I think that mental toughness is something that every one in general should work to develop, but leaders in particular should hone this skill. Loeher outlines a helpful strategy for athletes, but one that is applicable for everyone who wants to develop “mental, emotional, and physical” toughness too.
Discussing the danger and cause of low motivation he writes:
“Things can get very lonely, confusing, and painful. And the more you care, the more you hurt when you fail again to make it happen.
Athletes figure out very quickly that it hurts less when you don’t care as much. As a result, low motivation becomes a protective strategy for athletes who suffer many perceived failures.”
After recording these words in my journal I wrote, “It’s easier to not care… but it’s not the strategy of winners.”
Are you avoiding an all out effort to do something that you deeply care about… because you are afraid of failing?
Has failure in the past led you to act defensively today; to not care so much so that the sting of failure doesn’t hurt so bad?
It has happened to me. It can happen to you.
I don’t want to let failure in the past shape my heart and drain my passion for the future. That might well mean I will be hurt again in the face of failure (because every time you try, the opportunity for failure is there), but I know this for sure… if I don’t try, if I don’t care I will never win. And neither will you.
So, go care today! Try! If you fail and get hurt get back up! Keep caring! Keep trying!