Ep. 192 Steps for Increasing Mental Toughness
Mental toughness is the key to staying in the game of sales. Joe has helped thousands of sales professionals and business owners push past failures by remaining positive and competitive.
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Joe Pici (JP):
Hey Team, this is Joe Pici of The Sales Edge. Thanks for coming back. This is podcast number 192. How to develop mental toughness and stay strong. Are you the kind of person who wants to achieve massive success in your life? Do you have the mental toughness to make that happen? Today I’m going to share proven strategies to improve your mental toughness. You know, I’ve done some podcasts on resilience, on mental toughness, and I promised you that I would get back with you in another podcast on how to develop it.
What are some of the do’s and don’ts, strategies and tactics, that you can execute to develop mental toughness? I think we can all agree that no matter what your ambitions are what you’re trying to achieve in life. It can be difficult. It can be tough, you know your daily grind. You know, the mental, the emotional, the physical, just so much taxing on you that can really affect your mental toughness. you know, achievers in high performance from all walks of life face ups and downs. You know, the path to success that they face failure, burnout, discouragement, fatigue, self-limiting beliefs, stress.
Covid Financial setbacks, it goes on and on. You know, I coached football for 20 years and one of the things I always focus on was building mentally tough teams. As I got into business there are sales teams and there are business owners. There are some people that are mentally tough and some that aren’t. And it’s always the mentally tough that rise to the top. So how do some people continually strive through their personal goals year after year and never give up on them? How did those people stay strong and persevere when there is much stacked up against them?
When we came in to 2021 having gone through what we went through in 2020. Here’s what I knew. We were going to face tremendous challenges and we needed to be mentally tough. We couldn’t be mentally fatigued. So many people came out of 2020 emotionally mentally fatigued. And I’m going to give you some ideas today on how you can recapture a mental toughness. You’re at the core, mental toughness is simply the ability to stick to something when the going gets tough. You know, people with high levels of mental toughness can push beyond their obstacles and forge a path towards success, while those with lower levels of mental toughness usually abandon their dreams and quit.
The good news is no matter who you are, Okay, what you’ve been told, or what you currently believe, you can develop mental toughness. I looked, I did some research on this. I know how I feel about it, but I wanted to go into depth on research on this very topic. I found a great explanation of mental toughness. Mental toughness is the ability to resist, manage, and overcome doubts, worries, concerns, obstacles, tragedy, that prevent you from succeeding at a task, or towards an objective or performance outcome that you set out to achieve. I’m going to give that to you again. It’s intense.
Mental toughness is the ability to resist, manage, and overcome doubts, worries, concerns, obstacles, tragedy, that prevent you from succeeding at a task or towards an objective or performance outcome that you set out to achieve. So there’s some ways, you know, you can prepare. There’s some things you can do in preparation to becoming more mentally tough. I do need to tell you a story and this is not a famous story. This is you know, this is many years ago. I was a college football coach and we lost our jobs. You may have heard that story and and I showed up in a little town in Southwest Florida. They really had never won very much up to that point. A lot of defeatist attitude, not only in the community, but on the team. Very small team, we built up the numbers and my whole goal was to make them mentally tough.
Because as I watched all the film of previous years there was a point in time they dropped their heads. And so I can remember, you know, building this program and the second year we went 9 and 2. We were ranked in the state. Everybody thought it was great and and you know, we didn’t have great talent. We had tremendous mental toughness and a bunch of those kids, about 22 of them graduated. And the next year we came in with a very small, not number but, small kids playing a much upgraded schedule and I’ll never forget this one. And I was hard on these children, not not abusive, I was mentally strong with them to develop their mental toughness. And I can remember I was driving down, we’re going to play our first district game of the year, that team was four touchdown, we were four touchdown underdog. And because of all the kids we graduated, because they had on their team six kids that would go into the 1-A level and start as freshman at their colleges. So it was tilted and before I even had my headset on and I had my clipboard, we were down 14 nothing and it was getting ugly. And well there was a lightning storm and we had coaches jumping under under buses, getting the kids in the locker room, one of my coaches got hit with lightning. He’s okay, and it was tough.
