What separates a successful entrepreneur like Elon Musk or Candace Nelson from wannabes who want to achieve success? One of the possible answers is mental fortitude. When you stop and consider the determining factors between those who are successful in life and those who aren’t, mental fortitude or mental toughness is one of the top characteristics on the list.
Talent doesn’t mean anything if you’re not mentally strong. An individual who has mental fortitude won’t be thrown off guard quite easily when things don’t go as planned.
Let’s take a closer look at mental fortitude.
What is Mental Fortitude?
Mental fortitude, by definition, is the ability to focus on and implement solutions in the face of adversity or uncertainty. If you lose patience with a process you’re challenged with or break under pressure, this can drive you to throw in the towel prematurely.
Having the mental fortitude needed to succeed requires execution, exploration, creativity and patience. When you hone the mental fortitude needed to stay strong in the face of difficulty, you abate the worries of being in it.
Key Facts on Mental Fortitude
First of all, mental toughness is rare. This essentially means that you’re not willing to give up on the obstacles to reaching your goals. Not many in this world are willing to push through a difficult path without deciding to give up or giving in. Even if mental fortitude is uncommon, you can take steps to build it. The power is in your hands.
Second, you build mental fortitude on discipline. Mentally disciplined individuals have good habits that help them succeed day in, day out. When you commit to something, mental fortitude lets you keep to your plan and adhere to your schedule. As you form your habits, you tweak your mindset and build mental toughness.
Third, building mental fortitude pushes you to set the bar high. This doesn’t mean unrealistically high, though. It simply means that looking for an easy way out will never be your default setting.
You develop mental toughness by challenging yourself and experiencing victories along the way. These wins start small, but add up by pushing yourself and practicing your craft every day. You’ll never have the opportunity to grow and become stronger if you don’t have to struggle.
What are Traits of People with Good Mental Fortitude?
Certain individuals carry traits that allow them to be mentally strong. Here are a few traits people with high mental fortitude have in common:
They Delay Gratification
Mentally strong persons understand the value of hard work and contribute more now before they start thinking about returns. Walter Mischel, a renowned psychologist, proved the ability of delayed gratification when he conducted the famous marshmallow experiment in the 1960s and early 1970s. He found that delaying gratification contributed to a person’s success later in life.
Success from mentally strong people doesn’t come overnight. They understand the power of consistency. They continually take small steps and check their progress constantly.
They Embrace Uncertainty
Many want to predict their future. Safety and certainty are necessities since the evolution of mankind. No one, however, can predict the future with 100 percent accuracy. Uncertainty will always be present. People with strong mental fortitude embrace uncertainty, whereas weak ones flee from it.
They’re Willing to Learn More
The willingness to figure things out, along with curiosity, make people stronger mentally. They reflect, learn, experiment and read. Successful individuals never stop learning. They upskill or reskill to upgrade their existing knowledge or do their current job better.
They See Things as They Truly Are
Mentally tough people never make stories for themselves. They see a situation as it really is. They don’t tell stories that will make them comfortable and conceal their true self and reality behind a curtain. They acknowledge the situation, and then act against any adversity.
How to Develop Mental Fortitude
If you think you lack the mental fortitude to succeed, don’t fret. You can take measures to become stronger mentally.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Talk to Yourself
Be your own coach. Speak in the second person with statements, such as, “You got this,” or “You’re going to complete this task on time.” This can simulate motivation that a real coach can provide.
Define Your Win
Achieving victory should never be taking shortcuts or the easy route. It’s about competing with the task or challenge at hand and getting the result you want. You have to take on the goals that fit well with your values and beliefs. A victory is most likely to happen when you take a slow but detailed approach through the process of finding the smart solutions to your challenge.
Don’t expect results right away or rush things to fruition before their time. Anything worthwhile takes endurance and hard work. Look at everything as a work in progress.
Keep Your Standards High
Difficult times or adversities aren’t good reasons to compromise your standards. Keep your standards up and stay above the bar you’ve set for yourself.
Intelligence is useful if you want to achieve and sustain success, but mental fortitude and commitment are mandatory. If you’re unsure how mentally tough you are, take this free mental strength test to find out where you stand. Then, follow valuable habits that can help you become more mentally resilient and disciplined.