Every employee, at some point, would have experience work-related stress. After all, any job (no matter how much you love it) can bring stress. So how do we deal with this work-related stress? Mental toughness could potentially help us tackle this.
Mental toughness involves having the ability to cope under pressure with self-belief and focus. However, given that working practices are long in duration (e.g. frequency of the day and working year) mental toughness requires rigorous training and preparation to be effective. One aspect that can enhance mental toughness is through the implementation of specific mental skills.
From little things, big things grow and that’s definitely true of mental toughness.
Mental toughness is like a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly.
1. The ability to “not sweat the small stuff” – Mentally Tough people are the opposite of Drama Queens. They don’t get worked up over little things like whether there are no Doritos ™ in the company vending machine or whether their stapler jams. They maintain their good cheer despite the frustrations and hassles that are part of everyday work life.
2. The ability to perform well under pressure…i.e. when it’s “Big Stuff” – Resilient people handle pressure well. They don’t become testy or sharp-tongued in difficult situations. They don’t come unglued when confronted by difficult situations or high pressure. Resilient people are the ones you can count on to come through when the stakes are high.
3. The ability to respond flexibly and adapt to changing circumstances – This is perhaps the most important reason to have a resilient workforce. Resilient people respond resourcefully to change. Rather than fight change and hang on to old, outdated ways, they respond to change with confidence and flexibility. In day to day life, if their current approach to a situation no longer works, they’re able to quickly and gracefully adjust their plans and actions without getting upset.
4. The ability to bounce back from defeat and disaster – This is typically the quality of resilience people think of when they hear the term. The more resilient a person is, the more quickly they’re able to recover from a setback, make the best of the new situation, and become a “new and improved” version of themselves because of it. In the workplace, resilient individuals don’t dwell on failures, requests denied, or dark chapters in their employer’s past. They move on.
reports that it costs employers 33% of a worker’s annual salary to hire a replacement if that worker leaves. In dollar figures, the replacement cost is $15,000 per person for an employee earning a median salary of $45,000 a year, according to the Work Institute’s 2017 Retention Report. The study of 34,000 respondents concluded that 75% of the causes of employee turnover are preventable.
A separate Willis Tower Watson survey revealed that one in three hires will leave a job within two years, pressuring employers to find replacements quickly and absorb the high costs involved. This report reaches an interesting conclusion: employers might want to focus on shaping the workplace to fit the best hires instead of selecting people that fit the workplace.
Career development is a common reason for dissatisfaction on the job. More employers of all types are turning to employee learning programs to both keep people on the job and improve the quality of their workforce. Job responsibilities that don’t meet expectations are another catalyst for turnover. Departing employees most likely had an unrealistic view of the job during the recruitment process, which can be partly solved by improving the language of job listings
How Boost helps:
Mental toughness has been described as the “ability to work hard and respond resiliently to failure and adversity — the inner quality that enables individuals to work hard and stick to their long-term passions and goals.”
Steve Siebold, mental toughness expert and author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class, teaches that a person of average intelligence and modest means can become world class by implementing the thinking, habits and philosophies associated with this principle. Vince Lombardi believed that mental toughness was one of the most important leadership skills you could attain.
If you’re a leader and want to become more effective, know this: Mental toughness is a fundamental skill set, and the magnitude of your success depends on it.
1. It creates a winning mindset.
Although mental toughness is primarily linked to the psychological concept behind peak performance (i.e. mental training for competitive edge in sports), it’s really about embracing the mindset of top performers, which goes far beyond the bounds of the athleticism. Thinking is the primary filter for every experience that you have. Mediocre thinking promotes an equally low standard of performance and results. A winning mindset (i.e. the thinking, habits and philosophies of elite performers) however, transforms the landscape. It unlocks the unlimited potential to create, influence and generate outcomes that activate success.
In his Harvard Business Review article “How the Best of the Best Get Better,” sports psychologist Dr. Graham Jones (also former consultant to Olympic and world champions in at least seven games) says, “Obviously, star athletes must have some innate, natural ability — coordination, physical flexibility, anatomical capacities — just as successful senior executives need to be able to think strategically and relate to people. But the real key to excellence in both sports and business is not the ability to swim fast or do quantitative analyses quickly in your head. Rather, it is [mindset] mental toughness.”
Make no mistake: Leadership success depends on the non-negotiable ability to seize a profoundly powerful mindset — the mindset of a champion.
Related: Cultivate These 8 Habits to Achieve Peak Performance in Life and Business
2. It builds character and promotes stick-ability.
Leadership is not fundamentally focused on winning and celebrating success. Leaders know that tough times come with the territory. Delving deeply into the trenches, grappling with hardships and doing whatever it takes to succeed is par for the course. They welcome obstacles and uncertainty for their potential to make them smarter, more agile and resilient.
Psychologist Angela Duckworth refers to the ability to thrive during adversity as grit. Her research has demonstrated that it’s a true predictor of success, even more than cognitive and technical skill sets.Touché.
One of the exceptional hallmarks of mental toughness is that it helps leaders to reach for their “why.” This is especially important during difficult times — when commitment may wax and wane. The internal drive to achieve goals despite setbacks is what distinguishes the world class from average performers.
Related: No One Said Building A Company Was Easy: Overcoming The Psychology of The Tech Entrepreneur
3. It provides the courage to challenge the status quo.
Next practices (vs. best practices) are all about innovation. Elementary to the exercise of leadership, they signal forward movement and progress, rather than a wanton commitment to archaic principles and practices of the past. Because the whole premise of mental toughness is built on the willingness to face fear, take action and thrive in the midst of adversity, courage is a leadership imperative. It would be difficult, perhaps even impossible to lead without the willingness to encounter turbulence and face the unknown.
Courage allows leaders to flourish in environments that constantly change. It also emboldens them to take on new opportunities for learning and growth. A catalyst for healthy self-esteem, it also helps leaders to effectively navigate stress, conflict and crises. Simply put: Mental toughness is an unmatched mechanism for growth. Conjure it up. Grab the fortitude to explore uncharted territories personally and professionally.
– Boost training reduced staff disengagement by 25%
– Improved confidence by 40%
– Increases resiliency by 39%
– Motivation increased by 20%
– Improved Focus by 30%
– Mitigates risks and liabilities within the organization
“I love this model and approach; This can be life-changing. Everybody needs this” – Senator Creigh Deeds
Dr. Rich Berkowitz (Owner – Carolina Chiropractic Group)
“As a CEO and business owner you want top performers. And this is the best tool and resource you can give them: