Chris Ruisi Exceptional

Building Mental Toughness

(A special excerpt from The Go-To Person’s Guide to Success)

In 1961, “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” opened on Broadway. During its run of 1,471 performances, the show won 7 Tony Awards and a New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award. The play (and subsequent movie) was great, despite the fact that nobody can succeed in business “without really trying.” Success in business (or anything else, for that matter) requires work – hard, focused, disciplined, and committed work. There are no shortcuts to success.

Success requires the proper use of certain knowledge and skills. Without the proper mental foundation, there’s no way your knowledge and skills will be used effectively. I refer to this foundation as “mental toughness.” Why? Because any level of success must be built upon it. Developing mental toughness is a choice.

Here are three key steps to get you going in the right direction:

  1. Get Rid of the Clutter – To achieve any meaningful level of effective performance, you need to eliminate all of the distractions that waste your time and drain your energy. The best way to do eliminate this clutter is to develop clarity on what you want to accomplish. Have a clear vision and specific goals to bring that vision to reality. Why? Because no goals equals no success – period! Without clarity, you invite clutter, distractions, fear, lack of confidence, and overwhelm to take up permanent residence in your mind.
  2. Focus on Winning – You would be amazed by how many folks focus on avoiding problems, or how not to fail, as opposed to “winning.” How many times have you seen a professional sports team in the lead eventually lose because they were too concerned about “not losing” instead of being focused on winning? When you don’t focus on winning, you allow events to “control” you. You become a victim instead of the master of your circumstances, which creates self-doubt and weakens any confidence you have in yourself. Play to win – all of the time. There is no downside.
  3. Develop Risk Taking Skills – To get what you want in business (and in life) you have to take logical, planned risks. These types of risks usually have a reasonable downside offset by a larger upside or reward. Keep in mind that we all have an “internal risk warning system” that holds us back. If unchecked, it will cause you to over analyze the risk and stop you in your tracks. The best way to manage this internal warning system is to be clear on what you want to do, as described through your vision and goals, which help you to stay focused on the facts instead of the emotion (fear). Always factor in what you’ve learned from past experiences and mistakes to properly evaluate the risk. This will help you make an objective, well thought-out decision so you can keep moving forward.
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