The 2012 Summer Olympics finished up yesterday, but the stories of tenacity and mental toughness will be etched in our minds for years to come. United States athletes train for at least four years, if not most of their lives, to achieve the honor of representing their country in the Olympics. Beyond raw talent and genetics, what separates those earning a medal from the rest of the field? Certainly we can attribute the differences to their training regime, coaching, resources, and support. I believe that one of the biggest factors that plays a role is mental toughness and resilience. Life is not just about knowledge, skill, and ability, but instead, it’s about attitude, perseverance, and an ability to work through uncomfortable and painful situations. In my practice I guide, teach, and coach individuals to work through their emotional pain, confronting their conflicts, and developing an inner strength to overcome adversity. As part of this healing process individuals gain a sense of confidence, empowerment, and fortitude that enables them to deal with future conflicts. When people take charge of their destiny and stop blaming others they grow. A quote from Eleanor Roosevelt perfectly expresses this concept, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Life is stressful and developing mental toughness will help us in maneuvering through the obstacles and difficult situations all of us encounter. Our toughness enables us to face adversity and confront our pain. As Lance Armstrong says, “pain is temporary, but quitting lasts forever.” Next week I’ll cover ways to build mental toughness.
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