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Mentally tough people focus on outcomes and ensuring they achieve them. So, the one word they use all the time to prevent themselves from being distracted or diverted is ….. NO

This simple word ‘no’ means they are more selfish and fiercely protective of their time and energy than the rest of us.

They more often prioritise helping themselves over helping others because the opportunity cost of not doing so is greater.

They want to meet their goals and targets and by helping others or taking on too many projects they may not have the mental or physical capacity to do so.

Obviously it is a balance and a judgement call. Sometimes assisting others can help them to achieve their own immediate or long term goals and so take a higher priority. Other times they do so for the sake of good teamwork or leadership. But mostly they are too focused on their own thing and say ‘no’ when asked to help or give of their time. This doesn’t make them popular or likeable but it does make them successful.

To illustate the benefit of this approach the reasonably successful Warren Buffet was quoted as saying:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

Paul Lyons is an experienced CEO who coaches leaders to improve their performance and wellbeing by developing their mindset and building mental toughness.

Mental Toughness is a plastic personality trait which means it can be developed.

Building Mental Toughness generally happens by learning to handle stress more effectively through making fundamental changes to the way you think about problems and by learning the tactics and strategies that mentally tough people use.