Mental toughness, or ‘grit’, is a term used to describe perseverance and passion when focused on a long-term goal. It has been found to correlate with an average 4% higher level of success in everything from National Spelling Bee competitions to classes at premier Universities and Institutions.
When it comes to developing and understanding grit, there’s a key underlying factor that’s important to address: your ‘WHY’. When you understand your why, you become better able to act upon it and keep your actions in alignment with your intrinsic motivations (belonging naturally; essential). This inevitably leads to more fulfilling outcomes and provides a path to living a larger and happier life.
Extrinsic motivations (not part of the essential nature of someone or something; coming or operating from outside) can often be categorized as things we feel we should be pursuing based on societal norms, environmental influences, and pressure from others. That’s not to say that these sources of motivation are any less valid, but it’s key to distinguish between the two, and be honest in where your motivations come from.
The source of your motivation doesn’t dictate success or achievement, but it does dictate your level of fulfilment and your willingness to continue pursuing your goals. It’s simple, if you naturally love doing something, you are more likely to continue doing it vs. something you do not. It’s a parallel idea to doing work you love, vs. doing work you don’t. You can be equally successful at both, but the work you love will generate real happiness that help drive you past those rough spots we all encounter as athletes and in life. This is how you take mental toughness and turn it into true grit.
When it comes to mindset training, the role of a professional coach is to provide feedback, give direction, and ask questions to change the athlete’s state of mind. In essence, the best coaches act as a mirror for their clients which allows them to better understand how their own mind works. The difference between an amateur athlete and a true competitor is the strength of their body AND their mind. If you neglect your mind, you won’t reach your peak of training or competitive results.
A professional coach is not always and necessarily a fitness coach. A life coach or a brain health specialist are key professionals in helping athletes understand themselves, find what drives and motivates them, and discover what’s holding them back. You can find great tips from professionals like Miriam Guevara at Blog – Miriam Guevara.
And as per our previous blog, it is essential that all athletes understand that there is nothing outside of themselves that can ever enable them to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists within and we should seek nothing outside of growing ourselves.
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