The Mental Exercise to Build Mental Toughness
Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit.”
The mentally strong have daily habits, often done without thinking, which allows them to perceive and do things differently to attract success. You have to be aware of these habits and make them a part of your daily routine.
Here are several habits that you can begin to implement today to aid your mental strength. Choose one that resonates with you and let us know what you think.
Mental Exercise #1: Tolerate Discomfort
Nothing great in life is worth pursuing without the inevitability of challenges. Respond positively. Think: How could I not take what I’m feeling out on others? That’s your discomfort to manage. Be kind, for everyone else is fighting a similar or more challenging battle.
Most importantly, don’t play the victim. Take charge of the problem, assess the risks, make a plan, and continue to learn. No failing. Either you win, or you learn. It starts with your mind and feeding it positive thoughts to outweigh the negative. If you tell yourself that everything will be alright in the end, that you will find a better solution, and believe it, you will have taken control of your situation.
Mental Exercise #2: Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is fantastic for mental wellbeing. Write down three things you are grateful for and thankful for. This exercise will help you remain optimistic and more likely to focus on what matters most. It shields you from negativity and rewires your brain.
We have short attention spans, and writing things down helps us remember what matters most. Practicing gratitude has also been shown to improve sleep and boost self-esteem. Try it today.
Mental Exercise #3: Be Stubbornly Persistent
Don’t take no for an answer. There is no need to isolate and be 100% stubborn, but if you are totally motivated to meet your goals and have completed a hurdle, there are subtle ways to keep pushing. You can make some changes and try resubmitting. Explain the rationale behind your work. Learn more about the subject area before moving forward again. Don’t lose faith.
There is no such thing as ‘can’t’: Try and learn as you go, and find someone who can teach you or plan. When doing something you’ve not done before, keep an open mind. The only thing that can stop you is you.
Mental Exercise #4: Accept Challenges
Don’t give up after the first hurdle. Success isn’t immediate. Learn to bounce back. Look at the big picture. Tough times will come and go, but sticking it out through adversity will strengthen you mentally. Great things never come from comfort zones. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
Mental Exercise #5: Make Peace With The Past
Dwelling on the past doesn’t solve anything. Instead, be in the moment and look toward the future.
Never be a prisoner of the past—it was a lesson, not a life sentence. Stop cheating on your future with your past. Learn to embrace the moment you’re in now.
Mental Exercise #6: Pick Your Battles
Some battles are not worth your time. Pick battles that are big enough to matter and small enough to win. We get lost in trying to “time manage” whereas the focus should be on “priority management.” Is this worth your time, or is there something more important that requires your attention?
More often than not, peace is better than being right. If need be, prepare an exit strategy, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Walk a mile to avoid a fight, but don’t back down an inch when one starts.
Mental Exercise #7: Set Aside Time Alone
“Being alone has a power that very few people can handle,” Steven Aitchison.
Solitude can help with personal growth, productivity, and creativity. Quiet is a beautiful thing.
Mental Exercise #8: Accept Full Responsibility
“The moment you accept responsibility for everything in life is the moment you gain the power to change it,” Hal Elrod.
Be a product of your decisions. Focus on your efforts. Accept criticism, acknowledge your own flaws, and don’t keep scores.
Mental Exercise #9: Learn From Your Mistakes
Winston Churchill once remarked, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Don’t make the same mistake over and over. Write a reflective plan to stop the same mistakes from happening in the future. Your mistakes don’t define you. They don’t define your character. Don’t carry your mistakes around with you.
Instead, place them down and use them as stepping stones to raise your mental state. Making mistakes is better than faking perfections. Your best teacher is your last mistake.
Mental Exercise #10: Delayed Gratification
“The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term is the indispensable prerequisite for success,” Brian Tracy.
“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most,” Abraham Lincoln.
Everyone wants to be rewarded instantly, but focus on what needs to be done and have faith in timing. Success takes time and sacrifice. Be prepared to make both. Don’t give in to temptations. Don’t give up easily or quickly. Show up even when no one applauds you for it.
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Read the 30+ Mental Strength Hacks guidebook to build emotional resilience and sharpen your mind.