Mental Toughness

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!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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2 Responses to Mental Toughness

  1. Steve says:



    I needed this. A lot of changes have gone on, and are going on still, in my writing life. The four tips above are, yes, important to read, but even more importantly to live.

    As you well know, in days of lack of work and pay, and during days with much work and the “How am I going to get all of this done?” somehow, someway you survive.

    You do so by using the “bulletin board tips” above.

    Thank you for them…


    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks so much for your encouraging note! As soon as I heard these four tips, I knew I wanted to share them. Just reminding ourselves to stay strong and focused, to be persistent, and that we’ve handle pressure before and can do it again can be so helpful.

      I know myself that freelancing as a writer is a huge roller coaster ride. But remembering that work always flows back eventually seems to help me on those days when I feel worried about the future.

      Let’s stand tall on the four pillars and go forth!

      Write on! Karin

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