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Monday, July 09, 2012

Positive Leadership: Training for Mental Toughness

It is no surprise that it takes stamina and mental toughness to be successful in small business. The truly challenging part is achieving this level over an extended period of time. However, the way a person chooses to think will really control the way they behave. Having the right mental focus will lead to more successful business outcomes in the long term.

Here are some thoughts on how to train for this mental toughness on your way to becoming a peak business performer.

1. Focus on solutions. Within 60 seconds of when top-performing people are faced with adversity, they replace the negative thinking with solution-focused thoughts. Research shows that people who have "Relentless Solution Focus” (RSF) are proven to live longer, be happier, and to be significantly more successful. If you fail, cheer the darkness for a minute. Have a pity party if you want, but then focus on the solution. Fortunately, everybody can be retrained to focus on the solutions not the problems.

2. Seek to control only what you can. (This is very difficult to do in practice.) The only thing we can control is how we deal with the past and what we do in the future. Learn what you can, but then take action to get another chance at a successful outcome.

3. Find one thing you can do differently to make the situation better. Top performers force themselves to control what they can control, which is how they deal with adversity. This is difficult, because humans are biologically built to have problem-centric thought (PCT). In other words, we have a tendency to focus first on the problems not the solutions.

4. Keep a success log. Ask yourself what three things did you do well today? Take credit for success, since it can be a barrier against future discouragement.  Ask yourself what one thing you can improve and how you can achieve it.

5. Practice the 100-second mental workout.  Here is a 100-second workout that can make every businessperson a better performer. First, take a 6-second breath to centre yourself, hold it for 2 seconds, and then breathe out for 7 seconds. The purpose of this is to control the pressure and put you in a position where the mind will work as an asset instead of a liability. Step two is to repeat a personal mantra; something that really focuses you on who you are, your strengths and what you’re capable of achieving. The third step in the mental workout is a personal highlight reel. This is a visualisation of where you want to be in five years and what you want to accomplish in the next 24 hours. Think about the actions you need to take today to get this done.

What steps have you taken to increase your mental toughness in order to become a peak business performer?


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