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Talent Is Overrated: Top 10 Habits Of Mentally Tough People

People with limitless determination always have enough talent to succeed.

John Rampton

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Regardless if you’re an entrepreneur, athlete, coach, artist or politician, we all must overcome hurdles and setbacks at some point in our lives. These challenges can seem insurmountable, but what separates the successful, or at least those on their way to becoming successful, is their resilience and confidence, not talent. Some call it grit. But, it’s most commonly known as mental toughness.

Over the past couple years I’ve realized that talent truly is overrated — it’s the mentally tough people who succeed in life. I’ve had to fight my way through losing a multi-million dollar business to starting another that is now thriving.

Sometimes you have to just push through. I’ve learned that there is no single factor, but those who possess these a few of the habits below are mentally tough people that can get through anything.

1. They Possess the 4 C’s

The four key components of mental toughness have become known as the 4 C’s:

  • Confidence where you believe in yourself and your abilities so that you can achieve success.
  • Challenge where your embrace change or new opportunities instead of resistance.
  • Control where you believe that you have the power to shape your own destiny.
  • Commitment where you set goals and work towards achieving them.

2. They’re emotionally intelligent

Emotional intelligence, which is having the ability to identify and manage your emotions and the emotions of others, is another cornerstone of mental toughness. If you’re not sure if you possess EI, or you want to work towards strengthening it, pay attention to qualities like;

  • Not being a perfectionist.
  • Having a work-life balance.
  • Not being easily distracted.
  • Being empathetic.
  • Knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Being self-motivated.
  • Setting hard boundaries.

This was a hard one for me to learn. When I started my online invoicing company, I thought that I had to control everything. I micro-manage employees, oversaw everything and everything had to be perfect. It wasn’t till I let go and learned to enhance others qualities that our business started to grow exponentially.

Related: How To Get The Best Out Of Your Brain At Work

3. They’re not entitled

Do we all deserve the opportunity to be happy or successful? Absolutely. But, that doesn’t mean that it will easily. Mentally tough people realize that they’re not just going to be handed a championship or successful business. They have to earn it through sacrifices, hard work, and patience.

Letting go of entitlement means that when you do face the unexpected, you’ll be better suited to tackle the problem head-on.

4. Flexibility

Those who are mentally tough are able to look for new ways and varied solutions to a problem. Think about an NFL team that has a stagnant offense during the first half of the game. They have to adjust their game plan in order to start putting points on the board. If not, and they’re stubborn, they can expect the same results for the remainder of the game.

In the business world, Nokia has famously pivoted several times in order to remain relevant. They’ve gone from a paper mill to producing rubber boats to a tech giant.

5. They learn from the past but don’t harp on it.

Those who are mentally tough see value in the past. But, they don’t dwell on it. Think of your past like training. Learn from your past (or how others have started a business or make money) so that you don’t make the same mistakes in the future. After that, move on.

Related: Think It. Become It. How Your Thoughts Have Power Over Your Destiny

6. They keep an even keel.

Being calm, cool and collected helps people handle challenging situations. If you’re the type of person who easily gets flustered or stressed, give it some time. Emotional stability tends to increase as we get older.

7. They don’t whine, complain or criticize.

While it’s normal for us to vent from time-to-time, constantly whining, complaining, and criticizing others actually makes us feel even more rotten.

Instead of wasting their time on all of this negativity, mentally tough people focus on making the situation better.

8. They have a sense of urgency.

Mentally tough individuals “remain engaged, alive and connected with a situation when under pressure,” writes Christine M. Riordan is the dean and a professor of management at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. “They are constantly identifying the opportunities, challenges, and threats in the environment.”

However, they don’t sit back and wait to pounce on these opportunities. Instead, “They have a sense of urgency about responding to the changing face of business.”

Related: Purposeful Work: The Six Barriers To Fulfilment In The Workplace

9. They’re consistent.

“It’s great to talk about mental toughness, grit, and perseverance … but what do those things actually look like in the real world?,” asks author, entrepreneur, and photographer James Clear.

“In a word, toughness and grit equal consistency.”

Athletes are consistent when it comes to not missing a workout. Mentally tough leaders are consistent because they set goals and build a team around them. Mentally tough artists, writers, and employees are consistent have set schedules, like doing the most important thing first and not shirking responsibilities.

10. They’re grateful and appreciative.

Instead of worrying what they don’t have, the mentally tough are grateful and appreciative for what they do. For example, if their business failed, they accept it and are thankful for the lessons that they learned, the people that they met, and how they’re going to make things better the next time around.

