Mental toughness is critical to success. It plays a role in all areas of our lives. But, what does it mean to be "mentally tough?" And how do you know that you are building mental toughness in your life?
Over the years, I have found that there are 6 signs that someone is mentally tough. Here they are and more importantly, here's you can foster them in your life.
They Ask "How?"
Mentally tough people don't let setbacks, obstacles, or being told "no" get in their way. Instead, they ask "How?" How can something be done? How can the desired result be achieved? By asking "How?" this activates the part of the brain that starts you thinking and looking for other ways to solve a problem...it spurs innovation and creation. The next time you find yourself thinking something cannot be done, ask "How can it be done?" and then start to put your ideas down. You'll find the solution may be right in front of you.
They Understand Logic vs Emotion
99% of people make decisions or react to the things that happen in their lives with emotion. They have emotional responses to just about everything. There is a time and place for emotion, but it can also get your into trouble. Everyone has had a time (or many times) in their life where they reacted out emotion and regretted it later. The mentally tough understand when to seperate emotion and logic and use logic to to help overcome challenges and achieve their goals. For example, maybe there is a time where you gave up on something in your life. I bet if you looked back on it, it was emotion that drove the decision. You may have gotten to a point where "you just could not take it anymore" and you gave in. That is emotion. And every one has those moments, including the mentally tough. The difference is, the mentally tough recognize the emotion in the moment and separate it out. They then look at the situation logically and see how best to manage it based on what they can control, not focusing on what they cannot. They take action and work through - but don't give in unless the logic bears out that it is a fruitless effort. How can you better separate emotion and logic at key moments in your life?
They are Humble, But Believe in Themselves
The mentally tough may sometimes seem to be arrogant or have a higher opinion of themselves. The truth is that they are humble, but they have taken the time to "know thyself" and who they are and believe in themselves, their capabilities, and their potential. And they have built their mental strength up so that what others say or think does not bother them. Most of the time, they have a quiet confidence as they work toward what they want. There is nothing wrong with believing in yourself and charting your own path where others do not think is possible - just make sure to stay humble and be true.
They Keep Going in Spite of Fear
It may be surprising to note that the mentally tough get scared just like anyone else. They question things and have fear come into their lives. But, it should not be surprising that they have the mental fortitude to keep going in spite of the fear, the worry, and the doubts. This is where they separate emotion and logic the most. They recognize the emotional response of fear, but use their logic to work methodically through it and push forward through the fear. The next time you find yourself feeling fear, doubt, or worry - stop and ask yourself "What action can I take now that will help me in getting past this?" Then do it.
They Stand Strong in the Face of Real Adversity
True adversity is different than fear. Fear can come and go on a whim, but real adversity stares in you in the face and can seem insumountable. It takes a lot to overcome real adversity. Storming the beaches of Normandy and defeating the German army on D-Day was real adversity. It took the will to keep going and find a way or make one. The mentally tough do the same. They find the will to keep going in the toughest times in their lives. They will not let themslves give in or give up in the pursuit of their goals and what they want. What is the biggest adversity you face in your life right now? Are you shying away from it and taking it head on and working to overcome it? I can promise that if you choose to take it on and keep going until you get through it, you will be a better stronger person for it.
They are Extremely Disciplined
Mentally stong people are extremely disciplined in their lives and they use the discipline and structure they have created to help them stay mentally strong. In fact, being disciplined gives them the consistency in their day to be more effective and action oriented. It also helps to keep them on the path to success. Additionally, because for many, part of the structure is devoted to their health, it helps to keep them in their best shape physically and mentally to stay at their best. Do you have discipline and structure in your life? Do you hit the ground running each day knowing exactly what you need to do an accomplish for the day or do you find yourself going through days more aimlessly and distracted? In order to be your best, you must be productive. In order to do that, you must have discipline.
If you are looking to improve your mental toughness, take the time start incorporating these 6 traits into your life and before long, you will see the difference they can make.
