Why are some people so good at accomplishing their goals while everyone else is failing? Why are some of us such good leaders, parents, or business people? What makes the difference? Most people will think that the answer to these questions is talent and wits. But that’s just touching on the surface. According to scientific research, intelligence accounts for just 30% of your achievement! What really makes the biggest impact in life is mental strength, or mental toughness if you like it that way. Numerous studies have concluded that mental strength (‘grit’) contributes more to achieving your goals in work, health, and life than anything else. And unlike the genes that you were born with (which you can’t change), we can always do something to boost our mental strength.
Naturally, the human brain is wired to create and achieve goals. Get into the habit of setting both short-term and long-term goals and achieving them. You might want to try with simple things like ‘I won’t touch my smartphone over the next 30 minutes’. Then you might go on to bigger goals such as losing weight. You’ll realize that with each individual goal that you accomplish, your confidence goes up a notch higher.
Set up for success
Sometimes, people fail because they just don’t do enough to set up an environment that’s conducive for success. So, we recommend that you make your life easier by editing your environment. If you’re trying to get into the habit of rushing to the gym every morning, maybe you want to leave your gym shoes by the side of your bed when you sleep. Setting up for success means that you make it easier for yourself to accomplish your goals.
Look at the big picture
Discomfort often leads people to unhealthy shortcuts. Instead of tackling the problem as is, people will opt for something that provides instant emotional relief, like drinking a beer or watching their favorite TV series. But these short-term fixes actually create larger, long-term problems. Every time you experience discomfort, look at the bigger picture. Push yourself to scale the next step even if you get anxious, and this is surely one great way to build your mental strength.
Reframe those negative thoughts
One of the best things you can do to increase your mental energy is to develop a realistic but optimistic monolog within you. Rephrase catastrophic thoughts with positive ones, so that you improve your chances of success. Of course, all of us have rough patches and tough days. But you remain to benefit if you get into the habit of reframing those overly pessimistic thoughts with realistic expectations.
Do one tough thing each day
Nobody gets better by accident. You get better by purpose. Pick something that’s slightly outside your comfort zone and do it every day. This might include enrolling in a study class that you don’t feel you are qualified for, taking self-defense classes. For some people, one tough thing might be taking a 5-mile run every day. Pick whatever works for you and get into the routine.
Prove yourself wrong
So, you don’t think you can do something? Mmm, yeah…a lot of people can’t do a lot of things. But if you’re really serious about increasing your mental strength, you’ll want to prove yourself wrong as often as possible. Every time you feel like you mind wants to quit, or your body has to give up, prove it to yourself that you are more capable than that. This way, your brain will cease underestimating your true potential, and you’ll find that you evolve into a much more mentally tough character.