Building mental resilience is crucial for high performers and can be cultivated by overcoming unexpected challenges, according to author Polina Marinova Pompliano. Drawing insights from extreme athletes, she suggests strategies such as embracing daily hardships, personifying pain, and reframing struggles to increase mental toughness.
- One way to build resilience is by intentionally undertaking challenging tasks daily, a practice termed “elective hardship”. This could range from running when you don’t want to, or practicing public speaking if it makes you uncomfortable.
- A further technique is to personify pain. Extreme athletes like endurance runner Courtney Dauwalter view pain as an actual location (“pain cave”) to enter and eventually emerge from, which helps them manage extreme discomfort.
- Reframing hardships positively is another resilience-building approach. It’s about viewing moments of difficulty as adventures or opportunities for personal growth.
- Mental resilience isn’t inborn but can be developed, akin to exercising a muscle. Introducing voluntary friction or discomfort into daily life helps prepare for major life challenges.
- These strategies enable people to cope better with life’s unexpected adversities, improving their overall mental resilience and ability to navigate difficult situations.