How to Build Mental Toughness

Are you mentally tough?  Would you like to be cool, calm and collected in any situation?  Check out this podcast to learn about the five keys to mental toughness. You'll learn why mental toughness is a skill that anyone can build regardless of intelligence or education.  Tune in and get on the path to mental toughness right away.


1. Tap your motivation

  • Motivation is internal, never external (only you can motivate you)
  • Regardless of the situation, ask yourself  “Why?"
    • Why am I doing this?
    • Why do I need to fight though this?
    • Why do I need to get better, faster, stronger?
    • “Because I have to” is NEVER an answer
  • Ex: running a marathon
    • My why- prove to myself I could do it after having numerous surgeries

2. Manage your emotions

  • Unmanaged emotions cloud judgement and actions
    • Ex: hoop court - RR
  • "Get comfortable being uncomfortable” - Navy SEALS
  • Keep it cool and under control
  • Own what’s happening to you
    • Detach from the emotion, enjoy the play

3. Manage expectations and expect problems

  • Life is imperfect
  • When you expect life to go smoothly, you are usually disappointed
    • traffic, Dad yelling at drivers
  • Expect delays, non-responses, missed emails, lost voicemails
  • Expect traffic, spilled coffee, snotty waiters
  • If you keep expectations in check you will usually be pleasantly surprised when things go smoothly
  • ex:

4. Live with failure

  • take it in stride
  • Learn from it (common advice, I know)
  • detach and re-affirm
    • failure is a result, it is not you per se
    • “This business/relationship/whatever failed but I am NOT a failure"
  • Accept that without failure, success isn’t nearly as enjoyable

5. Be consistent

  • Don't miss workouts
  • Don’t miss assignments
  • Don’t shirk responsibilities
  • Create habits that help you be more consistent
    • Crossfit in the am
  • Show up
    • so much of life is just showing up


  • There is no Life in neutral.  You are either moving forward or you’re losing ground.
  • Mental toughness is like a muscle. Work it out as much as you can.
    • Challenge yourself often (big and small)
      • Small: Target shopping timing example w/Kaya
      • Big: Playing sports with guys 15-20 years younger
  • Final thought:
    • You will go further in life with mental toughness than just about any other skill