Mental Toughness – Your Values
In our last post and podcast episode on Mental Toughness, we started to lay out the steps it will take to develop a strong mind. We defined mental toughness as maintaining an even demeanor regardless of the circumstances. This isn’t the same as being able to push hard through a workout, or give 100% in your sports practice. That is physical toughness. Mental toughness is having your business shut down by COVID-19, losing some of your customers, yet maintaining a positive mental outlook despite not knowing when you can reopen your livelihood.
To start developing mental toughness, you need to establish the values you want to drive your actions. These values act as an unbiased determiner of action. Whether you are having an easy time of life, or your world is crumbling around you, acting within your values will keep you on a steady state of moving forward.
In our last post, we suggested that you create a list of role models who exhibit how you want to act. We told you to start imagining these role models see you in your everyday life and offering their opinions on how you should handle certain situations. With that list, follow the following steps:
STEP 1: List the virtues or values exhibited by each of these role models that want to emulate.
STEP 2: Write down how you are going to apply these values to your life. For example, regardless of how busy and/or successful I become, I want to make time to help others like my father has always done.
STEP 3: Start to mentally rehearse how you will act more like your role models or imagine what their advice would be in a given scenario. Start this exercise with small scenarios of little importance and grow from there.
In our next post, and podcast episode, we will cover some practices you can use daily or weekly to enhance the effectiveness of these three steps. It isn’t enough to sit around thinking about values and actions. For a bit, you need to write them out or talk them over with a friend. That way, you have a record of how you wanted to act in a given scenario to compare to how you really acted. When you go through truthful self-reflection, you stand the best chance of growing.