Being ‘mentally tough’ has many proven benefits with improved performance, positivity and stress management amongst them. However being too mentally tough can become a disadvantage with potential issues outweighing the benefits. It’s a question of balance.
The MTQ48 psychometric tool measures mental toughness through a simple but scientifically valid four pillar framework we call the 4 C’s. Each pillar represents a relevant contemporary mindset characteristic:
- Control represents self-efficacy and emotional control – your ability to effectively manage yourself and your emotions
- Commitment is a commitment to action, to making it happen, setting goals, being focused and productive, consistently – all essential components in achieving your desired outcomes
- Challenge is about discovery – being adaptable to new situations, driven to be the best you can be in extending your comfort zone and building your personal capacity.
- Confidence is your self-belief in your ability to positively complete tasks and influence others to do the same.
All four mindset characteristics are essential for you to exploit your current opportunities and explore new ones.
However, it’s a question of balance.
Being too mentally tough can turn strengths into weaknesses.
- Scoring too highly on ‘life control’ and ’emotional control’ can suggest you are strong but potentially too rigid with no flex when required. Similarly, managing your emotions too effectively can make you devoid of emotional responses leaving you aloof and detached.
- You can be too focused and too committed on a goal, not able to see the Daniel Simon’s invisible Gorilla in his famous experiment or able to prioritise effectively as circumstances change.
- Similarly too high on ‘challenge’ accentuates your boredom for routine and desire for change. You can risk take and purposely sabotage yourself to create interest and intrigue.
- Being too confident in your own ability can create an unrealistic assessment of your own ability and, without a touch of humility, you are percieved as arrogant, which quickly causes friction around you.
So, whilst I would strongly recommend that most people develop their mental toughness, for some, a significant minority, it’s about softening their approach and becoming less mentally tough.
It’s a question of balance.