Archive for the ‘self-belief’ Tag


Scott Barry Kaufman authored an outstanding article on the topic of mental toughness for Scientific American. In the article, Kaufman examines the history of “mental toughness” in athletics as a field of inquiry. He also summarizes Graham Jones’ research findins that mental toughness has the following elements (ranked in order of importance):

1.Unshakeable self-belief in your ability to achieve competition goals.
2.Ability to bounce back from performance set-backs as a result of an increased determination to succeed.
3.Unshakeable self-belief that you possess unique qualities and abilities that make you better than your opponents.
4.Insatiable desire and internalized motives to succeed.
5.Remaining fully focused on the task at hand in the face of competition-specific distractions.
6.Regaining psychological control following unexpected, uncontrollable events.
7.Pushing back the boundaries of physical and emotional pain, while still maintaining technique and effort under distress during training and competition.
8.Accepting that competition anxiety is inevitable and knowing that you can cope with it.
9.Not being adversely affected by other’s good and bad performances.
10.Thriving on the pressure of competition.
11.Remaining fully focused in the face of personal life distractions.
12.Switching sport focus on and off as required

Kaufman also reviews research that suggests mental toughness has four dimensions:
1.Hope: The unshakeable self-belief in one’s ability to achieve competition goals.
2.Optimism: A general expectancy that good things will happen.
3.Perseverance: Consistency in achieving one’s goals and not giving up easily when facing adversity of difficulties.
4.Resilience: The ability to adapt to challenges in the environment.

This article is well worth your time to read! Check it out! Read the full article HERE.