It was tough and I had a decision to make. Was I going to baby them? And so on our way home, I’m thinking what can I do? I got him in the locker room. It’s now about midnight. And I said men, you’re winners. We built you for this, we built you for this very time in your life to execute your mental toughness. And here’s what we’re going to do. Turn in all your game uniforms, were wearing practice equipment tomorrow. I want everybody back in these seats at six am fully dressed. We’re going to drive down there. We’re going to do a full scrimmage before we go into the game.
My assistant coaches were looking at me like, you have got to be kidding. We know you’re nuts, but you’ve lost your mind. It was the kids with their heads down, walked out of that locker room. The next day they were all there and present. And I said you’re here, you’re winners, and you have the mental toughness to turn us around. We drove an hour and a half. It was 98 degrees and before the game we scrimmaged and we were intense with these kids because you can treat a winner like that. Not abusive.
We knew they had resiliency. We had developed a mental toughness. We went out on that field and at the end of the game, we won 16 to 14. It was in all the papers. I have never seen a group of young men so excited about their achievement. It wasn’t about talent. It wasn’t about skill. It was at these kids had developed a mental toughness that, when the going got tough the tough got going.
And so here’s some things you can do in developing your own mental toughness. And I read this article and I had to share it with you. And in fact, they didn’t have the name of anybody who wrote it, it was just out there, but I’m going to put some of my ideas and some of their ideas, with this is good stuff.
Number one, It’s emotional stability. Leadership often requires that you make good decisions under pressure. It’s important that you maintain your capacity and stay objective and deliver the same level of performance, no matter how you feel. And see feelings can affect performance.
The second one is, perspective. Mental strength lets you carry on when the world seems to have turned against you. When things are going bad, it’s your mental strength that carries the day. You need to keep your challenges in perspective. You need to keep your eyes on your objective.
Now the next one is, you have to be prepared for potential change. Change is the only constant in our world, you know in a world where every 30 seconds a new technology comes down the road. We’ve got to learn flexibility. We have to be adaptable. And we have to develop these traits to be able to be nimble and turn on a dime and not look at that as a setback, but as an opportunity.
Next one, we have to learn to detach. When you go through setbacks, you can come out even stronger if you can remember it’s not about you. These setbacks were not about you. We have to learn not to take things personally. You know, we have to get out of the why me mentality and take control of your life.
The next one is we have to have strength under stress. We have to maintain that resilience when we faced a negative pressures, the setbacks, by developing your capacity to deal with stress. And learning how to deal with stress is like working out a muscle, you get better, you get better, you get better, you get stronger. You know, a good friend of mine, becoming great friend of mine. One of our clients and even a greater friend. You know, Ken Trupkey, managing a company, CEO of a company up in Michigan. Yeah, Ada, Michigan.
He said something on a podcast. He said, you know, cold calling doesn’t get easier. He said it’s like a cold shower. If you take a cold shower today, you take a cold shower tomorrow. You take a cold shower next month. It’s still a cold shower. A cold call is a cold call. The only thing that changes is you develop better skills and mental toughness. Thank you, Ken.
Number six is, preparation for challenges. Be ready. I mean, let’s not be surprised when there’s a challenge because we know it’s coming. Make sure we have the resources. We have the plan B.
We have the the other silos that we can jump into.
Number seven and one of my favorites, Focus. Let’s keep your eyes on the prize. Let’s focus on outcomes. Let’s, were aware of the challenges. But we need to be focused on the prize.
The next one is, we’ve got to have the right attitude. You know, complications will come, failures will come, we’ve got to mitigate the damage because here’s the thing. When you fail, you don’t fail, you learn, if we use a setback as a learning experience. I know we’ve learned a lot. We’ve had a lot of setback. We’ve had a lot of challenges but, we’ve learned from them so we can move on.
