As a mental toughness expert, I subscribe to the psychometric measure MTQ48 and its scientifically validated framework developed by the rock stars of mental toughness, Peter Clough and Doug Strycharczyk.
Their “survive and thrive” definition of mental toughness as being RESILENCE, the ability to bounce back from setbacks and failures and CONFIDENCE, the ability to spot and seize opportunities, is a sound and symmetrical definition which I use all the time.
However, in my opinion the very best “memorable” definition of mental toughness comes from Vince Lombardi the legendary NFL football player and coach.
“Mental Toughness is character in action”
This definition wouldn’t be out of place as a tabloid headline but at the same time captures the essence of everything that mental toughness is about.
To be fair I have paraphrased Vince because the quote was the final part of his longer considered opinion piece below, but to me it accurately and succinctly captures the essence of the personality trait.
“Mental toughness is many different things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind – you could call it character in action”.
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