Author David Hugo Hargreaves the Growth Guru at Charterhouse: a family man and walker of the family dogs.
Developing your mental strength takes a daily conscious effort, unwavering dedication and constant practice.
Try these 10 exercises to work out your mental muscles.
1. Establish business and personal goals
Our brains are naturally predisposed to reach for and achieve goals. And not just one big goal, such as I want to lose three stone or I want to go on three two week holidays this year. Also set a series of short-term goals such as I will not use Facebook until 12am or I will wake up 6 each morning and spend an hour in the gym
With each goal you achieve, you will gain more confidence in your ability to succeed. You will also start to learn to recognise when goals you set are unrealistically ambitious and when they are not challenging enough.
2. Set up your environment for success
Make your life a little easier by modifying your environment to avoid destructive temptations.
If you want to go to the gym in the morning, leave your gym clothes by your bed. Remove the junk food from your kitchen and desk drawers to give yourself a fighting chance of eating more healthily. When you set up your environment for success, you won’t exhaust your mental energy trying to resist the urge to sleep in or to each something you will later regret.
3. Tolerate discomfort to ensure you reach your goals
Discomfort often leads people to look for unhealthy shortcuts. Rather than deal with an issue, they reach for something that provides immediate emotional relief—drinking a glass of wine or eating a whole box of chocolates. However those short-term solutions can often create bigger long-term issues.
Practice tolerating discomfort by reminding yourself of your goals every day, several times a day. Push yourself every day on your daily priorities even if this causes you to feel anxious; run on the treadmill when you feel tired—don’t escape the discomfort, its actually good for you. The more you tolerate discomfort, the more confidence you’ll have in your ability to complete difficult tasks.
4. Reframe your destructive thoughts.
Strive every day to develop a realistic yet optimistic inner monologue. Reframe catastrophic and destructive thoughts.
You cannot eliminate all of your negative thoughts. Everyone has rough patches and bad days. But by replacing your pessimistic thoughts with more realistic expectations, you are more likely to stay on course and equip yourself to manage challenging times.
5. Use logic to balance your emotions
We all make better decisions when your emotions and logic are in sync with each other. If all your decisions were emotional, you wouldn’t invest for your future because you’d be too busy spending your money on what makes you happy right now. However if all of your decisions were logical, you’d live a boring life devoid of pleasure, leisure and love.
Whether you’re building a business or growing your family consider the balance between your emotions and logic. If you’re overly excited or especially anxious, write down a list of the pros and cons of moving forward with the decision. That’s what Churchill did! Reviewing that list will boost the logical part of your brain and help you create a balance between logic and emotion that you can easily justify to yourself
6. Create a mission statement to stay on track
It’s challenging to stay the course unless you know your overall purpose. Why do you want to earn more money or open up than third office?
Write out a clear and concise mission statement about what you want to accomplish in life. When you’re struggling to take the next step, remind yourself why it’s important to keep going by reading your mission statement. Focus on your daily objectives, however make sure those steps you’re taking will get you to a larger goal in the long run. Tip. Keep a copy of your mission statement on your bathroom mirror and next to your computer screen. Then you will be able to read it every day!!
7. Excuses are destructive; take responsibility of your actions and performance
When you don’t perform as well as expected, examine the reasons why. Look for an explanation to help you do better next time. Do not make excuses for your behaviour. This is much harder than it sounds and you need to take responsibility for your actions and avoid excuses
Take full responsibility for any shortcomings. Blaming other people or your circumstances for your missteps is very destructive. Acknowledge and take responsibility for your mistakes so you can learn from them and avoid repeating them in the future.
8. Give yourself a challenge everyday
You won’t improve by accident so purposely challenge yourself every day. Of course, what’s challenging to you might not be to someone else, so you need to analyse where your comfortable boundaries are.
Then pick something slightly outside of your boundaries and take one small step every day. That could mean volunteering to do something that would make your nervous!. Push yourself to become a little better today than you were yesterday.
9. Use the ten-minute rule
Mental strength won’t magically enable you to feel motivated all of the time. However it can help you be more productive, even when you don’t feel like it.
When you’re tempted to put off something, use the 10-minute rule. When are tempting to open up facebook at the time you planned to go to the gym tell yourself to start out for the gym for just 10 minutes. If your mind is still fighting your body after 10 minutes, give yourself permission to quite. At least most of the time you will actually get to the Gym!
Getting started is often the hardest part. Once you take the first step, you’ll realise it’s not nearly as bad as you predicted, and your other skills can help keep you going.
10. Prove yourself wrong every day
The next time you think you can’t do something, prove yourself wrong. Commit to doing one more rep at the gym or closing one more sale this month, even if its 3pm on the last day!
Your mind will want to quit long before your body needs to give up. Prove to yourself that you’re more capable than you give yourself credit for, and over time, your brain will stop underestimating your abilities and your goals will start becoming reality.
If you want your business and profits to grow whilst retaining a balanced family life then contact Charterhouse. Charterhouse also supply the funds that you need to grow. Whether this be £10k or £5m
Author David Hugo Hargreaves the Growth Guru at Charterhouse.