Developing Mental Resilience
Judge Napolitano, the former New Jersey Supreme Court judge and frequent television news commentator has experienced a lot of setbacks in his life as well as had many successes.
And Napolitano has a firm belief that the key to riding out the storm of temporary problems, which every captain of industry and successful career man or woman experiences, is having a strong degree of mental resilience.
So what are some of the key principles the judge believes in that will help people mentally toughen up?
According to top psychologists, there are 8 essential traits.
1. Strive to achieve a meaningful goal
People who strive to achieve meaningful goals are much more resilient than people without a passionate goal to strive for.
And this goal must be truly your own authentic goal. If you strive to become a general in the Army, as many people have been led to do, do it because you really want to be a general, not because your father or grandfather was a general.
Choosing the right goal serves as a laser beacon to guide you in the right direction, no matter how many setbacks you have had.
Abraham Lincoln, for example, failed in many pursuits in his life, but he kept stretching his goals higher and higher until he eventually was elected to be president of the US.
2. Challenge every belief
People who succeed are people who challenge all the basic assumptions. For example, it is said that during Marconi’s time, people were wondering how to create radio and not be distorted by resistance in the air.
Marconi succeeded because he flat out didn’t believe there was any resistance.
3. Be mentally flexible
Judge Napolitano advises against being stubborn, especially as you get older. Being too rigid in your beliefs keeps you from achieving your goals.
4. Grow through suffering
Reaching for your goals often results in temporary suffering. Suffering is normal, and the less you resist it, the less suffering you’ll experience.
5. Fake it till you make it
Most people fear the journey, but the resilient ones keep on pushing.
To combat the fear, “Fake it till you make it.” Pretty soon that fear will subside.
6. Soften your emotions
It’s not that you want to become an emotionless robot, but emotions get in the way of most people reaching their goals.
Ask yourself constantly, “is what I am feeling really so bad?”
Bad feelings are uncomfortable, but they can be minimized by genuinely analyzing what you are feeling is so bad. The sooner you ask, the sooner the negative emotions subside.
7. Believe in yourself.
Psychologists term this agency. The more you believe in yourself, the more likely it is that lots of people around you will believe too.
8. Have a network of friends and family that you can count on
It can be pretty lonely during the journey and the more you have a network of people you can intimately share your inner feelings with, the stronger you will become.