What is mental toughness and why it is so important?
Mental toughness is a personality trait that was first identified on the sporting field but is now recognised as a critically important ingredient for a positive and successful career and life.
Whilst there have been many definitions, the most widely accepted is the one developed by the “rock stars” of mental toughness, Professor Peter Clough and AQR Managing Director Doug Strycharczyk:
“mental toughness is a personality trait that determines your ability to perform consistently under stress and pressure, irrespective of circumstances.”
Many people can perform to a certain level when there is no pressure created by pressing deadlines or changing circumstances but few people can perform to the same level when the chips are down.
However, Mentally Tough people can and this has been proven to lead to material improvements in performance, increased positivity, a greater ability to manage stress and change and to generate wellbeing.
Mental Toughness is closely related to concepts of hardiness, grit and resilience. Clough and Strycharzcyk further describe mental toughness as a combination of:
- resilience – the ability to survive
- confidence – the ability to flourish.
They have developed a simple but effective and well-validated psychometric tool MTQ48 which measures mental toughness providing a framework with which to build personal and organisational mental toughness.