4 Ways to Increase Your Mental Toughness

I just listened to a great podcast today by James Altucher with Jesse Itzler. Jesse had a Navy Seal come and live and train with him for a month.

Navy Seals are the epitome of mental toughness. The Seals have a “40% Rule” that states “When your brain is telling you that you are done you are really only 40% done.”

Think you are done? defeated? The 40% rule states you still have over half of your reserves left!

I believe this rule applies to the mental challenges of business as well as physical challenges.

In business mental toughness means staying calm and present in tense situations allowing you to tap into your creativity and intuition to help guide your decisions.

So how do you cultivate mental toughness. Here are 4 ways that I found to do that.

  1. Get present – focus is extremely important. Don’t get wrapped up in the negative chatter that will inevitably arise when the going gets tough.  In business this means doing one task at a time and focusing on that one thing without distraction
  2. Don’t think about the future and be aware of any story you are telling yourself about the situation. When things look bad it is easy for your mind to project into the future and tell you it will only get worse. But guess what if you are focused on those thoughts you are having pain and misery in the present moment! In business this shows up as fear of rejection and what that will mean if someone tells us no.
  3. Use positive self talk. Have a mantra or something positive that you repeat over and over to yourself. This helps to shut up that voice of Negative Ned or Nelly in your head that is telling you that you can’t do it.
  4. Break the challenge up into small attainable pieces. If the challenge looks to big or daunting your belief that you can actually accomplish the task will diminish or disappear. Instead break up the task into small bite sized pieces. You can also make this into a game. For instance when I used to cold call in sales I would make a game out of how many calls I could make in 30 minutes. Once I had that number I would try to beat it in the next half hour. This kept me motivated and focused even in the face of constant “rejection”.

Give these tactics a try the next time you are facing a mental challenge and let me know how they work for you.