Articles

Mental Toughness — Why Women Need It

When I was a kid, I used to spend hours (literally) playing all sorts of string games. The great thing about this childhood pastime was that you could do it alone (or with a friend).

It was one of those rare games that was adaptable to playing in a variety of settings (home or school or in the car).

Have string will travel. 🙂

Spotting this book photo, I considered how much fun a piece of string can bring when it is….

Knotted tightly.
Cut to a specific length.
Moved in exact, precise positions.
Becomes second nature to execute.

A lot like nurturing a mind that’s characterized by “mental toughness.”

I first heard this phrase used in conjunction with smart, effective caregiving about five years ago when Dr. Foetisch listed the must-dos of taking care of others (from his professional and personal perspective).

I liked the phrase then, I like it even more now.

Though some might balk at women making concerted effort to develop “mental toughness,” I can hardly think of another more valuable commodity.

As times get harder, women don’t have a choice about whether or not they’ll be facing down increasingly more difficult challenges. None. At. All.

Mental toughness is just what the doctor ordered because in today’s world women need to hone that skill of reframing setbacks, losses, disappointments, and heartache by facing them head-on, considering how to move through (rather than avoiding) each one; and finally, intentionally looking for something of value in every circumstance (giving liberal thanks along the way).

What does it look like when women embrace mental toughness?

You never give up.
You are resilient
.
You embrace the possibilities, not the problems.
You recognize that everyone is facing a difficult battle (or many).
You keep trying to make a difference one person, task, choice at a time.
You understand that life is a marathon journey of making consistent good decisions every day (all through the day).
You look for the lessons and learn from your mistakes, but aren’t paralyzed by them.
You refuse to be bound by the hurt others have inflicted on you (unintentionally or intentionally).

In short, women who are mentally tough decide to string together all of life’s experiences (the good and bad alike) and draw from each to live life with focused intentionality.

Knotted up or smoothed out, frayed or finely finished, working toward a second nature response to life’s “tangles” is what being mentally tough is all about (and honing this perspective has blessings and benefits of undetermined length).

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