How to Build Your Mental Strength
A person’s mental state is actually a spectrum. Everyone has it to some extent, much like physical strength, but individuals aren’t either mentally strong or mentally weak; we just have a certain quantity of it. And then we have the option of becoming stronger. There is always room for advancement. It all comes down to the decisions you make, the workouts you perform, and the way you live your life. When you feel like you’re not attaining your full potential, you know you have a problem. When you know there are things you might be doing but don’t because of a mental block, it’s generally your mentality.
There’s something going on that’s preventing us from taking the measures we want to take. So there’s a tremendous difference between being mentally strong and being tough, and many people confuse the two. So, when individuals behave difficult, we’ll say things like, “Failure isn’t an option.” Well, being mentally strong is more about accepting that failure may occur, but I’m strong enough to cope with it if it happens. So, whether you’re asking for a promotion or applying for a new job, it’s not about being optimistic and believing that everything will work out. Maybe it’s about being realistic and accepting that things might not work, but also telling yourself that you’re strong enough to manage it. As a result, worry serves to keep us safe. You wouldn’t glance both ways if you weren’t anxious.
If you see a hungry lion hunting you, you know it’s time to flee. And somewhere along the way, we began to confuse social rejection with minor workplace failures. We began to suspect that this was potentially hazardous. We don’t encounter nearly as many of those physical threats in today’s environment. It might be a social danger or a financial risk, yet our minds frequently generate false alarms. If you’re in bodily danger, you want that warning siren to sound. However, you don’t want it to go off while you’re simply asking for a raise because it makes the task much more difficult. So even though I know I’m not in danger, my body believes I am, which is why my heart is racing and my palms are sweaty.
However, just because you feel this way does not imply you should not take the risk. Doing tasks that challenge you is a crucial element of developing mental strength. Lifting weights is the same as if you sought to improve physical strength. When those weights become too light, you must progress to bigger weights. So it all comes down to identifying what makes you uncomfortable and deciding how to proceed. And it is unique to all of us. Speaking up in a meeting might be intimidating for some individuals. It’s not a major problem for others. In fact, they can’t stop chatting. So, just to be clear, what are some tiny things I might do to push myself? It might also be starting a discussion at a networking event. It may mean that I’m going to speak up twice in every meeting I attend. Perhaps it’s about how I’ll react to emails and say no since I’m a people pleaser. Simply ask yourself, “What are some tiny things I could do that are a little dangerous and would challenge me to move outside of my comfort zone?”
Then keep practicing until it’s no longer frightening. The more you push yourself, the better. Slowly, the more you recognize you’re stronger than you believe, the more you’ll really teach your brain to perceive yourself as more capable and competent than you think you are. Because your brain is likely to persuade you off from doing anything uncomfortable right now. Your brain wants you to stay in your comfort zone, therefore it will tell you not to apply for that new job. Don’t speak out at the meeting; no one will listen to you. Don’t offer to make a presentation. But if you continue those behaviors against your brain’s warnings, your brain will begin to alter. You’ll realize that you might be able to perform these things. It becomes simpler after you educate your brain to think differently since your brain will no longer try to persuade you out of doing anything that is uncomfortable. And sometimes you simply have to imagine the worst-case situation. You apply for a promotion but do not obtain it. So, how would you deal with that? What would you do?
And sometimes we believe we are so feeble that we are incapable of coping. “Oh, I’m going to be so sad,” we think. I’ll be so embarrassed. But contemplate this for a moment: “How may I deal with feeling sad?” How can I handle my shame in a healthy way? Just remembering that may give you the courage to take the leap. So, despite years of teaching about mental toughness, I continue to put myself to the test and seek out unpleasant situations. Again, it’s not necessarily about what others consider to be tough. I can get up on stage and speak in front of a large group of people and feel at peace doing so, but coming to a networking event where I don’t know anyone isn’t as easy.
Before entering the building, I assigned myself a mission. I will meet five people when I arrive here today. Therefore, I am continually seeking novel methods to question myself, “How can I improve my growth?” How can I increase my muscle mass? How can I induce a degree of discomfort inside myself? And everything gets a lot easier. Previously difficult situations no longer present a problem for me. I’m always working on it as a result. How can you feel like you’re growing, learning, and building your cerebral muscles while remaining just unpleasant enough?