I came across this excellent compilation of top entrepreneurs giving them best advice to succeed as an entrepreneur. There is more wisdom in this short 20 min video than you'll get in more MBA classes! Enjoy!
21 days. It's not a long time. In fact, 21 days go by in the blink of an eye. But what can be accomplished in 21 days is incredible. In fact, 21 days of dedication is all that is needed to change your life. Studies have shown that is takes 21 days to create a habit. Think about that. If you want to make a change, whether it is your health, something in business, or in just in life, you can be on your way in just about 3 weeks. That's exciting!
There are some keys to ensuring success if you decide to either change or create a new habit in your life.
First, you must commit to it. For example, if you want to start the habit of excercising for 45 minutes every day, you must commit to it and be deliberate in your approach.
Second, write down what you are going to do. So, if the goal is 45 minutes per day of exercise, write it down and make a 21 day checklist to check off that you did it each day. What gets measured, gets managed.
Third, be consistent. It is a lot easier to practice the new habit over 21 days if you are consistent in your approach. Staying with the example of exercising 45 minutes per day, strive to do the 45 minutes at the same time every day, so it is built into your schedule and the time is set aside. It will make it easier to plan for it as well.
Fourth, be accountable. It is easier to accomplish your goal if you are accountable to it. The best way to be accountable is to have an accountability partner - someone that will help you keep on track for your goal. This may be someone who is building the same habit with you or someone close to you that is not afraid to call you out.
Fifth, reward yourself. Building a habit means change and a lot of dedicated, consistent work for a short time, 21 days. But that doesn't mean it isn't hard. And to help keep you motivated, you should decide on a reward that is important to you, that you will give yourself for accomplishing to goal. Keep your reward top of mind, especially in those moments where you don't want to keep going or consider skipping the work toward the habit for a day. It will help you in the moment.
Good habits are the cornerstone of success and the best part is we get to choose them and put them in our lives. Just think where you will be a year from now if you took 21 days each month to build a new habit to help you in your life. That's 12 new habits. Would your life change? You bet it would. So get started and here's to your success!
It's a common theme for most people that they do not have enough time. That they are maxed and can't keep up with everything they have going on. They are just too busy.
I've found this is simply not true. Most people have way more productive capacity that they realize - they are just not structured well enough to take advantage of it in their lives. I've written before about how structure = freedom. I know that sounds contradictory, but the more structure you have in your day to day, the more freedom you can create for yourself.
For example, most people go through their day without any real plan just reacting to what comes up in their lives and work. They have all these tasks they think they need to do "in their head" and at the end of the day after all the distractions and things that they let steal their time, they are exhasuted and frustrated because they "worked hard, but feel like they didn't get anything done." This happens because they are have ceded control to everything around them and not taken control and put structure in place to keep them focused and get things done.
Now, imagine if they started the day knowing exactly what they had to, their top priorities and had clear deadlines to get them done. And they knew, if they got them done early, they could take the rest of the day to do whatever they wanted? Sounds pretty good right. They accomplish all their tasks and free themselves up to go enjoy the rest of the day. That is what structure brings.
They are a few key components to have a good structure. First is to set aside time each day where you can focus un-interrupted on your most important tasks. During these times, you eliminate distractions - no meetings, no phone calls, turn off IM, etc. You can also block these times on your calendar if you share it with others to make sure they cannot steal your time. Second, plan your week. Each week before the week starts, take 20 minutes to go through each day for the upcoming week and plan out what needs done. You can list the meetings or events you have and then build in the other tasks you need to do each day in your blocked times. Third, at the end of each day, take 5-10 mins to see if you were able to get your priorities for that day completed and to adjust anything for the next day to make sure you are getting everything done. You may find on many days that you are so productive that you can get ahead and work on the next day's priorities and tasks - and still be done early. That is one of the benefits of having a good structure.
Don't think this will work for you or that you don't have enough time in your schedule for everything? Try this simple exercise. For one week - just one week - track what you do for every hour of each day. If you do this, you will be amazed at how much time is wasted and how much opportunity you have. It will also help you understand where you waste the most time and allow you to make changes so you can be more productive.
