Mental toughness is a hallmark of success. If you’re mentally tough, you can crush any obstacle that stands in your path. Many people think they have it.
Few actually do.
Today, we’re going to run through a handful of scenarios that reveal mental toughness — or reveal the absence of it. I encourage you to play these scenarios out in your own mind and ask yourself how you would respond.
If you’re mentally tough, then congratulations. You did it. If you discover that maybe you aren’t, don’t sweat it. There are ways to get there.
When Someone Disagrees With You
We’ve all been there before. You think you’re making a good point, and someone chimes in and totally contradicts you. Or, you’re just minding your own business, and someone starts throwing out viewpoints that are counter to everything you believe.
Folks without mental toughness cannot listen to opposing viewpoints. They treat them as personal threats.
Instead of listening and trying to understand, they label those opposing thoughts as crazy or evil and push them out of their minds.
Mentally tough folks are able to listen to a conflicting viewpoint without immediately feeling threatened.
A mentally tough person isn’t likely to let someone walk over their opinions, but they are strong enough to listen to someone and see if there’s anything valuable to learn from them.
When You Fail At Something
Folks without mental toughness say, “Guess I’m never doing that again.” Then, they usually try to blame the result on somebody else.
Mentally tough folks understand that failure is part of success, not the opposite of success.
Think of how you learned to walk. Imagine if your parents said, “Well, we’ll give him 10 chances, and if he doesn’t learn to walk by then, we’ll just stop and make him crawl for the rest of his life.”
The reason that so many kids learn how to walk is because their parents keep teaching them until their damn kids walk.
What a f*cking concept.
Turns out that the recipe for success is to do something you suck at until you’re awesome at it. You don’t just try it once or twice and then give up, not if you want it.
When Other People Succeed
Now, to clarify, I’m not talking about when shitty people succeed. When the bad guys win, you might feel differently. In this scenario, we’re talking about the success of a friend, a classmate, or some random person you don’t know.
Folks without mental toughness take it as a personal affront. They get resentful. They think, “Why not me?” Their reaction is emotional, not analytical.
Mentally tough folks are able to be happy for other people when they succeed. They certainly don’t feel bad about themselves because of someone else’s success.
If they ask, “Why not me?” it’s an analytical question to learn how they can do better next time.
When You’re Miles From Your Comfort Zone
Ever realize that you have no idea what you’re doing? What was your very next thought?
Folks without mental toughness steer the ship immediately back into their comfort zone and pat themselves on the back for “pushing their boundaries.”
Mentally tough folks make the damn thing work. When you find yourself out of your comfort zone, there’s usually a reason for that. Often times, it’s because your goal is out there somewhere.
Related: Winning’s In Your Blood
You see, most of the time, your goal lives outside of your comfort zone. If it was right there next to you, you would already have it. So, most of the things worth achieving require you to leave your comfort zone.
And guess what? It’s f*cking scary out there. You get lost easily, you get stressed out, you feel stupid.
But you know what’s more important than avoiding those feelings? Getting the damn thing done. Achieving your goal.
Growth only occurs when you spend enough time outside of your comfort zone that it becomes your comfort zone. And without growth, we’re as good as f*cking dead.