Ever wondered how soldiers and even the military reserves gain and maintain a sound and tough mind? Well, it only goes to show that all of them have undergone rigid and continuous training to acquire and enhance it. And since we understand that each member of the military, as well as all the other folks out there, would like to obtain and develop mental toughness in them.
What Defines Mental Toughness?
Generally, mental toughness can be examined as the skill to maintain your emotional composure to complete a series of actions no matter what happens around you or inside you. Many people from the field of sports believe that it’s an ability you’re born with, hence, it can’t be developed.
It is usually something you have since your birth or something that you train at a very young age due to the surroundings that greatly influence you and heighten your motivation to pursue more. Still, others assume that anyone can improve their mental skills just as anyone can grow physically.
If you’re defined by strength, patience and focus, you can easily control your emotions and reactions, especially when something unexpected and overwhelming happens. All in all, mental toughness is the driving force that helps you keep going no matter what happens around you, and it works both as a source of motivation and as protection from external factors.
Boost Your Motivation
You’ll never become mentally strong if you’re not motivated enough. The most mentally tough people are usually the highest-motivated ones, and they strive to be strong, successful and independent from their surrounding factors and events.
Often, highly-motivated people don’t need a specific reason to start something new. Their motivation is the driving force behind their actions, and they feel satisfaction from challenging themselves to be athletic or creative. They set specific goals and they usually achieve them, as they are courageous enough to give 100% in every situation they find themselves in.
Knowing the reason and parameters behind every goal you set will boost your motivation. Moreover, you have to be prepared to overcome any possible obstacle that might emerge out of nowhere. Acquiring that skill set is not easy, but a “never give up” mentality will slowly but surely lead you there.
As they say, mental toughness isn’t about finding a huge emotional boost out of nowhere. Most importantly, it will help you acquire that mentality which will get you through any challenge without you losing your emotional control and composure.
Have Realistic Expectations
Being resilient is not something you achieve easily. Surprises do appear in life, but if your expectations are not realistic, then you might realize that you come across more surprises than you can handle. It’s very important to expect realistic outcomes from your present situation, and in this way, you’ll also be able to handle them calmly.
Withal, if you have to face many unexpected situations at the same time, your morale will surely decrease, and you’ll find yourself drowning in a sea of insecurity. It’s important to be able to improvise and adapt to every unexpected situation that might pop up at any time.
Unexpected situations are just that: unexpected. You cannot predict or control the factors that lead to such situations, but you can control how you feel and act about them. Instead of acting based on your emotions, take your time to understand how each situation works and think about what you can do, before letting your emotions overwhelm you. That’s how you’ll manage to make better predictions about future scenarios eventually.
Experts say that people experience an internal monologue. Sometimes, you think about the things around you and you tend to doubt yourself and your capabilities. It is important to skip the negative thoughts and focus on the optimistic ones, which will boost your confidence and help you find more solutions about the future. It is what you feed your mind and continuously echoes within that would generally dictate the outcome. It’s like if you even think you can’t finish a marathon – most likely – you really can’t.
An easy way to stay in a positive frame of mind is to put together a mission plan that gets you pumped up. The more important your goal, the more motivated you’ll be to complete your challenge.
Make this ‘why’ your mission goal and never stop thinking about it during your training. Anytime you feel that you’re not enough or that you just can’t keep going, repeat your mission statement.
Like any member of the military, it’s the idea of “I will never quit” — period! So whether it takes enough guts or will to become that “I-am-a-very-tough-fella” look you’ve ever wished for, find time to try those aforementioned life hacks to get started.