As H. Jackson Brown Jr. said, "Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."
Remember, structure = freedom!
Let's face it. Sometimes you just have bad days in business. Days where things just don't go your way despite everything you do. We've all been there and there will be more days like that in the future. It is part of the journey of entrepreneurship.
The most important thing about bad days is how we respond to them. After all, they are going to happen, right? So, we should do our best not to make them worse.
The first thing to do when a day does not go your way is to recognize it for what it is - one day out of many and it will pass. Not everything is going to go as planned and some things are just going to fail. The most important thing we can do at these times is to separate emotion and logic and not let emotion get the best of us or drive our decisions. We must think logically. By all means take a few minutes to get your emotions out in whatever way is best for you - but don't take actions based on those emotions.
Next, once we have seperated our emotions and have put them in the past, we must focus on the things we can control and maximize our efforts there. It does not good to worry or put thought into things we cannot control. We must cope with those things, but focus our efforts and our actions in the areas that we do have control and can affect outcomes.
Once we have identified the areas we can control and are focused on them, then we must take action and start working toward better outcomes either to resolve the issue(s) or to pivot around them. The key is to get going and build momentum so you get passed the problems of the day and back to business.
As an example, I have a trading business. Not every trade is going to go my way and sometimes, when I am just about to harvest my profits, the market can turn and go the other way putting me into a losing position. As you can imagine, this can be very aggravating and cause a bad trading day. But, I cannot control the markets - I can only take aciton on the things I have control over. This is why I have specific rules that I follow and most of the time, things work out as planned. When they don't, I remove the emotional response by following my rules and working the trade to the best outcome which sometimes is a loss, but not to the level it could have been if I panicked and let emotions dictate my actions. Because I seperate emotions and focus taking action on the things I can control, I am able to achieve better results.
The next time you have a bad day in your business, use this strategy to help you navigate it and come out on top!
I was reading some passages from Proverbs the other day on 7 Deadly Sins. Now, a lot of people hear Proverbs and think religion, the bible, etc. But, I have found Proverbs to be one of the great sources of wisdom for life and business that anyone can read.
Specifically, I was reading about Sloth or laziness and found it very insightful. We think of being lazy as just that, lazy - not doing anything, not taking initiative, etc. And the consequences are that we miss out on opportunities and reaching our potential. While that is absolutely true, this passage shared that the consequences are much worse.
Part of the passage stated that "Laziness brings on deep sleep." It went on to explain, that sloth brings a progressive decline of a person's ability to work hard - not just in the area they are choosing to be lazy, but throughout all areas of their lives. Sort of like a person who loses their physical conditioning can no longer exercise as hard or as long and then finds themselves less healthy, gaining weight, etc. Being lazy in that area brings about unintended consequences that impacts other areas of their lives.
Over time, laziness can slowly erode capability and potential as well as habits needed to excel and succeed being our best. It permiates into all parts of our lives.
If you find yourself being lazy in one area of your life, ask yourself why? And then take a look at other areas of your life and see if they are being impacted as well. In the end, you must "do the work" and push throug the urge to be lazy because if you don't, you will find areas of your life going into "deep sleep."
This week marks the 300th episode of the Misfit Entrepreneur! When I started the podcast, I was excited just to do it for my daughter as a passion project. I never expected that I'd be sitting here at 300 episodes writing to all of you who support the show in over 150 countries. I am so grateful for you and want to thank you for all of your support and feedback over the years. 300 episodes is big milestone and it would not be possible without you.
I am also excited because the 300th episode is a Lesson for Hannah episode where I speak directly to my daughter giving her lessons to help her in life. I hope you have been able to take a lot from these episodes as well.
As move on to the next 300 episodes, we will continue to find the best entrepreneurs in their fields and share their best wisdom and success habits with you, but we will also be looking at expanding the impact of the show and doing more with you. So, stay tuned and again, thank you for all of your support!
11 minutes is not a long time, but it amazing how hard it is stop and focus on something for that amount of time. But we must do so.
