I’ll never forget that obsessive guy George Steinbrenner talking about the mental toughness you needed to a Yankee (especially when he was in the driver’s seat!) Or Rudy Giuliani’s classic comment about being the mayor of New York City, which went something like this: “You have to be mentally tough to run this city or it will roll right over you.” Mental toughness isn’t just for baseball players or politicos. Hey, as writers, we need a generous dose, too!
I just heard Robert Weinberg, the author of Mental Toughness for Sport, Business and Life talk about “the four pillars” of developing a winning, resilient mind-set:
Dealing with pressure — being able to cope effectively with adversity; handling mistakes productively; doing your best when it matters most; embracing pressure and looking forward to big moments when the heat is on — a “bring it on!” attitude; staying cool, calm, and collected in stressful situations.
Sustaining motivation — persistence: staying with something over time; refusing to give up when you are knocked down, trying again — and again; goal setting over the long and short term to keep yourself focused on an objective; the willingness to work hard and consistently push yourself beyond your abilities.
Maintaining concentration — being totally focused on the task at hand; sustaining high levels of attention for prolonged periods of time; being able to tune out distractions that are part of your environment; coping effectively with negative input from external events or circumstances.
Preserving self-confidence — remembering that strong self-belief is the most important asset in reaching high levels of achievement; nourishing unshakable faith in your ability to succeed despite everything that stands in your way.
Grace under pressure, motivation, concentration, confidence: we’re good to go!