Mental Toughness…

I love reading people’s thoughts about mental toughness. I think it is also fascinating to hear professional athletes, business executives, and general life badasses talk about how they get through hard times. The funny thing is  they all have a different viewpoint. Some people think success and mental toughness comes from an innate ability to be a survivor. To endure great conflict and rise above in the end. Some might say that mental toughness is the ability to withstand pain, emotional or physical, and ignore it. In my life, I’ve found mental toughness to come out of a willingness to PUT MYSELF consciously into a situation that is going to hurt, be an emotional paper shredder, cause me heartache, and cause me to doubt myself because in the end it gets me closer to my goals and who I want to become as a person.  No matter how many times I have fallen in those situations (and trust me, I’ve had many, many a fall, call Kathleen Hughes or my husband and they will tell you!), I have to pick myself up, sometimes really slowly, then dust yourself off.

That sounds silly and cliché to say “dust yourself off” but think about that visual.  Imagine yourself falling down to the ground. You’re covered in brown, dried, dusty dirt. Perhaps a few dead leaves from last fall cling to your shorts. Your legs are bruised and scraped. You smashed your knee on the ground. Now imagine standing up. Brushing the dirt off of your shorts, your skinned knee, your hands. You are not completely clean though. There is dirt and dust. Scrapes and cuts. Bruises. No matter what happens next you still have the reminder of falling…but you’ve stood back up. And now you start to move forward again…