”If I have to be bribed into doing this, then it must not be worth doing for its own sake.”
(David G. Myers, 2005)
How tough are you?
What a tough question, right? I know, I am asking myself that question as well.
My topic for this week is about Mental Toughness. How it is crucial to your success and what makes certain people succeed through their mental toughness.
Mental toughness is the ability to perform at your best on a regular basis and regardless of the pressure and challenges you face. So how can we become tougher?
As a sports agent, this is maybe the most important question to think about it, because if a prospect wants to become a top professional tennis player, he will face competitors that are all extremely gifted and fit.
I have witnessed some of the most talented kids never really make it as professionals, while less gifted ones enjoyed very successful careers. But I would go further than that, and claim, no matter what you want to achieve, mental toughness is the most crucial skill there is.
If your goal in life is to fulfill your potential, to give your very best at whatever you do, then being able to cope under pressure really is the secret to success.
So what is the most important mental skill then? To me, it’s motivation. Without feeling a drive to consistently improve and perform at your best, all the other mental skills will just fall apart.
Motivation is what gives us the energy to achieve a remarkable results in any area of our life. It is what distinguishes the very best from all the rest.
The tricky thing with motivation is that it can also backfire. We are usually motivated to do the things we care most about: For example, if we are an athlete, we may care about winning trophies, generating big income, becoming famous, or building our character.
After all, these are all worthy goals. At the same time, by caring about something, we instantly raise the stakes.
Say for example, you want to be successful in your business, as it makes you feel worthy and competent. In fact, you enjoy being admired as a smart and successful entrepreneur.
What happens, if you experience some difficult times, in which you struggle? You will certainly think that people will see you as a failure, an impostor and that will lead to jeopardizing your entire self-image.
Why? Because you have learned to define yourself based upon the income and recognition you were receiving. But you must also remember that you are not obligated to live up to everyone’s expectations. That you have the will to choose how you want to live your life.
Of course, we don’t always think these thoughts, on a visible level. Nevertheless, if we pursing rewards of any kinds, feelings of fear and doubt may well be holding us back immensely.
For some, such extrinsic motivation can lead to us over trying to become successful, making us experience frustrations and feelings of being overwhelmed- not ideal states to enhance mental toughness.
For others, they can trigger the exact opposite behavior, in which we do everything we can to seem like we don’t really care about our success. In either case we are doomed to fail.
So what is the secret to motivation? In my view, it all comes down finding the right reasons why success means so much to you: In other words, the bigger your WHY, the deeper you will be able to dig, in order to overcome obstacles and beat all the odds to success.
For example, if your drive is based on chasing money on fame, this might get you so far. But you will always be worrying about what other people are thinking of you, and in a sense, your feelings of success are in fact beyond your own control.
If on the other hand you are inspired by intrinsic goals such as loving the challenge, building true character, supporting your beloved family, representing your country, or inspiring other people, you will find the ways to dig deeper than ever.
In fact, a study with children showed that even kids performed less well when solving fun puzzles they enjoyed solving, when offered a reward.
So what gets you doing the things that are most important to you? (Please think about it for a minute)
What is it that you want most in your life right now, and why?
Try and go deeper, by asking yourself what your true motivations are, and whether they support your quest to become mentally tougher, or not.
Remember, the more compelling the reasons are that inspire you, and the more you focus on outcomes that are within your sphere of influence, the more power and motivation you will experience.
How do you find this week’s topic? Please share your thoughts by writing it in the comment box below. And don’t forget to SHARE this with your friends and family!