight, there’s more to life than meets the eye. Not one life in this world is the same as any other individual, so each individual’s hardship, difficulties, and pain are valid.
However, wallowing in hurt because of a world that needs not anyone’s consent is more harmful than good. So by setting goals, focusing on your strengths, and being positive, an individual can slowly build his mental health and perhaps, if placed in empowering circumstances, learn to develop the mental toughness that will allow a life of comfort.
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