What is the secret of mentally strong people and how can other people learn to focus better or develop this willpower?
I believe less in secrets. As mentioned: We can ALL train our willpower like a muscle with a strong ‘WHY FOR’. In my opinion, it is important to have a solid plan that takes effect if we lose strength, desire and courage in the meantime. What can we consciously do when the temptations become too great and nasty bastards appear in the pack?
The “if – then” strategy is promising. Instead of making excuses, we prepare a plan B in writing right from the start and fix it in a clearly legible place in the home or office. When the sofa has an almost magnetic effect on us after work, we read our motivational strategy out loud: ‘When I’m too listless to go to the gym, I turn up my favorite song on full volume and go out of the house to exercise’. Or, ‘As soon as I get cravings for chips and chocolate, I look back at my old photos of my dream body, imagine all the benefits of my fit and lean body, and drink a tall glass of water.’
Another guarantee of success and protector of good intentions: look for role models and associations. Anyone who makes a binding appointment to run on Saturday morning the evening before is required to keep their word. And the supposedly most banal tip: Get started immediately. The incentive of short duration works and experience has shown that as soon as we are in action, we don’t stop anyway.
Being mentally strong is basically positive, because you should steer your strengths in the right direction and use them well for yourself. One admires people who have an iron willpower and seem to achieve any goal. At the same time, they sometimes come across as somewhat robotic, if not downright unsympathetic. Are the boundaries to narcissism actually fluid or do you have to classify them completely independently of each other?
I can not judge over this. Personally, I believe in success and balance WITHOUT self-optimization delusion – that is my personal credo in my coaching, workshops and lectures.
“Bigger, better, faster, more” attitudes are not to be judged: Discipline, improvements, simplification, time saving and ambitious goals are worth flipping through and get us into the activity. Small course corrections in everyday life are often enough to enjoy more balance and personal success far away from the delusion of self-optimization. The supposedly banal impulses often contain the greatest potential for greater well-being. I don’t think we need to track everything…
What are your 5 ultimate tips for more mental toughness?
1. Schedule regular rest periods, breaks and ‘things’ that are good for me, give me joy and give me strength.
2. Take good care of myself: get enough sleep, drink water and eat well, exercise, get out in the fresh air, learn new things, break routines, monofocus.
3. For example, write down three things every day that I did well – it doesn’t necessarily have to be a masterpiece at work or a mammoth project. For example, if we proudly baked our first bread, that is a complete success!
4. Surround myself with positive people instead of letting whiners and sacrificial lambs sap my energy.
5. Gratitude for one’s life and that we can live here in peace, freedom and many of us in ‘abundance’. A luxury that few people on our planet are given.
Interview: Tanja Seifert
More exercises for mental training:
meditation and yoga
To be mentally stable requires a great deal of stillness of mind. Ideally, you can learn this through meditation and yoga. You consciously perceive the here and now and experience various relaxation exercises.
You can also train an alert mind with mindfulness exercises, in which you concentrate on a specific thing. For example, use all your senses when you eat or notice exactly how your legs feel or how you walk when you walk.