mental toughness

{excerpted + am.com edited from inc.com}

First, the definition:

“The ability to work hard and respond resiliently to failure and adversity; the inner quality that enables individuals to work hard and stick to their long-term passions and goals.”

Now the word:

GRIT.

The definition of grit almost perfectly describes qualities every successful person possesses, because mental toughness builds the foundations for long-term success.

For example, successful people are great at delaying gratification. Successful people are great at withstanding temptation. Successful people are great at overcoming fear in order to do what they need to do. Successful people don’t just prioritize. They consistently keep doing what they have decided is most important.

Here are ways you can become mentally stronger–and as a result more successful:

1. Always act as if you are in total control.

The same premise applies to luck. Many people feel luck has a lot to do with success or failure. If they succeed, luck favored them, and if they fail, luck was against them.

Most successful people do feel good luck played some role in their success. But they don’t wait for good luck or worry about bad luck. They act as if success or failure is totally within their control. If they succeed, they caused it. If they fail, they caused it.

By not wasting mental energy worrying about what might happen to you, you can put all your effort into making things happen.

You can’t control luck, but you can definitely control you.

2. Put aside things you have no ability to impact.

Mental strength is like muscle strength — no one has an unlimited supply. So why waste your power on things you can’t control?

For some people, it’s politics. For others, it’s family. For others, it’s global warming. Whatever it is, you care, and you want others to care.

Fine. Do what you can do: Vote. Lend a listening ear. Recycle, and reduce your carbon footprint. Do what you can do. Be your own change–but don’t try to make everyone else change.

{They won’t!}

3. See the past as valuable training and nothing more.

The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others.

Then let it go.

Easier said than done? It depends on your perspective. When something bad happens to you, see it as an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know. When another person makes a mistake, don’t just learn from it–see it as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding.

The past is just training; it doesn’t define you. Think about what went wrong but only in terms of how you will make sure that next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.

4. Celebrate the success of others.

Many people — I guarantee you know at least a few — see success as a zero-sum game: there’s only so much to go around. When someone else shines, they think that diminishes the light from their stars.

Resentment sucks up a massive amount of mental energy — energy better applied elsewhere.

When a friend does something awesome, that doesn’t preclude you from doing something awesome. In fact, where success is concerned, birds of a feather tend to flock together — so draw your successful friends even closer.

Don’t resent awesomeness. Create and celebrate awesomeness, wherever you find it, and in time you’ll find even more of it in yourself.

5. Never allow yourself to whine. {Or complain. Or criticize.}

Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems always makes you feel worse, not better.

So if something is wrong, don’t waste time complaining. Put that mental energy into making the situation better.

So why waste time? Fix it now. Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Talk about how you’ll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself.

And do the same with your friends or colleagues. Don’t just serve as a shoulder they can cry on. Friends don’t let friends whine; friends help friends make their lives better.

6. Focus only on impressing yourself.

No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all things. People may like your things — but that doesn’t mean they like you.

Genuine relationships make you happier, and you’ll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.

And you’ll have a lot more mental energy to spend on the people who really do matter in your life.

7. Count your blessings.

Take a second every night before you turn out the light and, in that moment, quit worrying about what you don’t have. Quit worrying about what others have that you don’t.

Think about what you do have. You have a lot to be thankful for. Feels pretty good, doesn’t it?  Feeling better about yourself is the best way of all to recharge your mental batteries.

am.xo

hard question of the month: what if we didn’t excuse each other?

just decide

{reposted from my personal fb page}

Decide to be your own #1 fan.
Decide that what you say about you is what matters.
Decide that what people think of you is none of your business.
Decide that you are extraordinary.
Decide that you are capable.
Decide that you are worthy.
Decide that you deserve good health.
Decide that your voice has value.
Decide that you, yes you, are the greatest thing to ever happen to your life.

Do not let other people or circumstances decide what is possible for you. That’s too risky. Get a hold of yourself. Get a hold of your mind. Get it together.

Get out there and go do the d*mn thing.

Go.

#GETITGIRL

am.xo

Don’t be distracted by criticism.

Remember – the only taste of success some people have is

when they take a bite out of you.
― Zig Ziglar

how to avoid value migration

{inspiration: How to Drive Value Your Way by Michael G. Jacobides & John Paul MacDuffie, Harvard Business Review July/August 2013}

It is important to understand that you have control over your perceived value. In fact, I would argue that it is the most important tool you have in this highly competitive marketplace. So how do you avoid value migration? Here are 3 rules {of their 4} researched and gathered by the HBR for companies to use, with an Alicia Mathlin™ remix to serve your needs as an individual.

  1. Be The Least Replaceable Player – Make sure you know your actual value to the people that matter and then explore what you can do to become more valuable. Are you assertive? Reliable? Solution and results oriented? Are you a clear asset to the team? Or to your clients? Be honest with yourself when you answer these questions. Then do the work to become that player. Only you can make those moves – never wait for someone to tell you or suggest how you can improve. If that’s happening you are way behind. Get on it.
  2. Become The Guardian of Quality – Are you known for quality? Because value migrates to the person associated most with quality. What’s your output like? Are you consistently putting out your best? Can you be considered a ‘quality guarantor’? By becoming this person you are also going to be tasked with more responsibility/liability but I find this level of involvement also leads to leadership {and that’s what we’re after right?}. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there if you are competent and confident.
  3. Follow The Customer {company, boss, etc…}  – People change as their needs change and with it, what they value can change. Are you ready for that possibility? Are you paying attention to the direction things are moving in? To be valuable, you need to be ahead of the game. You need to show your ability to anticipate and prepare for what’s next. It is only enough to be good at what’s happening right now but it is exceptional to be the person figuring out how to monetize what the future holds.