Number nine, we need to validate ourselves. Let’s not worry about pleasing the world. Let’s not worry about what other people are thinking of. Let’s set some benchmarks and some metrics that we can evaluate. I hit that, I really hit that. You know poeple are very critical. We have people that call us, and email us, and tell us what’s wrong with us. And that’s okay because we measure what we do. And if you can measure what you do, you can you can certainly validate.
Another one is, great patience. You know, we can’t expect success overnight. You know, we can’t expect success immediately. Anything worthwhile is is really worth working long hard hours.
The next one, number 11, is control. Let’s avoid giving our power away. You know, we need to be in control of our emotions and control. You know, let’s not be reactive. I was doing a disc training today for great couple out in Iowa and I was talking about the biggest difference in Joe Pici is, I no longer react, but I respond.
So another one is, we need to accept. Let’s not complain about the things we have no control over. Let’s recognize that we have control over very little. Let’s just understand, we put our foot in the ground, we plant it and we move on. We’re nimble and we’re ready to go.
Now number 13, endurance in the face of failure. You know, view failure as an opportunity. That is so important.
And then unwavering positivity, 14, stay positive. You know, when things are bad look to the best. And the only way you’re going to be able to stay positive, surround yourself with positive people. Read positive information, listen to positive stuff. You know, if you don’t want to be a whiner, don’t hang out with a whiner. If you don’t want to be a person that lacks ambition, if you don’t want to be a person that has no mental toughness, find some mentally tough people. Spend time with them and watch what happens.
I think there’s another one here talking about contentment. Which means content is work hard but, be content in what you have. Don’t worry about what the people across the street have, be concerned about what you’re doing.
And number 16, tenacity. And tenacity just comes in three simple words. Never give up. You know, you want to have that internal strength, you want to absolutely, strength has to come from inside and that’s number 17.
And then the next one, you have to have standards. Uncompromising. You have to set the bar high and no matter what happens, no matter what happens, you never ever ever, drop the bar to your standards. No matter, don’t please, don’t fall, into the Trap. Of what so many people fall into which is called, situational ethics.
Things are bad, so we cut corners. Things are bad, so we lie. Things are bad, so we cheap. Please don’t fall into that. Keep your standards high. You see you should have the same standards in good times and in bad. And so these are some of the things not, I picked up a couple really good quotes on this topic. As you can see, I’m really passionate about this. David Goggin said “I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done.” You know Les Brown once said “It’s not over until I win”. The game isn’t over, you keep playing. And then Thomas Jefferson said “nothing can stop a man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal and nothing on Earth can help a man with the wrong mental attitude.” Was that powerful?
William Bolden said “In terms of instilling the values of mental toughness and work ethic, discipline is a gift that keeps on giving.” Henry Ward Beecher said “Men’s best success comes after their disappointments.”
Listen to that. On the other side of failure is success. You know, Vince Lombardi once said “If you can’t accept losing, you can’t win.” Marcus Aurelius, “You have the power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this you will find strength.”
And the last one, Edmund Hillary “When we climb the mountain, It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”
There are ways you can improve your mental toughness. Mental toughness is a cornerstone of success. We all need it. We’re going to continue to need it. The challenges are not over. And so take out your phone and type in Sales Edge to the text and send it to 55678. Take you to a link, Pici and Pici, to a splash page. Five courses on Recapture lost Revenue through virtual selling. Also scroll down, there is a link for information on SellMoreVirtually.com, our membership platform with a lot of e-courses, a lot of information. Folks if this has been a shot in the arm for you, if this has been an asset to your journey, can you like it? Can you share it? Can you make a comment on it? Thanks a lot. This has been The Sales Edge and Joe Pici.
Thanks for listening. New episodes will air each Tuesday and Thursday. So make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts and give us a five star review. The Sales Edge is sponsored by Pici and Pici Incorporated. A firm which provides training, consulting, and keynote presentations. Empowering corporations and individuals to attract and retain quality clients, for higher revenues and growth. Make more money in sales, speak with Joe in person by calling 407 947 2590 or visit www.piciandpici.com