The One Empowering Skill You Shouldn’t Be Without

Betty Chatzipli
6 min readJul 20, 2023
Photo: Unsplash

It’s early morning in the bustling lobby of a big company. Sarah, dressed in a well-tailored suit and carrying a briefcase, sits nervously on a chair, awaiting her first job interview in years. Sarah, in her mid-forties and out of the workforce for the past decade to raise her kids, looks around and takes a deep breath. She can see the large oak desk of the CEO through the glass door.

Filled with excitement, she reflects on the journey she has taken to get here! She wonders if she can make it in the fast-paced corporate world again. But she quickly dispels this fear, straightens her posture, and braces herself for the challenge ahead.

She stands up, puts on a smile, and takes those first few steps away from her comfort zone and into the unknown. Striding confidently, she knows she must get back into the game, and she is determined to make it work!

What’s the driving force behind Sarah’s determination to find her footing again and make her mark in the business world?

Mental toughness.

What Is Mental Toughness?

Mental toughness is the ability to persevere and perform under pressure. It is a combination of confidence, resilience and a “never give up” mentality.

Research indicates that psychologically strong individuals who possess mental toughness, have improved cognition (good memory, strong problem-solving and decision-making skills), and can remain focused on the task at hand in the face of distractions.

According to P.J Clough, mentally tough people tend to be sociable and outgoing, remain calm and relaxed, and “have lower anxiety levels than others. With a high sense of self-belief and an unshakable faith that they control their destiny, these individuals can remain unaffected by competition or adversity.”

Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don’t so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head.

⏤ Joe Henderson

Photo: Unsplash

How Mental Toughness Empowers You

Mental toughness as a skill is a pre-condition to empowerment. To achieve elevated levels of self-empowerment you need to apply coping strategies in the face of adversity and regulate your emotions while remaining focused on your vision.

This is mental toughness!

Mental toughness, for example, can fortify you with the courage to speak confidently in a high-pressure situation, to stand up for yourself when negotiating a raise, to handle criticism, and to voice your opinion even in the face of opposition.

Can Mental Toughness Be Developed?

Yes, mental toughness can be developed! You are not born with a mental muscle, but you can build one ⏤ either on your own or with the help of a life coach ⏤ by tapping into your core strengths and adopting empowering practices and strategies.

Let’s talk about some of them now:

Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness can promote emotional regulation and self-awareness, each of which can help you develop mental toughness. Being aware of how your thoughts and feelings are affecting you makes you better equipped to handle life’s challenges.

One example of such practice is mindful breathing, which occurs when you focus your attention on your breathing, while also recognizing and letting go of any distractions that come up. This activity fosters calm and focus, which are conducive to mental toughness.

You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

⎯ Marcus Aurelius

Photo: Unsplash

Setting and Working Towards Goals

Goal setting gives you a sense of direction and purpose. It can also provide you with a way to measure your progress and help you maintain momentum.

For example, set a 30-Day Journaling Challenge and track your progress. Daily journaling will help you practice discipline and cultivate a sense of commitment and perseverance, which is key to building mental strength.

Engaging In Positive Self-Talk

Positive self-talk can help you become mentally tough by improving your self-confidence. This positive mindset boosts your motivation and provides you with an internal source of strength during challenging times.

One way to engage in positive self-talk is positive affirmations. Reminding yourself of your potential will help to boost your self-esteem and propel you forward to achieving your goals.

Doing Physical Activity

Physical exercise releases hormones such as endorphins, which can help to reduce stress and improve mood. It can also increase self-confidence and concentration. But most importantly, it can help you develop problem-solving skills and a greater sense of discipline and strength, which is key to empowerment.

Photo: Unsplash

Power Yoga, for example, provides us with all these benefits and helps us to cultivate a positive outlook, which is essential for developing mental toughness.

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Saying “yes” to challenges also makes you mentally tough by making you better equipped for unexpected turns in life since it helps you to develop problem-solving skills.

For, example, one challenge you can take on is public speaking. Many people fear public speaking, but it can be a fantastic way to develop bravery and self-confidence. Find an opportunity to speak in front of a group and practice delivering your message with confidence. This will help you to build mental toughness and resilience.

Photo: Unsplash

How Can We Maintain Mental Toughness?

Maintaining mental toughness is not always easy, but it is possible.

This is how:

  1. Remain mindful and practice self-care. Self-care and empowering habits can help us remain mentally tough by providing us with a sense of control and consistency. When we stick to nurturing habits, we are better equipped to remain mentally tough and tackle whatever life throws our way.
Photo: Unsplash

How well do you take care of yourself? Do the quiz and find out!

2. Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you. Having people who understand you and can listen without judgment can be invaluable when faced with demanding situations. The support of friends and family can provide emotional comfort and give you the strength to face your challenges.

3. Practice visualisation. By visualizing successful outcomes, you can create a positive mindset and cultivate resilience. Visualization can also help you focus on your goals and break down your objectives into achievable steps.

4. Stay resilient in the face of adversity. It is important to remember that failure is a part of life, but that it is also an opportunity to learn, grow, and remain determined. Accepting and embracing adversity itself as part of your journey is the most crucial step to maintaining mental toughness.

Our struggles are just part of the process of getting to where we want to be.

Originally published: expertonourlife.com

What’s your story? Please leave me a comment or share your experiences with our community of strong, resilient women.

DISCLAIMER

The content of this story is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Its author is not affiliated, associated, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the references and information cited.

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Betty Chatzipli

Women's Empowerment Coach, Mentor, Art Historian, Course and Content Creator. Owner Expert on Your Life, LLC. PT: INFJ