Mental toughness is a skill that anyone can learn regardless of military service. It just takes dedication and discipline to achieve, the hardest of which is discipline simply because civilians don’t really need to be disciplined in order to function but without discipline, the military begins to fall apart. But gaining discipline isn’t just exclusive to service members you can start by setting a schedule for yourself and by following it – make your bed every morning, fold your clothes, keep your room clean, start going to the gym.
1. You have to go outside of your comfort zone once you get used to things that normally would make you uncomfortable then you start to develop mental toughness. Mental toughness is, as inferred, a state of mind. Mental toughness is resilience, and the ability to stick to something regardless of obstacles, to be goal-oriented, to be always trying to improve, to be dependable and consistent. Any human can develop mental toughness by setting goals, pushing oneself a little harder, and working for small victories.
2. Being true to oneself is what keeps people on goals, sticking to a workout regimen, attempting marathons, triathlons, new hobbies, dropping bad habits, and picking up new habits. Mentally tough people know what is good for themselves, their future, and are willing to show discipline, patience, and sacrifice to achieve their objectives. This is why we often see the most successful people are not the ones with natural talent, but those that had to overcome obstacles through hard work, focus, and dedication to achieve their goals.
3. The military does a great job of tapping into the motivation and personal goals of an individual. If you want to be a paratrooper, a GARUD, a MARCOS, or a PARA SF you must volunteer, train for, discipline yourself, and prove that you are mentally tough. In PARA SF probation – limited sleep, long walks, limited food, and stresses of leadership are piled on the volunteers to see if they will stand up to the pressure or quit. GARUD and MARCOS training offer similar challenges to see who will quit and who has “grit”. Mentally tough candidates do not quit.
4. The military also taps into the other driver or motivator for mental toughness i.e. a higher cause. A deep loyalty and willingness to sacrifice for the mission and the soldiers they fight alongside is stamped on their souls. “The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.” This is known as the “Chetwode Motto” and is the motto of the officers passing out from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
5. Military training and battle experience impart physical toughness, to be sure. However, the way the military handles matters of the mind is to eradicate emotions, banish doubts, and obey unquestioningly. Without an unbroken chain of command, the whole military apparatus crumbles under its own weight. The individual soldier’s mind is more liability than an asset, as far as the military machine is concerned. If a soldier starts out with a tough mind, the military will try to break it during training, so that it doesn’t happen during the stress of combat, when a clear head tends to be the difference between life and death, victory or defeat.
6. Mental toughness is more about mental and emotional stability. The easiest way to be brave is to be fearless, and the easiest way to have faith is to vanquish doubt. However, avoiding thoughts and feelings could be seen as mental weakness. True bravery is an outgrowth of fear–true faith an outgrowth of doubt. Mental toughness might, instead, be argued to be the ability to resist various mind control techniques, such as those used to sustain rigid hierarchies and other forms of psychological manipulation.
7. A tough mind should be one that can withstand pressures from within and without. The toughest mind can curb the most compelling of impulses and quell the greatest of temptations. It can endure anguish, ambivalence, uncertainty, and absurdity without resorting to a false sense of security or succumbing to panic and desperation. Don’t cop-out. Don’t cave in.
8. The 40% rule. When you’re totally exhausted and can’t go any further, you’ve only exhausted about 40% of your actual capability. Sleep deprivation, running, emotional exhaustion, pain tolerance – this applies to everything. We think we’re done and we’re not even half-way there.
9. The monumental effort toward an immediate goal. If you’re struggling, don’t think about or work toward large goals. Muster up and drive relentlessly, spending all your energy, toward the most immediate visible goal. You will crush the task at hand and when you reach the goal you’ll have built momentum. Now do exactly the same thing with the next immediate visible goal. Start each day with something difficult and uncomfortable. Establish your momentum early.
10. The 5 am club is also something that will help the young defence aspirants with mental toughness. Sports are the best way to learn and teach mental toughness. The right situation and the right coach can help a young person understand goals, practice, teamwork, competition, and most importantly, failure. Mental toughness is about getting through tough stretches and overcoming failure. Sports provide those obstacles. There’s nothing better than watching a young kid begin to confidently navigate through them.
You can prepare for defence entrance exams such as NDA, AFCAT, INET, and CDS by taking Written Online courses as they will not only give you access to full-length quality lectures but will also provide the facility to take standardized mock tests for better study and strategic growth in the exam. You can take multiple quizzes after each lesson to ensure the full understanding of the subject along with creating your customized lesson plans. You can check out the course content along with other important specifics at SSBCrackExams.
You can also access them through the SSBCrackExams App available in the google play store. Jai Hind.