Mental toughness

The key to running a successful business

Image: Mental toughness

Being successful with the right mindset

Running a business – such as a a successful gym – resembles performing in sports on a high level in many ways. Being mentally strong is vital for surviving and evolving in such a competitive and challenging environment.

Member acquisition or lockdowns can be stressful and overwhelming. Thus, mental toughness is important in any domain that demands successful performance and where challenges need to be overcome.

Mental toughness is a term which comes from sport science. Super athletes like Michael Jordan, Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova are famous for their ability to be fully focused on the present moment, consistently overcoming endless obstacles and failures and still being able to cheer themselves on during tough competitions.

What is mental toughness?

Scientists argue that only 50% of mental toughness variation can be explained by genetics (Horschburg et al., 2009; Veselka et al., 2009).

Moreover, it is proven that this quality is formed by environmental factors and increases with age through all various experiences gained in life. In a study by Jones et al. (2007) mental toughness is explained in four main dimensions:

Mindset. Unshakable belief that goals are possible to reach.

Training. Motivating yourself with long-term goals while pushing to the limit.

Competition. Awareness and control while handling pressure.

Resilience. Ability to keep dealing with adversity, be it success or failure.

Basically, mental toughness leads to the empowering feeling that one is capable of more than ever thought possible. 

Take action: Train your mental toughness

This is an attitude that is also crucial for your gym business and can help you to be even more successful. It is easy to train your mind to become mentally strong. Try the following exercises: 

Image: Train your mental toughness
Train your mental toughness

1 Practice consistency

It can be something very easy like spending 15 minutes daily on a creative task or question for 3 months in a row. You could for example brainstorm on the question “10 ways on how to attract new members”. Or you establish the habit of making the most important calls before lunch. Important: Do it everyday! This way you practice consistency.

2 Make a habit of everyday wins

Think about the fields you seek to improve and how far you have come until now. Then try to always improve even a bit more. For example, if you want to digitalize your member cards and are able to do 10 per day currently, try to do 11 the next day and 12 the day after, etc. 

3 Visualisation

Think about what you want to achieve and visualize these successes in your mind. Formulate a clear and precise goal image in your head. Then set yourself intermediate goals. Each time you achieve a small goal, you will notice that your big goal is becoming more and more realistic.

4 Mindfulness

Be aware of your feelings. Are you stressed? Are you happy? Mindfulness training helps you to deal with your feelings more consciously, even in stressful situations.

Being aware of your feelings and dealing with them accordingly will help you act less impulsively in stressful situations. An easy way to practice this is trying to always take two deep breaths before answering an annoying question for example.

5 Positive self-talk

Speak positively to yourself. This encourages you in what you are doing. Even top athletes often say positive affirmations to themselves before a competition in order to face challenging situations with self-confidence.

Not only that, but the more you repeat affirming phrases to yourself, the more your thoughts begin to reprogram, for example, by telling yourself, “I can achieve my goals.”

All in all, mental strength comes with experience. The more different situations you experience where you have to test and push yourself, the better results you’ll get over time. Your mind is one of your greatest tools. With regular mental exercises, you can strengthen yourself to make a big difference in your business

Any questions?
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Maike Kumstel

on November 15, 2021

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