Mental Toughness and Benjamin Hardy’s Excellent ‘Two Mental Shifts’ Article
Every once in a while you read a thoroughly intelligent, thought provoking article and Benjamin Hardy’s ‘The 2 Mental Shifts Highly Successful People Make ‘ is one such example. Within Hardy’s article on making a mental shift shows there are two perspectives on Control and Confidence that are especially relevant to the 4C’s of mental toughness.
Control is reflected in Hardy’s discussion on the first mental shift and the power of choice. He explains that in order to make the first shift, you must go from an external locus of control to an internal locus of control.
“This is the scientific way of saying you stop playing the victim to external circumstances and take responsibility for your life. You are responsible for how you respond to life. Every choice has a cost and consequence as ‘Free-will’ doesn’t exist. You aren’t “free” to act however you want, unless you’re willing to accept the consequences of those actions”
This is a fundamental aspect of Control, which in my opinion is the anchor of mental toughness. Understanding that you are in total control of what happens in your life empowers you absolutely. You learn that success, health and happiness is a choice and all are consequences of your actions.
Another of Hardy’s insights relates to Confidence and the fact that most people misunderstand confidence. He explains that Confidence doesn’t lead to high performance but, rather confidence is a by-product of previous performance.
For example, if you start your day well, you’re likely to have confidence throughout the rest of your day. If you start poorly, that poor prior performance will sap your confidence, even subconsciously. He emphasises that confidence is a direct reflection of past performance and so yesterday is more important than today. Luckily, today is tomorrow’s yesterday. So, even if your confidence today isn’t optimal, your confidence tomorrow is still within your control.
Once you’ve made the first mental shift, you know that your emotional state is your own responsibility and the product of your choices. If you want to be confident, that’s up to you. If you want to be happy, that’s up to you. If you want to be successful, that’s up to you.
I like the notion that your confidence is within your control and this confirms the importance of having a consistent early morning routine to provide you with a confident start to each day. This early bout of confidence then builds your confidence during the day to be able to work through challenges and opportunities with equal resolve and energy.