What makes a person mentally tough? Are they born that way? Is there something different about them compared to someone else? Or is it simply that they made a decision to accomplish a task and will allow nothing to get in their way on the path to achieving that goal? The definition of mental toughness is “The ability to maintain focus and determination to complete a course of action despite the difficulty or consequences”. In short mental toughness means to never quit, period. The first step to becoming more mentally tough and to excel as an athlete is to make a decision to be better. Make a decision to get that first muscle up, hit a snatch PR or have a sub 4-minute Fran. There is no trying, you have to decide to do it and then go after it.
Making a decision on what you are going to do seems simple enough, but in reality, fully committing to accomplishing something is the hardest and most important step to take in becoming a more better version of yourself. Once you make a true commitment to do something, almost nothing can stop you because you have made the choice that you won’t let anything hold you back.
Being mentally tough is about overcoming yourself and being willing to push your body and mind further than they thinks they can go. In essence pushing yourself to become greater than you were yesterday. Once you make the decision and commit, it is easier to block weakness, pain, and discomfort out of your head with each workout becoming a link in the chain on the way to achieving your overall goal as an athlete, whatever it may be.
So what holds us back? I’m not saying that you can be a superhero every day just because you decided to. You will slip up, have bad days, but as long as you keep moving forward and adjust to the opportunities that present themselves to you by willing yourself to a positive place then there is nothing you can’t accomplish. All of us can become more mentally tough and strong by continually putting ourselves into uncomfortable and painful situations. Afterall improvements and adaptations occur when our bodies and minds are under great stress.