As the Seattle-based author, Jane Lotter perfectly wrote in a self-written obituary, “May you always remember that obstacles in the path are not obstacles, they ARE the path.”

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the online invoicing company Due. John is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and has been one of the Top 10 Most Influential PPC Experts in the World for the past three years. He currently advises several companies in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Self Development

Listening To These 8 Audiobooks On Success Is A Better Use Of Your Long Commute

Commuting is mostly just unpaid work, unless you make an effort to learn something along the way.

John Boitnott

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Commutes are getting longer, and in some cities they’re up to two hours each way. I have a friend in Los Angeles who does this. He passes the time with audiobooks. Now that’s still a lot of time to be stuck in transit, but he doesn’t view it that way. He says it allows him plenty of time to feed his personal and professional goals.

I’ve spent years listening to literature in the car while commuting, but somewhere along the line I switched over to books on business and personal improvement. I mostly gravitated toward amazing people who built their success from scratch and who experienced tremendous hardship. It stands to reason that if you’re dealing with hardships like a long commute, it’s important to hear motivational words that can help you transcend the difficulties.

Here are eight audiobooks that will help grow your success, both personal and professional, on your next commute:

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Self Development

3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018

Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.

Erik Kruger

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3 Questions To Guide You To Success In 2018

Goal setting as a concept makes perfect sense. At the most basic level you decide on the destination and then plot the way to get there. But as with many things, we like to overcomplicate that which should be simple.

Before you know it, you end up with 2 big goals in 15 different areas of your life and 100 micro goals that will help you reach your 30 big goals.

Complicating something simple. Some of the biggest obstacles to people in reaching their goals are:

  • The overestimate the effort it will take to achieve those goals
  • They want to go from 0-100km/h in the blink of an eye
  • Life is dynamic and static goals often do not make sense
  • They get so entrenched in the day to day running of things that goals get pushed aside.

What if instead of goals, we just focused on giving our best every day?

Of course, you still want to have an indication of where you are going.

But, if you are giving your 100% every day then you can forego the micro goals for a better way of calibrating your compass… using questions.

Related: Goal Setting Guide

I suggest you ask yourself these three questions regularly:

1. What does better look like?

The question at the heart of development and incremental improvement. This question allows you some creative space in which you can imagine a better future.

  • What does better health look like?
  • What does a better business look like?
  • What does better customer service look like?
  • What does better leadership look like?

By reflecting on this question, you materialise the gap between where you are and where you could be. Now, the only thing that is left is to align your daily actions with the better future you imagined.

2. What can I control?

Borrowed from Stoicism this question highlights the power of decision in your life. Epictetus said we should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?”

Once you ask this of yourself regularly you will feel more in control of your life and more in control of your business.

Why?

Because your focus is solely on the things that you can influence. It restores the belief that you can actually impact the world around you in a meaningful way.

3. Was I impeccable with my actions today?

One inherent flaw with goal setting is that the goal setter often feels judged. As if we need more of that. In addition to the constant negative self-talk we have to endure we now have an additional source of judgement – whether we reached our goals or not.

As we discovered in question #2 We cannot control everything. Most of the goals we set have some external component to it. Some component that we cannot control. Yet, we act like we can.

So, instead of judging yourself, commit to giving your best every single day.

Related: The Tim Ferriss Approach to Setting Goals: Rig the Game so You Win


Accountability

What I love most about these questions is that they provide a built-in layer of accountability. Use them every day.

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Self Development

To Be Successful Stay Far Away From These 7 Types of Toxic People

You need a network of talented people, not toxic personalities who undermine you.

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Surrounding yourself with prospective mentors is an excellent way to build lifelong success. When Steve Jobs founded Apple, he learned from colleagues like Steve Wozniak about what it took to build computer hardware. And he learned from early investors like Mike Markkula about what it took to build a successful company and market a product. Now imagine if Jobs had surrounded himself with toxic personalities instead. It is likely that he would not have been able to create a company that is on course to be valued at $1 trillion.

If you interact with people who demonstrate questionable behaviour, you’re more likely to model that behaviour yourself or to become stressed as a result. At the very least, you will be missing out on the opportunity to network with more successful and inspiring individuals.

This article will review seven personality types that should be eliminated from your life in order to build your most successful self. Once these people are gone, you can work on building a network of people who influence you positively.

