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The Champion Forum Podcast

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Becoming An Unshakable Leader

Do you want to make a bigger impact?  If so, you will face even bigger challenges than you ever have.  If you can’t manage adversity where you are, it will be tough to manage it at the next level. Mental toughness is more than just bouncing back; it is the ability to remain mentally strong, adaptable, and focused in facing challenges. Today, we’re discussing four strategies to increase your mental toughness.


“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.” Jim Rohn

Why Mental Toughness?

Building mental toughness allows leaders to lead by example, instill confidence, and create a culture of resilience within their organizations. With resilience as a guiding force, leaders can conquer obstacles, achieve extraordinary results, and leave a lasting impact on their teams and the world of leadership.


Q: How do you define mental toughness? What characteristics do you see in mentally tough people? How can you tell if someone is mentally tough?


Four Strategies to Increase Your Mental Toughness


  1. Manage Your Self-Talk

Self-talk is the sum of the internal conversations you have all day.  Your internal dialogue can affect your mindset and performance, positively or negatively. Being aware of negative self-talk can help you to shift your mindset to positive self-talk.


  1. Embrace Setbacks

Learn to view all setbacks as an opportunity to learn rather than a frustration. This practice will reduce stress and move you forward rather than keeping you locked in the past. De-brief every performance by asking yourself:

  • What went well?

  • What do I need to improve?

  • What do I need to stop doing?


“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill

  1. Don’t let the haters get you down

Mentally tough leaders limit their time with those who don’t wish them well. Toxic people are unable to deter them by their behavior or words. When mentally tough people do interact with toxic people, they do so with their emotions in check.


  1. Learn from the past, but don’t dwell on it

People and teams that exhibit authentic mental fortitude practice the fine art of debriefing. In the military, these are called after-action reviews. When pursuing any goal, project, or challenge, it’s important to reflect on what’s going well, what isn’t, and areas for improvement. Debriefing wins is as important as debriefing losses. Extract valuable insights and move on.


Q: Which of these skills will be the most helpful to you? Why? How would you describe your current inner dialogue? Is it growth-oriented or more negative? Have you tried changing your self-talk before? What strategies did you use? Did you find it helpful? Why or why not?


By obtaining mental toughness, leaders can navigate the complexities of leadership with strength, adaptability, and unwavering focus. Building mental toughness allows leaders to lead by example, instill confidence, and create a culture of resilience within their organizations. With resilience as a guiding force, leaders can conquer obstacles, achieve extraordinary results, and leave a lasting impact on their teams and the world of leadership.


Application Activities

  1. The next time you struggle to control your self-talk, leverage the power of a 5-second pause. Take a few deep breaths and ask yourself this empowering question: “Is this a threat or opportunity?” This mindset shift will open up new thoughts, ideas, and solutions.

  2. Teaching your team to be mentally tough will help you develop resilience and creativity during challenges. When your team faces a setback, challenge them to think about what the situation could teach them or what skill it could help them develop. 


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