What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger: Mental Toughness and Resilience

Written by Lynn Bennett on .

“Resilience is not a commodity you are born with, waiting silently on tap. It is self-manufactured painstakingly over time by working through your problems and never giving up, even in the face of difficulty or failure.” – Lorii Myers, author of No Excuses: The Fit Mind-Fit Body Strategy Book

Mental toughness is acquired, like scars, from pain or adversity or failure. Resiliency is not as much about overcoming a specific obstacle or problem as it is about knowing that when things do go badly, you have the opportunity and capability to start bouncing back.

Communicating, reaching out, imagining a better life and building it carefully in your mind… these are mechanisms that can help us make our way through difficult times in our lives and work. It’s not just imagining, though; it is a call to action, a call to take the first steps on a journey versus sitting back and taking no action. It is about moving forward and not finding excuses. “I can’t do this because, because, because. I would do it but, but, but.”  It is finding the one reason you can, rather than the thousand reasons you cannot.

Napoleon Hill, to whom we can attribute that last thought, also said, “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the… blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” You need both vision and action. When you hold a positive image of yourself and your future and then go on to speak to yourself in a positive way, it makes it easier to go forward. You are not living in a world in which you expect that everything will happen as you’ve visualized. Instead, you know that, yes, things will happen to cause you to falter, but you can make your way through because you have “self-manufactured” the resiliency you need to deal with adversity.

Lynn Bennett

Lynn Bennett

Lynn Bennett is a certified management and executive coach and founder of Leadership Intelligence and its Community. She brings both expertise and an engaging approach to strategic planning, organizational development and change management. lynn@leadershipintelligence.com

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