15 ways that build mentally tough people

Mental toughness is something you can train and practice. It is not necessarily something people are born with. In an article, Dr. Travis Bradberry shows ten ways to build mental strength.


In an article originally published on LinkedIn Pulse, Dr. Travis Bradberry,co-author of the best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0,writes how hard it is to be mentally tough, and how mentally tough people set themselves apart from the crowd. “Where others see impenetrable barriers, they see challenges to overcome,” he wrote and named Thomas Edison as an example. When Edison’s factory burned down in 1914, destroying one-of-a-kind prototypes and causing 23 million dollar in damage, Edison’s response was simple: “Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start fresh again.”

That is clearly quite an amazing mental toughness but there are ways to improve on mental toughness. Bradberry names ten strategies that get you onto the right path:

1. Being emotionally intelligent. Emotional intelligence means that you can fully understand and tolerate strong negative emotions and do something productive with them.

2. Being confident. True confidence inspires others and helps them to make things happen.

3. Neutralising toxic people. Now this sounds serious but what it means is that mentally tough people control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check. When they need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally and avoid letting the person bring them down if a situation escalates.

4. Embracing change. Mentally tough people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They don’t allow fear of change to paralyze them or take away their success and happiness.

5. Saying no. Mentally tough people view saying no as healthy, and they have the confidence to do that without feeling guilty or conveying that they don’t believe in themselves.

6. Knowing that fear is a source of regret. This basically means don’t be afraid to take risks. According to Bradberry, it takes the ability to transform failures into learning lessons to improve on abilities.

7. Embracing failure. This plays into the previous strategy as mentally tough people know that no one ever experiences true success without first embracing failure.

8. Not dwelling on mistakes. Instead focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances.

9. Not letting anyone limit joy. “When mentally tough people feel good about something they do, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or accomplishments take that away from them,” Bradberry writes.

10. Not limiting the joy of others. People who are mentally tough don’t feel the need to judge others or to put them down.

11. Exercising. Studies have proven that people who exercise twice a week feel more intellectually and athletically competent. The immediate, endorphin-fueled positivity from exercise makes the difference.

12. Getting enough sleep. During sleep, the brain removes toxic proteins, which are by-products of neural activity during the awake hours. By not getting enough sleep these toxins are not removed but remain in the brain cell wreaking havoc by impairing your ability to think.

13. Limiting caffeine. Drinking large amounts of caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, the source of the fight-or-flight response.

14. Not waiting for an apology to forgive. Mentally tough people know that it is not worthwhile holding grudges.

15. Being relentlessly positive. Channeling all the bad news of the world does not bring any improvement. Instead being focused on individual efforts and keeping positive makes a huge difference.


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