#GETITGIRL

hard question of the month: do you look your best?

 

 

no g no g

No one can make you feel inferior
without your consent.


― Eleanor Roosevelt

the power of a slight shift

“…when two people meet, if there’s rapport, the person who is most certain will always influence the other person…”

 

 

surround yourself with beauty. 

at home.

at work. 

anywhere you want.

you deserve it. 

musings: Rich Roll

{an excerpt from the article Why You Should Stop Hacking Your Life and Invest In The Journey by Rich Roll}

Now let’s examine what happens when you try to be the very best you can be at something you are inherently passionate about. Suddenly the heart beats faster. The palms begin to sweat. Maybe it’s excitement. But more likely it’s fear. That’s right, fear. Commitment — total dedication to the core — is about as scary as it gets. It’s not just hard. It’s without a doubt the most difficult thing imaginable. Because if you take that risk, truly put yourself completely on the line and fail {or succeed — yes fear of success plagues more than you might imagine}, then you will have to reckon with yourself. Terrifying!

…No shortcuts. Just a good, solid Malcolm Gladwell-esque 10,000+ hours of downright busting your ass on something that means everything to you. Toiling in obscurity. Failing relentlessly. Picking yourself up off the floor when all is lost and going the extra mile when nobody is looking. Slow, incremental progress. Tiny hard fought victories along the way that begin to take form. And ultimately congeal to lay the foundation for a life and legacy that has true value…

…Don’t misunderstand. I like goals and I like achieving them. They keep me focused and act as powerful drivers that lend structure to my day. But it’s crucial to emotionally detach from the end result or third-party reception to your efforts. Let it go. It’s none of your business. It’s also irrelevant. But what is relevant is signing up for the journey. What is crucial is showing up at the starting line. What is essential is taking that first step, followed by a second, on what I can only hope will be a pilgrimage that will last the remainder of your days in this short life. Irrespective of success or failure (subjective terms anyway), you are guaranteed to experience what it is like to be fully invested in something, anything. This is what it is to be completely alive. And that is the gift.

Rich Roll is a world renowned ultra-distance triathlete, wellness advocate, host of the popular Rich Roll Podcast & #1 bestselling author of Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men & Discovering Himself . You can read his musings and listen to his conversations at richroll.com.

am.xo

p.s. Rich’s book Finding Ultra is one of my favourite workout.every.d*mn.day. inspirations. Oh what the human body is capable of…

Beginning today, set an intention and a relentless focus on living your life as the greatest person you can be, in all situations. Demand that you demonstrate a strength of character in such a way that you find pride in who you are, and that others see you as a role model.

― Brendon Burchard

getting out of the weeds

 

More Mel Robbins because she nails it in 5 minutes.

I attribute my success to this:
I never gave or took any excuse.

–Florence Nightingale

hard question of the month: how would the person you would like to be do what you are about to do?

to be powerful

What does it take to be a powerful woman in 2014?

To be powerful in 2014 {and always}, a woman requires the skill of self-mastery. As defined, it is the power to control one’s actions, impulses, or emotions. If we can do this, then we can become impervious to external circumstances or influence. Our sense of self will no longer be determined by others. Our sense of security will no longer rise and fall with changes beyond our control. We will no longer succumb to the call of self-pity {and if we do, we won’t linger there too long}. We will not be pulled and pushed by the needs of others or defined by the relationships in our lives. This is freedom and this kind of freedom has a name, it’s POWER.

By cultivating self-mastery, we open ourselves up to our highest potential and release ourselves from the impact of having an untethered life. 

What you need to know is that self-mastery begins as a habit to be developed and then becomes a character trait, but it is never fully achieved. It is a moving target that requires our attention and will be tested every day. Self-mastery is a big concept; one that I will continue to explore on this blog and one that I encourage you to explore on your own. For now though, here are 5 tips to get you started {pick one, then add another when you’re ready}:

  1. Develop a talent that requires daily practice. The commitment to a consistent and regular practice schedule needed to improve and develop a talent, builds inner resolve and strength that can help overcome the pull of surrender in other areas of your life.
  2. Meditate. The ability to calm the mind, clearing it of thought also builds self-mastery. It requires focus and practice and discipline.
  3. Exercise. Running, walking, cycling, hiking, playing a sport, martial arts, any kind of regular workout builds inner strength. Our resolve to act in the face of the urge to sit, to rest, to watch TV, to take the path of least resistance, can be a great source of inner mastery.
  4. Stop eating before you’re full. The self-control necessary to do this will benefit you elsewhere in your life as well. It’s been said, that if you cannot control how much you eat, you will not likely be very successful at controlling other areas of your life {this one is harsh but I believe, as a holistic nutritionist and as someone that has struggled with this in the past, it needs to be said}.
  5. Do something hard. Set the goal. Create the action plan. Set the schedule. Go it done. And repeat.

Leonardo da Vinci says, “…the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment…He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.”

I say, word.

am.xo

There is only one way

to avoid criticism:

do nothing, say nothing,

and be nothing.

–Aristotle

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