16 Aug , 17

How To Build Mental Toughness Like A Soldier

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mental toughnessIf you want to build mental toughness like a soldier there are very specific yet incredibly simple steps you can take to transform from a normal human to over achieving rock star  inside of 7 days.

When you commit to build mental toughness it may initially feel like you have to go through a series of major events.

The reality is that isn’t the case at all.

Most people who are considered to be reliable, hard working and who achieve results all have a very common theme that is an undercurrent to their life.

So often we think mental toughness is about how we respond to extreme situations.

I’ve spent 6 weeks or more at a time in a trench made of corrugated steel that smelled like urine and body odour.

It’s a challenge to stay positive.

I like challenges but  even trench life isn’t truly an extreme situation, it’s just slightly devoid of comfort.

The ability to build mental toughness doesn’t require you to navigate through a hostage crisis and maintain your cool.

The truth about situations like that, as I have mentioned before, is that you implement systems, manage risk and exploit opportunities.

They are extreme situations but simply require an implementation of a learned skill set.

What Is Mental Toughness

For most of us in regular daily life there is a backdrop against which we measure our mental toughness.

How did you perform in the championship game?

Can you keep your life together while grieving the death of a family member?

Did you bounce back after your business went bankrupt?

There’s no doubt that extreme situations test our courage, perseverance, and mental toughness… but what about everyday circumstances?

Mental toughness is like a building a skill. It needs to be practiced in order to create growth and develop it as a skill.

If you haven’t pushed yourself in thousands of small ways, of course you’ll fall short when things get really difficult.mental toughness

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I will reveal the BIG SECRET in just a second but when you think about how to build mental toughness think about it in these terms.

It really is an internal dialogue that occurs during trying tasks.

Ask yourself to do the tenth rep when it would be easier to just do nine.

Choose to create when it would be easier to consume, and by this I mean social media content, scrolling mindlessly through your feed.

Choose to ask the extra question when it would be easier to just accept the basic level of knowledge.

Prove to yourself in simple small steps that you have the jam to do battle with life.

How do you do it?

What’s the secret?

Mental toughness is built through small victories in everyday situations.

It’s the individual choices that we make on a daily basis that build our “mental toughness skill.”

We all want mental strength, but you can’t think your way to it. It’s your physical actions that prove your mental fortitude.

The majority of combat soldiers are considered mentally tough.

They are faced with a choice to “find the work and do it” or choose the easy road.

I always want someone on my team who is looking for work.

Someone who isn’t afraid to do the most basic and simple things, understanding this is what builds a foundation for much larger success.

Mental toughness isn’t about overcoming life’s most massive obstacles with clarity and poise but rather it is specifically  about building the consistent daily habits that allow you to stick to a schedule and overcome challenges and distractions repeatedly.

Mentally tough people don’t have to be more courageous, more talented, or more intelligent just more consistent on a frequent basis.

Mental toughness is developed through systems that help you focus on the important stuff regardless of how many obstacles life puts in front of you.

Your habits that form the foundation of your mental beliefs will ultimately set you apart from the pack.

mental toughnessTo put it succinctly mental toughness is persistence.

It refers to the kind of actions that you take in the face of performance plateaus, setbacks, injuries, and failures.

Persistence is a skill you develop overtime by training specific pathways in your brain. In other words, you can train yourself to be persistent because you can train your brain.

Persistence underpins resilience and optimism.

When you are persistent you believe you can alter the outcomes of your actions.

If you want to build mental toughness understand you need to be consistent in simple ways each and every day . Remain persistent in developing good habits and your belief you can achieve what you set out to do.

This is what it takes to Stand Apart.




Todd Lamb is one world's most trusted sources of Health and Fitness information and programming. He has dedicated his life to the service of others having served as a member of the Royal Canadian Regiment in the Special Service Force and as 17 year veteran Police Officer with 10 years on SWAT and 4 as a Team Leader. Todd is dedicated to transforming the lives of 1,000,000 men through honest science based information backed up with years of practical experience in Tactical Operations. Todd is a Best Selling Author of multiple best selling fitness programs and the book STAND APART

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7 thoughts on “How To Build Mental Toughness Like A Soldier

  1. Simon

    This is something that I strongly relate through my own experience of consistently pushing myself in small ways everyday.
    The power of habit cannot be understated, both from a positive and negative point of view (smoking, bad eating habits).
    There have been many times when I’ve felt too tired to the go to the gym, when I’d rather sit in the sun with a beer than go to Muay Thai training, but by continually taking the harder path it becomes easier and easier to make the right decisions, it becomes second nature and eventually the question of what to do almost goes alway, the hard path becomes the normal path, then we can look for the next hard path again, this way we continually improve.
    Another important point for me is delayed reward, something we humans seem to find hard. Maybe I want a cool beer and to relax right now but I KNOW that once I start my Muay Thai session I will enjoy it and afterwards I will feel great, so even though in the moment I don’t feel like it, the effort will be more than worth it, this is something I had to learn slowly.
    People seem to think that discipline is something you’re born with, I believe it something that is built slowly over time, bit by bit, day by day.
    And now I’m off to the gym 🙂

    1. Todd Post author

      Hey Simon – thanks for taking the time to read the article and send some thoughts. There is a very good saying related to your comments which is this… discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want the most! Hope you have a fantastic day

    2. Peter Lucas

      Yeah I agree I am a participant of Krav Maga and have a history of martial arts experience as well as I was in the Military for 14 years. I too experience the feeling of oh will I go to training tonight or not. I live in Alice Springs in Australia where it can be very hot in the evenings when we train. However like Todd I say well what will benefit me more training or just lying on the couch . Then I put on my gear and go to training and yes after it and during it I feel great. Its making those moves and sometimes not paying attention to how you feel but to just do it anyway . My name is Peter Lucas I am from New Zealand but as I said I a long with my wife currently live in Australia I have been involved with sport all my life and training. I always admire the mental toughness of soldiers in the special forces such as the SAS. The selection process there really requires one to be mentally tough.

      1. Todd Post author

        Awesome Peter, you obviously have really good insight into the world of discipline and know how to drive the body!

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