A good book on mental toughness is Mental Toughness for Women Leaders: 52 Tips To Recognize and Utilize Your Greatest Strengths by LaRae Quy. These suggestions also apply equally to men. Here are a few of the tips to help you continue on your path of self-awareness and mental toughness.
- Identify your emotional hot buttons. Knowing who or what pushes our buttons and when it happens is critical to developing the ability to control a situation. This awareness allows you to carefully choose your actions and words, thus avoiding unproductive behaviors that sabotage success.
- Notice your emotions as they arise, both positive and negative, without judging. Simply observe them with curiosity.
- Slow yourself down with deep breathing so the fast, emotional brain doesn’t overtake the slower, rational brain.
- Pinpoint the circumstances that produce emotional reactions. This awareness will enable you to calibrate your reactions in future situations.
- Observe others as well as yourself. Notice emotions in other people. Becoming a keen observer of behavior is critical to understanding others. Ask questions to find out more about how others think, react, and choose priorities. But remember:
- Everyone’s different. Simply observe and inquire.
- There are no right or wrong reactions; allow people their uniqueness.
- Observe, inquire, and learn without an agenda. Do not judge.
- Cultivate and express a curiosity about life and other people.
- Don’t settle into complacency. Success seduces us into becoming set in our ways. We love routine and we readily accept assumptions. Don’t let your comfort zone turn into a limiting barrier. Stretch and challenge your habits. Always ask questions, such as “What if…?” Try new things.
- Express gratitude as a power emotion. Nothing resolves conflicts and energizes people more than appreciation, yet most of us don’t express it enough. We have a negativity bias and are too quick to point out flaws in both others and ourselves.
Mental toughness must be built on a solid foundation of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, discipline, and positive social relationships. It’s hard work, especially on your own. That’s why many people seek the services of a coach.