How to Be Mentally Resilient When Things Get Tough


School’s out, vacations are starting yet looming deadlines and potential missed goals are causing you to feel stressed. Allow me to introduce mental resilience as the final of the four resilience domain models by Rollin McCraty. 

What is Mental Resilience?

Being mentally resilient means you keep calm in the face of adversity and power through hardship. As a leader, you may not like what you’re experiencing, but you muster the strength to carry on.

Why is mental resilience important?

Some say “life’s tough, get a helmet.” Leaders need to push through all types of situations, therefore developing mental resilience is a must. In business, think of this type of mental toughness as your helmet in challenging situations.

Steps to Build Mental Resilience

  1. Manage Expectations: The best offense is a good defense. Understand all the different pieces of your puzzle (problem) first, then put them together in your mind before responding to your challenge. Over time this will help you adjust your expectations to a more realistic outcome.
  2. Prevent Your Emotions From Getting the Best of You: Being in touch with your emotions is a good thing, but remember strong emotions can cloud your judgment. Mentally tough people can keep cool in heated situations. The Navy SEALs have a saying: “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”  Conditioning yourself to be comfortable with uncomfortable situations will enable you to grow in this area.
  3. Don’t bear grudges: Grudges are like quicksand, as they can have a negative but powerful hold on you. If you want to be mentally resilient, you need to move beyond these hard feelings toward others.
  4. Don’t take things personally: Some slights are intended to be personal attacks, but most are not. The reality is that when people are being judgmental, they are generally thinking about what’s best for them. Tell yourself, “It’s not about you, it’s about them.”

Mental resiliency will help you get through life’s toughest curve balls thrown your way as a leader. Combine this resilience domain with the others we’ve introduced and you’ll be a well-rounded leader, ready for any challenge. Share your tips for mental resilience so we can learn from you too. I can’t wait to publish your great tips next week!