1. Micromanagers

According to a report by NPR, micromanagement is one of the biggest factors associated with employee dissatisfaction, lowered motivation and lack of professional creativity. To be successful, you must learn to solve problems independently. Micromanaging can make it difficult to develop these skills.

Related: Keep An Eye Out For Toxic Employees

2. Short-term thinkers

If you surround yourself with short-term thinkers, it will be difficult to know if an idea is destined for long-term success. Those who are narrow-minded may be more likely to dismiss one of your ideas because it will take time to develop into a meaningful success.

Take the creation of Airbnb as an example. The company was founded in 2008. At the time the “sharing economy” did not exist, and hotel chains like Starwood and Hilton dominated the lodging market. A short-term thinker would have criticised an idea like Airbnb.

In order for the company to be successful, Airbnb would need to change people’s attitudes and expectations about travel. They would need to encourage people to be comfortable staying with strangers, and they would need to find ways to mitigate possible liability should something tragic happen during a customer’s stay.

Well-respected venture capitalists decided to pass on Airbnb because of these short-term concerns. The Airbnb founders were only able to find success once they connected with people who were comfortable thinking long term.

3. Pessimists

pessimistsPessimism is not always a bad trait; at times it can help entrepreneurs to recognize certain pitfalls that might otherwise be overlooked. However, a steady diet of pessimism is toxic when it comes to taking big professional risks.

As David Armor, an assistant professor of psychology at Yale University, says, “An entrepreneur starting up a company, for example, might drive himself to work 18-hour days for months and even years because he optimistically believes that there will be a big payoff for him at the end.” Conversely, a pessimistic attitude would make it difficult to tolerate such a prolonged stressful situation.

For those interested in taking on stressful professional situations, pessimistic people should be avoided in most cases.

Related: Tips on how to Survive and Thrive in a Toxic Workplace

4. Selfish people

Relationships that contribute to success are mutually beneficial. This dynamic cannot exist when dealing with selfish people. As a result, it is best to eliminate selfish people from your life in order to make room for more giving relationships.

A recent study found that a job applicant who is referred by an existing employee is 15 times more likely to be hired than someone who applies via a job board. If you befriend a selfish person, you probably can’t rely on them to introduce you to new career opportunities. However, forming connections with someone who is altruistic could give you a professional leg up.

5. Risk-averse personalities

Business success is about making informed decisions by weighing risks and rewards. If you are surrounded by people who over-index on possible risks while ignoring the possible rewards, it will be challenging to identify good business opportunities.

Take Amazon as an example. In 2014 Amazon launched a smartphone called the Fire Phone. In the end, the phone was not successful. Following the unsuccessful launch of the Fire Phone, risk-averse people might have avoided developing another piece of computer hardware.

But instead, Amazon correctly assessed the opportunity for an in-home smart speaker, and launched the Amazon Echo just one year later. Today, Echo has 75 percent of the smart-speaker market in the United States.

6. Unmotivated individuals

People who lack motivation or work ethic set a bad example for those interested in working diligently to become a professional success. There is no worse colleague than someone who simply does the bare minimum to get by.

Rather than associate yourself with people who cut corners or avoid hard work, try to surround yourself with people who are motivated to succeed. Collaborating with people who have a healthy drive for success can instill an extra dose of motivation in you.

Related: 3 Strategies for Dealing With Toxic People

7. Spendthrifts

Financial responsibility is a critically important quality to develop if you want to become successful. Warren Buffet is perhaps the supreme example of a financially responsible and successful person.

Buffet is the third wealthiest person in the world, worth nearly $80 billion. But despite his professional success, Buffet does not spend his money on flashy cars or large homes. In fact, Buffet still lives in the modest home in Omaha, Nebraska, that he purchased in 1958.

Those who associate with spendthrifts may be more motivated to make irresponsible financial decisions in order to fit in. At the very least, it will be harder to associate with people who make good financial choices, as these personalities are frequently diametrically opposed.

Conclusion

Business is all about who you know. From landing a new job to launching a new company, your network will enable or prevent future professional success. When developing a network of talented people, it is best to avoid toxic personalities who could set a bad example or demotivate you.

Be sure to avoid people who are micromanagers and short-term thinkers, as they can make it difficult to think autonomously. Risk-averse individuals or pessimists may cause you to think twice about great business ideas, and spendthrifts or selfish people may hamper your ability to grow. Last but not least, stay away from unmotivated individuals, as your success is dependent on your willingness to work diligently in order to succeed.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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