“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

To reach life goals you have to be determined, focused and ready to overcome disappointments and setbacks. This doesn’t mean you have to be superhuman to succeed. Of course there will be times of disappointment and moments when you feel weak and ineffective. But it’s how you develop your strength of character, thought processes, and positive power in order to move forward.

Mentally strong people learn this very early in life, usually in their school days. They know that they have total control of their thoughts, behaviour and feelings and consider everything else to be secondary. Once you learn how to improve your thoughts, feelings and behavioural patterns, there’s nothing that can demotivate you or hold you back from achieving your professional goals. Success follows when you put your energy and focus towards achieving this control.

Learn to acknowledge that your mood can dictate the value of your actions

Talk to someone who is neutral in your situation, and who can help you evaluate your fears, beliefs, and aspirations. Feelings of negativity can happen to even the strongest – and the best way to handle them is to acknowledge these feelings and talk them out with somebody who has the practicality and wisdom to give you valuable and workable feedback.

Understanding that external factors are not always to blame

There will always be aspects of a situation that you cannot entirely control. However, these are not the elements you should necessarily blame. It’s how you respond to adversity that directs events. So do not succumb – use the repertoire of tools in your emotional pack to analyse, assess, and execute thoughtful decisions.

Realise how powerful your thoughts can be – either way

Negative thoughts and positive thoughts are like two weights on a scale. What you want to do, is tip the scale in favour of positive thinking. Once you know this, you can take control. And once you grasp you are easily able to this, you will begin building your emotional strengths in a way that your approach to engagement, teamwork, disputes, relationships, will change. And change for the better.

Learn to know yourself – honestly

You are the key to own mental strength. Be intentional when seeking the truth behind your actions, feelings and emotions that cause you weak moments. Keep a journal and list all the things that tend to freak you out. Once you pull negativity, anger, resentment, or any sense of injustice out into the open and confront these feelings, you will begin to see that much of what you find onerous in your life, may really just be the way you are perceiving a situation or another person’s actions. You must be able to perceive the kind of elements that sabotage your ability to interact positively with those around you, and which may hold back your ability to respond with confidence and motivation to events.

Emotional control means you make a better impression

Once people see you are able to take charge of failures and setbacks, they will judge you on your positive abilities – and this will resonate throughout your career. If plans don’t work at first go, don’t let it affect your career, rather return to the drawing board, replan, regroup and attack again. Business thrives on gumption – and that requires vision, emotional strength, and unwavering focus. Mentally tough people don’t let negative circumstances affect them; they learn how to keep their emotions in check.

Emotional intelligence is your support system in dealing with challenges

Challenges should be seen as growth opportunities. Handling opposition should be done with best results in mind, for all sides. Understanding another’s point of view, or at least listening to it, is the way you can build and assess information. Emotional strength means making the right decisions, both for any situation, and for your career. There’s an old saying that says there’s nothing you cannot achieve if you put your mind to it. Decision-making skills and respect for others, are two important keys to your strength of mind.

The routines that can build emotional strength

  • Take small steps: challenge yourself to do one difficult thing every day. Face your fears one small step at a time.
  • Work through tough situations: determination and perseverance shine when you are seen to apply yourself. People will notice and eventually acknowledge these qualities in you; your self-esteem will rises along with your confidence – and these emotions are the true boosters of career drive.
  • Manage self-doubt: uncertainty will arise from time to time, but mental strength built over time with exercise and intention, will overcome these moments. Always expect them, always be prepared.
  • Nurture mental strength as the fundament of courage: It takes courage to step outside of your comfort zone and face your fears head-on. After all, there’s no guarantee that the risks you’ll take will turn out the way you want. Trusting in yourself is the first rule.
  • Take advice: other people are useful sources of information and example. But again, consider your own views as equally important, and the stronger your emotions, the easier you will find it to make decisions.
  • Learn from your mistakes: be humble, not everything you do will be perfect. You will make mistakes, but you must the power to return more invigorated to your task, and with greater understanding.
  • Continually measure your emotional strength: this will help you develop the vital techniques and attitudes you will need to keep your career moving forward.
  • Let failure simply be a directive of eventual success: never give up after failure. Your mental muscle must work even harder, and find new avenues of exploration and experiment. Failure teaches us to learn more about ourselves, our strengths, our vision and purpose.