Think about if you spent 11 minutes per week or better yet, per day thinking deeply about your success? What could that mean to you?
Or maybe, it is as simple as getting the right message like this short 11 minute video will give you. Check it out!
Productivity is one of the best ways to increase your success. The more you can do with the time you have or find ways to leverage resources to help you get more done, the bigger your business can grow.
There are a lot of ways to increase productivity. Here are 6 simple and easy ways to do so.
One of the biggest reasons people lose productivity is they do not plan. Because they don't have a plan, they have no direction when it comes to what needs done and waste a lot of time. What would happen if you planned each day ahead of time and wrote down everything you need to do? Or better yet, planned your week ahead of time? Start planning and watch the different having a weekly and daily To-do list makes in your ability get things done.
Focus, Don't Multi-Task
Once you start planning for your success, make sure to block times in your plan to focus on each item that needs done. Studies have proven unequivocally that multi-tasking makes you less productive and effective. Focus on specific tasks at a time in your plan and you'll get them done faster in and more effectively.
Schedule for Your Best
Another tip is to schedule your most important tasks during times when you are most productive. For example, if you have high energy and get your best work done in the morning - schedule your most important tasks for the day during that time. Schedule less important tasks or tasks that require less thinking outside of these times.
Give Yourself a Break
A lot of people think that continuously working it effective. After all, you are putting in a lot of back to back hours, right? Wrong. The be more effective, you must build in breaks so that you can recharge and give your mind a rest. These can be 15-20 minutes a few times during the day. During these times do something non-work related. Take a walk. Get some fresh air. Throw the ball for you dog. Whatever you choose is fine, just keep work out of it.
Ask for Help
This one is hard for people. If you find yourself spending too much time on something or having trouble figuring something out - ask for help. Don't keep wasting time on it when you know you need to get help from somewhere. Ask someone you know who can help you get the result you desire faster and go to work.
Take Care of Yourself
It is hard to be most productive and perform at your best if you are not taking care of yourself. Make sure to get good rest and sleep each night. Eat healthy. Get exercise each day.
Follow these 6 simple tips and you will find yourself much more productive in all areas of your life.
If asked just about anyone if they wanted to get to their next level of success or potential, they would tell me "Yes!" So, if that is the case, why do so few actually level up in their lives?
The reasons are many, but it usually comes down to a few main ones. Here they are:
I think everyone has faced these issues in the pursuit of personal growth. But, how do you overcome them? Better yet, how can you make it easy to overcome them? I've found a few simple ways to do this.
First, you do need to be clear on what your next level looks like so you need to take some time to think it through. Spend 30-60 minutes with a notepad and write out what the next level looks like for you. Challenge yourself. Ask yourself "why?" Ask yourself if you are holding anything back. The important thing is that at the end of this time, you should have a much clearer picture of the what your next level looks like and things you need to do to get there. This will get you focused.
Second, remember the 80/20 rule. In this case, 20% of the things you need to do to reach your next level are much more important than the rest, the 80%. Focus on just actioning on those items. Once you have done them, then move on to others. This will keep you from being overwhelmed.
Third, automate your success. In every way possible, you should strive to remove roadblocks or obstacles that you percieve will hurt your chances of leveling up. For example, if you know that you need to get up earlier and eat a healthy breakfast to get you on the right path to reach your goal, you can automate this by scheduling breakfast to be delivered to you at your home or office at 7am. By doing this, you give yourself a deadline to get up by and get going and take the hassle of preparing a healthy breakfast off your plate. Another example would be freeing up time in your day to focus on the tasks needed to reach your goal. You can do this by blocking off time on your calendar so no one can take that time and setting a reminder alarm to focus on your important task.
As you start to think about it, there are a lot of ways to automate and remove the lower priority items or busy tasks in your life, so you can focus on the most important. You know what your time is worth, so make sure you are maximizing your time for your value. Getting clear on what you want, focusing on the most important things to get you there, and automating and outsourcing where possible makes it much easier for you to level up and reach your true potential.
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