April 23, 2024 8 min read

“You need to be mentally tough.”

“You need to be mentally strong.”

“Successful people all have that one thing that sets them apart from everybody else – mental toughness.”

We’ve all heard it before…

…and while it all sounds great…

It doesn’t answer the question that still remains…

What is mental toughness, and do you really need it?

Today, I’m going to answer those questions…

…and even show you how to start building mental toughness too.

But the problem most people have is how they define mental toughness.

They normally think of mental toughness as a synonym for words like “grit” or “fortitude."

But by doing so, they completely overlook massive elements of what makes mental toughness so powerful.

Yes, grit and fortitude are a big part of mental toughness.

But so are other skills like perseverance, discipline, and self-belief. I believe all of these skills come together to form the true meaning of mental toughness.

Mental toughness is not just a skill or tool used to overcome obstacles and challenges…

To me, that would make mental toughness the same thing as resilience.

Will mental toughness help you overcome obstacles & challenges in your life?


But mental toughness can do much more for you than that.

Mental toughness is the single most important skill you need to build the life you’ve always wanted for yourself … and it can also help you cultivate several other important skills like self-worth and confidence.

I truly believe that mental toughness is the ability to be in complete control of your thoughts, actions, and mind … regardless of the external conditions or circumstances in your life.

…and when you look at mental toughness in this light…

It should be very clear as to why you need to have it.

Mental toughness is something that sits dormant inside of every one of us, waiting to be utilized…

…and it is the exact skill you need to take complete control of your life.

However, none of this information is useful without the knowledge of how to build and harness mental toughness.

How Do You Develop Mental Toughness?

Mental toughness isn’t something you can buy.

Mental toughness isn’t something you can subscribe to and immediately unlock all its features.

It takes work … and a lot of it.

Mental toughness is a skill.

And like any other skill … It takes conscious and intentional reps to become proficient at it.

If you can execute on these six things … I can promise that you will develop mental toughness.

1. Pay Attention To The Small Details to Build Mental Toughness

Mentally tough people understand that the seemingly small and “insignificant” details … are just as important as the big ones.

You may think that leaving behind one dirty dish is not a big deal…

You may think that tossing a shirt on the bedroom floor and getting back around to it later isn’t a problem…

You may think that ignoring a complaint from one customer is okay since it’s just one person…

But what happens when you accept these lower standards and continue to repeat these actions over time?

They become habits.

One dirty dish leads to a full sink of dirty dishes.

One shirt on your floor leads to an entire pile.

Ignoring one customer leads into pissing off enough to ruin your entire business.

But even more importantly…

If you accept a lower standard and cut corners when it comes to the “small” tasks…

You are building a habit out of executing at a lower standard…

Which means you’re GUARANTEED to cut corners when it comes to the important tasks.

Every time you give in to the urge to cut a corner on the small details…

You are passing up on an opportunity to exercise discipline and mental toughness.

Get it?

Taking care of the small details every single time is the true embodiment of mental toughness.

It’s taking control of the mental conversation you’re having about ignoring or skipping over the detail … and executing at a high level regardless.

Every small detail is an opportunity to build mental toughness.

They are deposits that will eventually lead to an extraordinary amount of wealth in terms of your mental toughness and control.

Never skip over the small details.

2. Stop Making Excuses

The only way you’re ever going to achieve any level of success in life is if you do the work.

We all know this, and yet … we still come up with every single possible reason as to why we can’t do the work.

“I don’t have the money.”

“I don’t have the support.”

“I’m not smart enough.”

“I don’t have the perfect plan.”

If you’re being honest with yourself…

You can recall plenty of times where you’ve caught yourself making excuses like these.

What you must understand is that the conditions will NEVER be ideal.

If they are … consider it a blessing, because 99.99% of the time they will not be.

The only way you’re ever going to accomplish anything significant is by eliminating your excuses and taking action.

Mentally tough people understand that all excuses boil down to not wanting to do the work…

But if you’re ever going to build mental toughness…

You have to silence these excuses and do the work anyway.

The more accustomed you become to putting in the work regardless of the excuses that you present yourself with…

The more mental toughness you will cultivate.

3. Develop a Routine To Build Mental Toughness

The average person sees a routine as mundane and boring…

…and you know what? It is.

But you know what else it is? Productive & efficient.

Consider that one benefit of building a routine…

You’ll accomplish a lot more than you could without one.

But what does sticking to a routine have to do with mental toughness?


I often talk about one of the most important components of success being the ability to “master the monotonous.”

It’s true … and the same can be said for building mental toughness.

Success is not the result of taking one or two big actions that catch you a break and catapult you to the end zone.

That’s just what all the “success gurus” will try to convince you of on the internet to sell you their “secret” and make a quick dollar off of your ignorance and impatience.

