The Mental Toughness Handbook – Book Review

26 Mar The Mental Toughness Handbook – Book Review

How do we face life’s tough circumstances without getting overwhelmed by them? For some, the British “stiff upper lip” is the answer – repressing your feelings and putting on a brave face. However, there is a better, healthier way. The Mental Toughness Handbook, by Damon Zahariades, provides a great alternative to help readers face their challenges with confidence.

Zahariades begins with the definition of “mental toughness”, which is commonly misunderstood. He offers a short, memorable phase: “durability in the face of adversity”, involving four core features: 1/. Persistence in reaction to stress; 2/. Responding healthily to our frustrated emotions; 3/. Resilience when things go wrong (rather than blaming others); and 4/. Grit in the face of roadblocks.

The great encouragement from The Mental Toughness Handbook is that mental toughness is like a “muscle”. We are not simply born with it, but it can be grown and strengthened willfully. This means anyone can do it.

Parents in particular are likely already to have a high degree of mental toughness. Having a child not only brings regular stress (which you need to deal with), but also fear and uncertainty about the future. You do not know how your child will eventually turn out, despite your best efforts. To give them the best chance of developing a strong character as their own mental toughness, parents must nurture these within themselves too.

Zahariades rightly observes that mental toughness is valuable because it can be applied to many different areas of life. A business owner, for example, needs mental toughness to keep believing in her business model, pushing through setbacks, and finding solutions to commercial problems (rather than simpering in front of them). An athlete must also learn mental toughness to develop a healthy, competitive mindset and apply discipline to his training. A child must learn it to get through the hard aspects of school – bullying, peer pressure and struggling with unloved subjects.

The Mental Toughness Handbook is highlight readable, digestible and practical. Helpful activities are offered throughout its pages to help the reader apply principles to their own lives. Paragraphs and sections are short without compromising on content, giving the reader a sense of movement through the book and a sense of accomplishment. It is a good reading experience.

It is helpful, too, that Zahariades spells out the distinct benefits of mental toughness – so the reader can clearly see the rewards of attaining more of it. These include “less susceptibility to self-doubt”, “greater ability to manage stress” and the “ability to accept (and learn from) failure”.

Overall, The Mental Toughness Handbook is a great resource to help those looking to develop a stronger mindset to the world’s challenges. Whilst some of the content can be classed as “common sense”, it provides a unique perspective and helpful structure to retain knowledge about the subject. We commend this book to you!

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