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How to increase your mental toughness?

Mental Toughness is a set of positive attributes that stimulates personal confidence and resilience and will help to be successful, especially under rough circumstances and when coping with difficult (competitive) situations.

Mental Toughness is the ability to resist, manage and overcome doubts, worries and concerns that prevent you from achieving a particular goal.

People with a good Mental Toughness level get easier promoted to positions of executive leadership and authority, and besides that they are also outstanding in their personal lives.

Mental Toughness is often associated with:

Winners mentality

Having a strong self-belief and confidence.

Never give up

Keep on going even under bad circumstances when physical discomfort, pain, mental duress start playing a significant role.

Being prepared

Having a clear plan how to execute, but also having a plan B that can quickly be executed in case things go differently than expected or face underperforming.

Stress management

Knowing how to cope with pressure and using the stress to perform better.


100% concentration, being in the moment (no distraction) so that execution takes place at the highest level of performance.

Learning from mistakes

Get value from failing and use that knowledge into the next performance to do better.


More ambitious, prepared to manage more risk.

The 4C model, developed by Doug Strycharczyk and Professor Peter Clough, visualizes the 4 components and the 8 sub-segments of Mental Toughness.


Can you be mentally tough if you are not confident in your competences and knowledge? Feel confident to tackle a problem or issue?


Challenges are a fact of live and you better adapt. They offer an opportunity to grow and overcoming a challenge makes you better.


Mentally tough individuals know what they can control: how to react to consequences and use this to their advantage.


If you start something, than finish it. The higher the commitment, the bigger chance you will succeed at it.

The power of the 4C model is the logic double quarter split. Engagement is part of both confidence and challenge, while challenge is linked to both engagement and aspiration.

Resilience is not mentioned explicitly, but is definitely a part of Mental Toughness.

Mental Toughness is predominantly about prosperity, while resilience has to do with survival. Almost all mentally tough individuals are resilient but not all resilient individuals are mentally tough.

Intelligence is helpful if you want to be successful, but Mental Toughness is mandatory for anyone who wants to move forward.

It leads to

  • The development of positive behaviours

  • Feeling well

  • Better performance

The question I often get is: Can Mental Toughness be developed? The answer is: Absolutely!

What can you do?

Here are just a couple of tips you can try.

• Success starts in your head. Before you start an action, you think about it. Visualize the outcome and make it a part of your subconscious mind. Talk positively to yourself.

• Ask yourself what your goal is, you need to achieve right now. What do you want to accomplish. Short-term goals are easier. Be determined to meet these goals. Don’t give up, but focus on the progress you make.

• Concentrate on just one thing at a time. Multitasking will distract your attention and leading to inferior results. So, set a timeslot for a particular task and practice to being in the moment, in a flow. What helps is to turning off your email, your phone and don’t look at your to do list.

• Don't complain about the things you have no control over. Recognize that the one thing you can always control is your own response and attitude, and use those attributes effectively.

• Realize that many setbacks, hiccups or misfortunes are only temporary and most of the time a solution can be found.

• Work on your mental wellness, because having a healthy mind allows you to be mentally tougher.

• Familiarize yourself with some of the most successful people. Individuals you admire because of their Mental Toughness. Find out what they do (have done) and do the same.

• Remember that bad things aren’t permanent or pervasive, but good things are and on top of that: good things are personal.

• Keep your standards high. Difficult times or business problems aren't good reasons to lower the bar.

Becoming a mentally strong person is a process. It takes practice and mindfulness.

If you would like to know more or would like to get coached on how to increase your Mental Toughness, please feel free to contact me. There is so much more to tell you.

It will make you more successful and a happier person.

Thank you for reading

Joost Drieman

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