How Mentally Strong Are You?
I think most of us would like to think that we have what it takes to succeed; determination, grit, Mental Strength.
But how do we know for sure?
After all you can’t improve what you can’t measure.
Until recently Mental Strength (toughness) was subjective. We would look at a business person, an athlete, or an artist achieve great success in the face of adversity and say, “WOW…they’re mentally strong!”
We would determine a person’s Mental Strength by their success. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a way to measure this.
What is Mental Strength?
A good place to start is defining what mental toughness is. Until recently there hasn’t been a solid description of what mental toughness is.
Then in 2012 after numerous case studies and research Clough & Strycharczyk developed this widely accepted definition of mental toughness.
“Mental Toughness is a personality trait which determines in large part how people deal with challenge, stressors and pressure …. irrespective of prevailing circumstances.”
Why is Mental Strength Important?
Through research, several benefits of being mentally strong have emerged. They are:
What Makes Up Mental Strength?
There are four major components of Mental Strength and they are:
Control – Control means having a sense of self-worth and describes the extent to which a person feels in control of their life and their circumstances. Importantly, it also describes the extent to which they can control the display of their emotions.
A mentally strong person will usually “get on with it” irrespective of how they feel and their positive approach can often lift the spirits of those around them.
Commitment – Commitment is about goal orientation and ‘stickability’ and describes the extent to which someone is prepared to set goals for what they need to do and make measurable promises that, once made, they will work hard to deliver on.
Control and Commitment, when combined, are what most people mean when they think of resilience. They are indeed a solid response to adversity, but resilience is largely a passive quality and is only one part of Mental Strength.
Challenge – Challenge describes the extent to which the individual will push back their boundaries, embrace change and accept risk. It’s also about how they see all outcomes – good and bad.
Mentally strong people view challenges, change and adversity as opportunities rather than threats and will relish the chance to learn and grow in new and unknown situation. Someone whose challenge score is high will typically enjoy new places, new people, innovation and creativity.
Confidence – Confidence completes the picture and describes the self-belief an individual has in their own abilities and the interpersonal confidence they have to influence others and deal with conflict and challenge. When faced with a challenge, mentally strong people scoring high in confidence, will possess the self-belief to deal with the situation and the inner strength to stand their ground when needed. Their confidence enables them to represent their view boldly and be comfortable in handling objections.