Mental fortitude is what separates a wanna-be from the person who actually achieves. When you stop to look at the determining factors between those who are successful and those who are not, mental fortitude (or mental toughness) is always at the top of the list.
Talent does not mean anything if mental fortitude is absent. A person who has mental fortitude is not easily thrown of guard when things don't go as they planned. Let us look at the key aspects of mental fortitude and how you and I can apply it in our own lives.
What better way to show the significance of mental fortitude than using a quote.
How about the following quote by Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States:
Coolidge is here describing mental fortitude, the secret ingredient to keeping persistent and determined. It brings us back to what we said at the beginning, that talent alone will not bring you far. Sadly, intelligence does not mean much unless you put it to work. However, this could be seen as an encouraging discovery because it means that you do not need to be born with a certain package of genes. Mental fortitude is something you build. The power is in your hands.
Yes, mental fortitude is rare because it essentially means that you are unwilling to give up on the struggle to achieving your goals. Now how many of us are willing to keep going on a difficult path, without giving in or deciding to give up?
Building mental toughness requires setting the bar high. Now we are not talking about unrealistically high. It just means that finding the easy way out is not your default setting.
Mental fortitude is developed through challenging yourself and experiencing wins along the way. The wins start small but they build up through constant practice and pushing yourself. If you do not have to struggle at least a little bit, you never get the chance to grow and get stronger.
Mental fortitude requires that you do not shy away from things because they look 'hard'. On the other hand, you have to keep motivating yourself to do things that appear hard so you can prove to yourself that you are fully capable. Obviously then, mental fortitude is not something you develop in one day, but rather, over time.
Mental fortitude is always being willing to do that extra push up, to go the extra mile.
Mental fortitude is built on discipline. Those who are mentally strong have built good habits which help them to be successful day in, day out. When you commit to something, mental toughness ensures that you keep to your plan and stick to your schedule. As you develop your habits you change your mindset and build mental fortitude.
Consistency is linked to mental toughness. People with mental fortitude are able to consistently deliver great results because they discipline themselves. They have self-control. Mental fortitude is built when you focus on what you need to do, and do it until it is done.
It also obviously involves saying no to things that are not good for your long-term strategy and well-being. When a person is mentally tough they do not easily cave in in the face of temptation. They already know the answer is no. This is what makes mental tough people dependable; they know their limits and are dedicated to showing up.
Therefore, to build mental fortitude you need to build your track record. This includes trying hard to keep promises instead of taking them for granted. It means waking up with a purpose and getting to work, not getting side-tracked. Mental fortitude means that you follow your timetable, not just wait until you feel motivated to get the task done.
Mental fortitude also ties in with high emotional intelligence, that is, managing your emotions as well as other people's emotions. Mental fortitude means that you have the ability to maintain good judgement by not letting your emotions get the better of you. Childish behaviour is the opposite of mental fortitude.
People with mental fortitude have a unique view of the world. They keep external circumstances outside, and do not let their surroundings affect them in a negative way. That doesn't mean they may not be hurt by horrible remarks and actions - they just learn to push it off and get a grip on the situation. This is my favourite aspect of mental fortitude. Keeping calm in heated moments is a valuable skill.
Mental fortitude involves making a deliberate efforts to keep your emotions in check, because if you give them enough room, your emotions will rule you.
See more about developing emotional intelligence here...
Mental fortitude means that you absorb the unexpected. You cannot predict the future. Things do not always go as we planned yet mentally tough people are able to work with what they've got. Don't get it wrong - mental toughness does not mean being stiff even though it has an element of discipline.
Mental fortitude requires flexibility and being able to adapt to sudden changes. There are always changes and if you choose to ignore them you will trip up at some point. Flexibility is an important concept that helps mentally strong people stay in control. They know they cannot control everything, but they are aware that they can control their reaction to what happens. This give them a measure of strength even through uncertainty.
And that's all that matters. Mental fortitude involves being on your feet, alert and on the look out for new situations and opportunities to act on.
How does this article about mental fortitude make you feel? As you have likely seen, there are so many benefits to building mental fortitude. Mental fortitude can make us better business people, better friends, better individuals.
I think the best way to develop mental fortitude is to keep challenging yourself. Keep working at your goals with unwavering commitment. Every time you feel like giving up, let your inner voice of mental fortitude speak up and tell you: "I can do this. I need to do this." Set a goal for yourself each week on how you can develop your emotional intelligence and keeping fight those obstacles that halt your progress.
I'd love to hear about your efforts in building mental fortitude so feel free to comment below.
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