Mindset Mondays: Mental Toughness

Mindset Mondays: Mental Toughness

June 03, 2024

Stoic Quote

"I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent - no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you."

Seneca

Concept: Mental Toughness

When you think "mental toughness," you probably picture David Goggins. The guy’s a legend, no doubt. But let’s set the record straight: mental toughness isn’t just about screaming, swearing, and turning into a rage-fuelled machine like Goggins. Real mental toughness is more like being an ice-cold assassin.

First off, let's clear up a common mix-up: mental toughness vs. mental resilience. Resilience is your bounce-back ability—how fast you recover from setbacks. Mental toughness, though, is your ability to face those setbacks head-on. In sports psychology, it’s all about consistently delivering top performance, no matter what.

Need proof? Let’s dive into the research. One study split participants into two groups: high mental toughness and low mental toughness. Both groups tackled the same cycling workload relative to their VO2 max. Guess what? The high mental toughness group found the physical demands much easier compared to the low mental toughness group.

Another study found that folks with low mental toughness crumbled under negative feedback, while the high mental toughness crew didn’t even flinch. It’s all in the mindset, mate.

Then there’s this concept called Learned Helplessness. It’s when people believe they’re at the mercy of circumstances, even when they’re not. Mental toughness flips that script. It’s all about perspective—a belief that you’re in control. And yes, this mindset can be learned.

Here’s the deal with mental toughness:

  • Control: You believe you’ve got the reins. You manage your emotions and stay steady.
  • Challenge: You see hurdles as challenges to overcome, not as roadblocks.
  • Confidence: You trust yourself and your skills.
  • Commitment: You stick to your word and follow through.


Mentally tough individuals focus on the task at hand. They don’t get bogged down by emotions—sadness, fear, aggression—none of it. They stay cool, calculating, and ready to tackle the problem. So, if you want to build mental toughness, remember: it’s all about keeping your head, staying focused, and believing you’re in control.

Three Practical Tips to Increase Your Mental Toughness

  1. Take on Difficult Situations: The best way to build mental toughness is to throw yourself into challenging scenarios. It’s about practicing control, seeing challenges as opportunities, building confidence, and sticking to your commitments. Rokman offers a monthly running challenge series you can enter for free. It’s a great way to test your limits and build that iron mindset.

  2. Reframing: Change the way you look at situations. Find the silver lining in every cloud. And if there’s no obvious positive, ask yourself how you can make the situation less awful. Reframing helps you maintain control and stay focused on what you can manage, rather than getting bogged down by negativity.

  3. Visualisation: Spend time visualising your success. Picture yourself overcoming obstacles and achieving your goals. This mental rehearsal can boost your confidence and prepare you for real-life challenges, making you more likely to tackle them head-on with a cool, collected mindset.

Rokman Podcast

New Episode:

Today, we are honoured to have Alan Bateson, an extraordinary ultra runner and race director. Known as the "Running Monk," Alan has etched his name in the history books with world records for conquering the Wales Coast Path and circumnavigating the entirety of Wales on foot. Alan's journey is one of endurance, resilience, and triumph. Despite facing the trauma of child abuse and battling addiction, he has transformed his life through the power of running and relentless challenges. Tune in to hear his inspiring story of overcoming obstacles and achieving greatness.

View all episodes/subscribe here: YouTube, Spotify or Apple Podcasts

Rokman Challenge Series

Started 1st June:

Relentless Challenge Series

Take on four unrelenting running and fitness challenges across four weeks to test and further the limits of your resilience around your everyday life.

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