It was three years ago, deep in Covid lockdown times, that I found something monumental. It was something inside of me that I didn't know was there and I believe it's what got me out of a bad situation and led to me changing my life drastically and for the better. What was it? It was something called, drumroll please… mental fortitude. I only recently found this term and linked it with what brought so much strength and peace to my life 3 years ago.
What exactly is 'mental fortitude'? It's the ability to stay strong and focused even when faced with challenging circumstances. We all need this, because, who hasn't encountered hard times, right?! It also involves the development of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral skills that enable individuals to cope effectively with stress, pressure, and uncertainty, and to achieve their goals despite the challenges they may encounter along the way. In short, mental fortitude is a big part of what sets successful people apart from the rest. I know you want to know more now, don't you?
I wanted to explore the concept of mental fortitude and how it can be developed. Although I feel like I had a surplus of it in 2020, when I left behind my whole community and support system for the sake of my mental health and happiness, I feel as though I've lost it along the route of making my way through this new life. Thank you in advance for joining me on my journey to rediscover this important character trait. Let's go!
At its core, mental fortitude is about having the resilience to overcome adversity. Life is full of ups and downs, and we need to be able to navigate through the tough times with grace and strength. Developing mental fortitude takes time and effort, but it's a skill that is totally worth the effort, I know from experience! It helps improve the ability to handle stress, overcome obstacles, and achieve goals. I know I could use a boost in all these areas and hope that you can benefit as well!
So, how do we develop mental fortitude? Here are a few strategies that have worked for many, and if I reflect on that time in my past where I felt adept in this area, these were what helped me as well. Whether you are looking to get it back, like I am, or starting fresh, this advice can help you.
The first step to developing mental fortitude is to adopt a growth mindset. Bear with me here, I promise this isn't some cheesy new age guru talk, it has a real meaning with tangible results. It is embracing the idea that it is possible to learn, grow, and improve our skills over time. With a growth mindset, we see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as setbacks and we are more likely to persevere in the face of adversity. For example, when a problem arises, instead of focusing on the fact that there is a problem in front of you, focus on what it can teach you or what good qualities it is helping you develop.
Another way to develop mental fortitude is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the art of being present in the moment and observing our thoughts and feelings without judgment. When we practice mindfulness, we become more aware of our emotions and can better manage them. This can help us stay focused and calm even in stressful situations. Some studies even suggest that pausing long enough just to identify a negative emotion you are experiencing can be enough to bring you out of that mindset. It's truly amazing the power that our minds innately have and the small things we can do to harness that power for good!
Practicing gratitude is another key to developing mental fortitude. When we focus on what we're grateful for, we shift our attention away from our problems and toward the positive aspects of our lives. This can help us maintain a positive attitude and stay resilient in the face of adversity, afterall things aren't nearly as bad as our survival brain may sometimes lead us to believe. One recommendation was to write down three things you're grateful for before bedtime, doing this can positively impact your dreams and your state of mind the next morning. Sounds almost as good as that morning cup of coffee to me!
Last, but not least, is setting realistic goals. When we set and attain achievable goals, we build confidence and motivation. By breaking down large goals into smaller, manageable tasks, we can stay focused and motivated even when it feels like we are facing an uphill battle. This is a great point to focus on as our time together is ending. Let's pause and set a realistic goal to help us start this adventure to our best lives. Mine will be… gratitude. I am setting the goal to vocalize, to another human being, at least one thing I am grateful for each night before bed. Now I'm curious, what's your goal??
To sum it all up, I think it's pretty clear that mental fortitude is a crucial skill that can help us face life's challenges with strength and resilience. By adopting a growth mindset, practicing mindfulness, cultivating gratitude, and setting realistic goals, we can develop the mental fortitude we need to overcome obstacles and achieve our goals. It may take time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. So, let's commit to building our mental fortitude and living our lives to the fullest, with the confidence and strength to handle whatever comes our way. Good luck!!