When the going gets tough and nine other ancient proverbs about mentally tough people

Ancient proverbs. Old wise sayings. Old wives tales. We all grew up with these simple statements often based around common sense. These are my favourite top ten ancient proverbs that relate to mental toughness and the MTQ48 4C’s of Control, Commitment, Challenge and Confidence.

Let me know if I have missed your favourite ancient proverb.

1.  “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”

This proverb says it all about mentally tough people – they switch on and perform when the pressure’s on.

2.  “You reap what you sow”

A great overarching proverb that describes how your actions have consequences. When you do good things, good things happen and when you do bad things, bad things happen.

3.  “Look before you leap”

Mentally tough people are high in control and make decisions that are considered and careful.

4.  “Misery loves company”

Those people low in emotional control find it difficult to keep their emotions in check.

5.  “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”

This is a popular proverb and the cornerstone of Commitment.

6.  “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

Mentally tough people are committed to setting goals and targets and achieving them. They achieve the big goals by breaking them into smaller more achievable goals.

7.  “Fortune favours the brave”

Mentally tough people high in Challenge are open to new opportunities and will take risks to achieve them.

8.  “Every cloud has a silver lining”

When they experience a setback mentally tough people take it in their stride and make it an opportunity.

9.  “Practice makes perfect”

My mother used to repeat this one more than any other proverb. Purposeful practicemakes you very good at what you do and builds your confidence in your abilities.

10.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

Mentally tough people are confident in their ability to influence other people through building rapport and understanding their situation.

And a bonus extra proverb about wellbeing. Mentally tough people understand how to replenish and rejuvenate themselves to ensure they can perform consistently over the long term.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”

Published by Paul Lyons

Paul is an experienced chief executive, leadership coach and mental toughness professional and you can reach him at paullyons.com or mentaltoughness.partners

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