Developing Mental Resilience

When the chips are down, how do you really know if you are mentally tough? Can you kick it? Can you develop that toughness?

One of my colleagues at NTU has investigated and come up with some interesting insights into the psychology of elite sports performers and their mental attitudes.

I’ve linked to his very readable summary HERE, but in the meantime, here are some of the key tips he has got…

View setbacks as an opportunity for mastery and growth. During a commencement address at Stanford University in 2005, Steve Jobs credited his early dismissal from Apple in 1985 as the key to his subsequent achievements.

Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life

Be proactive in your personal development. For example, you could update your skills, expand your core competencies, and engage in career planning

Be sensitive to different types of motivation (e.g., internal and external) and consider the decisions you make as active choices rather than sacrifices.

Build your confidence from multiple sources (e.g., performance accomplishments, experience, and colleagues) rather than focusing on one particular source.

Focus on what you can control, on processes, the present, positives, and staying composed.

Take specific steps to obtain the support that you need. Possible options may include seeking suitable mentors, building cohesive teams, and hiring competent staff.


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