Written by: Chivon John, Founder & CEO, Secrets of a Side Hustler

Have you ever wondered how some entrepreneurs seem to make the process of running a business look so easy?

On the surface it’s easy to surmise the success of others to their talent, work ethic or even larger than life personalities. Yet what we often don’t see is their relentless discipline, consistency and resilience, or in other words, their grit and mental strength.

So, what is mental strength and how exactly can you build this muscle? For me, mental strength goes beyond willpower and hustle. It involves a commitment to healthy habits, the ability to persevere through challenges and choosing self-care instead of struggle.

Mental strength looks like:

Mental strength requires us to recognize that our battles do not define us, but how we persevere through them does. In the same way that we can train and take care of our bodies, we can train our minds.

Here are four ways to practice mental hygiene to build your mental strength:

1. Approach failure with curiosity instead of animosity

No two entrepreneurial journeys will ever be the same but the common thread that unites us all is that our confidence will be tested at some point.

Failure is inevitable and although the experience may sting, the next time a setback has you questioning your confidence, remember these words from best-selling author and success coach, Jen Sincero: “Temporary failure becomes permanent defeat only when you say so.”

Within every failure are lessons, experience, and a fresh perspective. Lean in with curiosity to discover how it can help you move forward.

2. Practice emotional first-aid

Ever notice that we have bandages to cover our physical bruises but we’re left to figure things out when it comes to healing our emotional ones?

According to Guy Winch, author of Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure and Everyday Hurt, emotional first-aid is the process of caring for our emotions with the same care and attention that we give our bodies. This includes focusing on our internal self-talk, focusing on the present instead of dwelling on experiences or situations outside of our control, and minding your physical well being with proper sleep and exercise.

3. Deconstruct your definition of success

If your definition of success exists solely within the confines of revenue and recognition, you are setting yourself up for disappointment in the long haul. What good is having money and accolades if you feel miserable?

Expand your view of success to acknowledge your growth, how you’re feeling and alignment to your values.

4. Recognize that true strength is knowing when to ask for help

On the surface, being mentally strong may seem focused on pushing through any and all challenges. Yet there may be times when flexing your mental strength means knowing when to pause instead of push.

It’s important to remember that there is nothing selfish about self-care. Our ability to sustain the journey of entrepreneurship comes down to the support systems we put in place to nurture our business and well being.

In every area of life – from your health, career and your business, your mental strength is your secret weapon to success. Your talent, work ethic and desire to succeed may take you farther than you’d ever dream, but it’s your mindset that will keep your there.

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