5 Expert-Approved Ways To Build Up Your Mental Toughness

The problem is you think you are your thoughts. And more often than not, you think you are the negative thoughts. You know, those rampant and relentless streams of thoughts that happily inform you that you look fat today, or that you are ugly, or that you are good for nothing – or heaven forbid, all of the above (and then some)!

When you think AND believe that what these thoughts are saying is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, you’re in trouble. It means you have identified and assigned yourself with what the thought tells you that you are, or what you are not, causing pain, suffering and being enslaved by your mind. 

So what’s the solution? Mind surgery? Positive thinking? Magic pills?

Not in my book. There are no quick fixes, silver bullets or obsessing over positive affirmations. The answer resides in mastering your mind, so here’s how to begin mastering yours…

1. Un-identify Yourself From The Thoughts

First, you need to separate yourself from identifying with the negative thoughts. I get it, not an easy task when you’ve done this for umpteen years, but there’s no time like the present, right?

Let’s use an example; you know for sure that you are a woman, but a thought pops into your head and says you’re a man. But because you are so clear and sure that you are a woman, you hear the thought, dismiss that it’s true and get on with living your life as a woman. Simple.

Well, the simplicity of this example can be applied to any other thought – the not good enough thoughts, the unworthy thoughts, the “I need to be perfect thoughts.” The key is to be so clear and sure on who you are, which will also make it clear who you’re not (aka, those pesky thoughts). When you know who you are, the negative thoughts can’t penetrate with the same power and potency they once had.

2. You Have A Choice (So Make It A Good One)

You might think you have no control over your thoughts, but you do.

For example, the “I’m not good enough” thoughts start barging in, and previously you would have got sucked into them and bought into their stories of how incapable you are. Except now, you realise you have the choice to stop yourself from falling down the dark hole of depression, anxiety or stress by asking yourself, “Is this true? Is this really who I am or am I just playing games with myself? If these thoughts aren’t me, then who am I and who do I want to be?”

By asking these questions and making the time to answer them, you’ve taken yourself out of the mind game and instead, using your mind (mastery) to focus on building yourself up rather than tearing yourself down. 

3. What Do You Want?

To help yourself make empowered choices and refocus when you’re mind is attempting to play tricks on you, knowing what you want will be your ally.

So let’s presume you know what you want, and part of that is living in alignment to your true nature and speaking your truth. Living this way of life feels right for you, authentic and peaceful. But the negative thoughts start marching in, telling you to people please because it’s better to be liked than to be yourself. They’ll say that you’ll upset others by speaking up and that no one will care what you’ve got to say anyway.

But lucky for you, you’re the master of your mind, and you recognise you’re just playing tricks on yourself. That moment of recognition is your key to making the choice to check-in with yourself, refocus and put your attention back to what it is you want. 

4. Patience, Dedication And Consistency

You know the old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” – attesting to the need for time to create great things? Well, the same goes for mastering your mind.

Patience, dedication and consistency are required to un-identify yourself from negative thoughts, make empowered choices and choosing to focus on your wants. You must remember, for years, maybe even decades, you’ve been enslaved to your mind, thinking that you don’t have any power over it and are at the mercy of every thought that enters your head.

You’ll have setbacks, moments of weakness and times where you’ll fall victim to the negative thoughts. It’s okay, it happens to us all. Just remember that the dark (negative thoughts) denies your life in the light. They’re not real, they’re just exceptionally cunning.

5. Meditate Mate

I think of meditation as tuning into the best radio station in the world with the highest frequency. A station that has the wisest talkback, a station that plays songs that make your heart smile and soul light up – a station that connects you to your true self. 

When you drop an intention to focus on in meditation, such as self-confidence, self-expression or my ultimate life, you’ve tuned the station to playback powerful visuals, send inspiring messages and to create an enlightening experience of what you and your life can be like. Couple the intention with emotive music (like this) and you’re on your way to 5, 10 or 15 minutes of uninterrupted bliss – a period of time where negative thoughts have less chance of playing their tricks.

A daily practice will serve you well (but you already knew that). Lululemon deserves a shout out here. Throughout my time as an ambassador, they have asked me to take over their Instagram live and spread messages of hope, self-kindness, empowered living and thinking to their community. Their dedication to uplifting the minds and hearts of the community is second to none and is something I am super proud to be part of. 

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