We can learn about mental toughness from the U.S. Navy SEALs. They are people who have survived the most challenging military training in the world.
Here are the “Big Four” mental skills taught to Navy SEALs:
1) Goal-setting. How are you going to get through the next half hour? Turns out that this kind of close-focused goal-setting is a key to peak performance anywhere. It doesn’t matter whether a person is on a stage, in an athletic competition, or in the middle of a fire-fight. It is simple, and proven. One major way to combat stress is to NARROW YOUR FOCUS to the immediate future.
2) Mental rehearsal, or visualisation. How often, when you’re anxious, do you imagine success? Give this a try: see what it will be like when you’re performing your goal with success. Notice how your body feels and what you hear. Do this over and over again and you are providing your brain with an experience of success.
3) Take Charge of Your Self Talk. We are constantly talking to ourselves. When you notice you’re saying something negative say “Stop!” or “Cancel!” and say “You can do it” or “Forget that glitch – focus on what’s next!”
4) Arousal Control. You control a panic response with deliberate breathing. INHALE DEEPLY (for a count of six), hold it for a count of two, then exhale for a count of six, emptying your lungs. Do this three times. Practice this anytime during the day. It will become your instant stress control, lower your blood pressure, and flood your brain with oxygen, increasing your ability to think and react thoughtfully.
Give this “Big Four” skills a try – and you’ll find you’ll become more resilient in your work and personal life.