Mental toughness is about more than just having resilience and control in difficult situations. It relates to a psychological frame of mind that endorses confidence and commitment to success. In his book Developing Mental Toughness, the psychologist Peter Clough describes mental toughness as a combination of the following:
- The amount of control a person believes they have over their life and emotions;
- How much commitment is placed upon achieving goals despite hardship;
- Being able to see potential threats as opportunities for self-development;
- Continuing to strive in changing environments;
- The level of confidence a person has in succeeding despite setbacks.
Mental toughness levels are influenced by many different factors. While genetics are partly responsible, a person’s environment is also relevant. For example, both positive experiences while you’re young and mental toughness training programmes have been found to make people mentally tougher.