Real, long-term success is the result of consistent, repeated actions over the course of a long time … and a much longer time than you may think.

Building mental toughness, and any other skill, is no different.

Michael Jordan didn’t pick up a basketball twice and become the champion he was. He dedicated every single day of his life to becoming the greatest basketball player to step on the court.

So … what makes you think that building mental toughness will be any different?

It won’t be.

By creating a daily routine…

…and even more importantly, ADHERING to your daily routine…

You are building mental toughness by mastering the monotonous tasks you promised to yourself you’d do regardless of how much you don’t want to do them…

…and regardless of how difficult the external conditions make it for you to execute on those tasks.

I personally use the Power List method to adhere to my daily routine.

I determine and create 5 Critical Tasks to accomplish every day that will move my life forward.

This isn’t a “to-do” list like taking out the trash, or brushing your teeth.

These are tasks that will actually move you closer to your goals.

It could be working out…

Reading 10 pages of a self-development book…

Completing a specific work task…

Anything that will be productive toward creating the life you ultimately want for yourself.

The Power List is a system I created myself and have used for years.

If you want to learn more about the Power List, you can listen to this episode of my podcast, Real AF.

You can also get your own Power List Daily Planner here.

Just remember…

Create a routine and stick to it.

This will help you build a significant amount of mental toughness.

4. Learn to Accept Constructive Criticism

Our natural instinct is to become defensive whenever we’re criticized … even if that criticism is meant to be constructive.

The average person is unable to overcome their pride and ego to move past this point.

Instead of considering the criticism carefully and utilizing it to make themselves better…

They put up a wall…

Avoid any form of self-reflection…

…and ultimately limit their progress because of it.

Understand that an important component to being mentally tough is the ability to swallow your pride and have difficult conversations with yourself in order to improve.

Now … there is a fine line you have to be conscious of here.

Not all criticism is constructive.

Some is … some isn’t.

You have to be able to delineate between criticism that’s actually constructive, and comes from someone who has the intention of helping you improve…

…and criticism that isn’t constructive, and comes from a place of envy or misunderstanding.

The same is true of criticism from yourself.

The truth is…

You aren’t as good as you think you are.

You aren’t as bad as you think you are either.

You’re likely somewhere in the middle.

Control your ego and accept any and all forms of criticism that are designed to help you improve.

This is something all mentally tough people understand very well.

5. Challenge Yourself to Build Mental Toughness

Safety and comfort are the enemies of progress.

Everyone wants more out of life … but most people aren’t willing to experience any degree of discomfort.

They are terrified of opening themselves up to look stupid and risk the potential of failure.

They overwhelm themselves with “what if” thoughts which paralyzes them from ever taking action.

Only … cultivating true mental toughness requires you to get uncomfortable.

It’s through consistently facing discomfort that you are able to get better and build mental resilience.

So if you want to build mental toughness…

There is no better way to start other than by challenging yourself and getting uncomfortable.

Work an extra hour every day…

Train for and complete a physical challenge like a marathon…

Have the difficult conversations you’ve been avoiding…

Getting uncomfortable is a valuable tool you can utilize to build mental toughness.

6. Hold Yourself Accountable

As I mentioned, mental toughness is something that must be built and maintained in order to be effective.

Just like any other skill, mental toughness is perishable.

Meaning, if you don’t constantly train your mental toughness…

You will start to lose it.

No one is going to hold your hand through this process.

No one is going to check in on you.

It’s up to you to hold yourself accountable to your actions … and building mental toughness goes hand in hand with your ability to do so.

It’s showing up to execute, especially when you’d rather do anything else.

It’s in these moments that you are building mental toughness.

Whatever you need to do to make sure you maintain the promises you make to yourself and hold yourself accountable … I suggest you do it.

Whether it’s keeping a visual reminder of your “why”...

Utilizing your friends or family to help hold you accountable…

Creating a ritual to keep yourself on track…

Having a strategy to hold yourself accountable is crucial.

Start Building Mental Toughness Now

I understand that it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to building mental toughness.

For a long time, there was no step by step guide or program that could help people develop this skill and build upon it from there.

That’s why I created 75 HARD.

75 HARD is a free program used by hundreds of thousands of people to develop mental toughness … and take complete control of their lives for good.

Through a variety of daily tasks that require your 100% commitment and discipline, 75 HARD will help you build mental toughness along with several other skills you need to succeed in anything you do…

Confidence, self-belief, self-worth, grit, fortitude, and mental toughness are just a few of those skills.

So if you’re ready to start your journey toward becoming mentally tough and want more information regarding 75 HARD … you can read more here.

My promise to you is this…

If you read through these steps and execute on them exactly as they’re laid out in the program … I guarantee that you will reap the benefits of mental toughness.

Don’t believe me? I wrote an entire book on mental toughness.

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