I used to be a mental wimp…
No, seriously. About 10 years ago, I was a total mental weakling. I couldn’t go for long without AC, my work ethic was equivalent to that of a 60’s stoner, and the thought of a cold shower just about made me pass out.
Ok, I might be exaggerating a little bit, but I can PROMISE you I wasn’t mentally tough.
Today, I train with heavy weights 4x a week, have taken cold showers (almost) every day for more than half a decade, worked countless 16 hour days to build my 7-figure business, and have generally become way tougher mentally and physically.
If I can do it, anyone can.
Here’s how I boosted my mental strength and how you can to.
1. Start with Small Discomforts
If you aren’t currently mentally tough then trying to take on too much at once will force you to fall back into your old habits and abandon all hope of becoming a Navy SEAL like badass.
So before you go taking 20 minute ice baths, training like the Rock, or working all day long, start small.
Even little things can help you build your mental strength.
Something as small as doing 15 pushups every morning and adding one more pushup every day that you wake up is a great way to get started.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Sit in the car without the AC or heating on.
Make your bed every morning. Clean your home or apartment before you go to sleep for the night.
Start your morning with a 10 minute walk outside instead of checking Facebook and Instagram.
Make a list of 15–20 small things that you can do throughout the week and then commit to doing one of them every day for the next 30 days. This will provide you with a foundation for mental toughness that will last you a life- time.
2. Embrace the Extremes
The two best ways to build mental toughness are extreme heat and extreme cold.
Namely, Saunas and cold showers.
Neither of these activities will kill you (unless you have some crazy health condition) but they suck… And they suck hard.
Which is why they’re the perfect way to boost your mental toughness.
Saunas have been shown to have a countless number of benefits for your body from slower aging to improved synthesis of muscle and HGH to clearer complexion.
Starting with a 15-minute sauna session every day if you have access to one is a great way to build your mental toughness.
On the other side of the spectrum, cold showers (the health benefits of which have been wildly overstated) are a great way to build your mental toughness every morning.
Start out with 60 seconds of cold water before switching it to hot and work your way up until you can take a 7– 10-minute shower without turning the knob to hot.
Do these two things for 30 days and your mental strength will double, I promise.
I know it might seem weird, but one of the best ways to boost your mental toughness is to meditate.
Sitting down and thinking about nothing other than your breath is way harder than you might imagine and the temptation to quit a session early, peak at the clock, or drift off into a daydream about a romantic entanglement with your favorite celeb can feel overwhelming.
With just 10 minutes a day, this practice will not only help you boost your mental toughness, but it will actually build up your prefrontal cortex, make you smarter, more empathetic, improve your memory, and reduce systemic inflammation.
Not too bad for sitting down and shutting up, huh?
4. Take on a Big Challenge
The best way to build your mental toughness is to push yourself to do something you literally don’t believe you can do.
Whether it’s a marathon, Spartan Race, bench pressing 225 lbs. (or 315 for you stronger gents) or anything else, pick something that scares you shitless and commit to it.
Don’t do something so crazy that you’ll hurt yourself, but push yourself beyond what you believe you’re capable of and come out on the other side victorious.
The elation you’ll feel and the mental strength you’ll have cultivated will be incalculable.
5. Give Up Your Biggest Vices for a Month
Whether it’s TV, cigarettes, marijuana, porn, alcohol, or some other activity/substance, find the one thing that you know isn’t truly serving you that you LOVE and give it up for 30 days.
You don’t have to give it up for life, but taking a month to consciously abstain from something that you know isn’t accelerating your life is a great way to build your mental toughness and improve your general quality of life.
I’ve done this personally with video games, porn, alcohol, and social media and the benefits were tremendous.
When you’re done with this challenge, you will not only have a greater level of mental toughness, but you’ll be able to balance your vices in a healthier way that allows you to enjoy them without being controlled by them.
These are just a few of the many ways you can build your mental toughness.
I hope this helps.