A little over a week back I asked for questions regarding mental toughness. I got flooded with them…and they were all over the place!
Literally everything from motivation and focus, to handling bullies, to helping friends and family be tougher, to talking to women, to struggling with diet, to my favorite techniques and more
So we start with this one…
“How do you define mental toughness?”
Basically, I see mental toughness as being synonymous with willpower.
It is using your mind or your will to do something that other parts of you do not want to do. It is being tough or overpowering that other side of you that wants to go a different direction.
This may mean starting to do something when part of you doesn’t want to start. It may mean to keep doing something when another part wants to stop. And, of course, it may mean not doing something when the other part wants to do it.
Regardless of the specific case, mental toughness is about the mind overcoming other parts, often the body, the instincts, primal urges, etc.
Another synonym is self-control. It is controlling the self, typically the conscious overriding more unconscious urges.
After all, it does matter how we define things. To best utilize the skillset of mental toughness we need to know when to use it and when to not.
Just like a kettlebell is great for certain aspects of training and not others (true of any tool), so mental toughness has a time and a place. Used outside of that time and place and you’re using an inappropriate tool, certainly not the best available.
This, I hope to make clear as we go on.
Because make no mistake. Reliance on mental toughness for everything is not going to work for 99% of the population.
In addition, mental toughness overlaps with some other things such as motivation, focus, habits, discipline, antifragility and more. But there are some differences to these.
In this series, I hope those distinctions can become more clear too. There’s a lot to cover…