Wednesday, 28 March 2018 05:09

Mental Toughness

This year we replaced our February and March staff meetings with Mental Toughness training through Bakjac Consulting. Our whole staff team engaged in the two sessions with Michelle Bakjac and we each got something different out of the training that had unique meaning for ourselves. 


The first session focused around the difference between resilience (adapting) and mental toughness (preparing). We looked into the structure of the four C’s; Control, Commitment, Confidence and Challenge. Control was one that we focused on for a while as often people believe things are out of their hands. However, control can be managed when you look at it through the ‘ABC’ model. A stands for the Activating Event that starts our mental thinking process, many people jump straight to C the Consequence or emotion and believe that the activating event triggers their response. We learned that it is in fact B the Beliefs/thoughts in between that trigger the consequence or emotion, this is where control exists and can be managed. An example is when a group of people have been told the same thing like, there will be a 20 minute wait for your order. I can guarantee that not all people will react the same way and that is because they are influenced by their individual beliefs or thoughts. One may be frustrated as they believe that they are paying for a service and it should be ready, one may be furious and demand their money back, one may not care as they need to waste time before their next engagement, and another might think great I have time to pop down to the bank.... You see the activating event didn’t trigger their reactions, it was their individual beliefs and thoughts that set off the consequence/emotion. Mentally we need to  be aware of our own beliefs/thoughts and train our minds to create solutions, to see the positive side and not the negative. Think, what is the worst that will happen?... How will I deal with that?


We explored how to keep ourselves above the line and support our colleagues to be above the line. This was done by looked at turning ANTs into PETs (not in the literal sense), simply focusing on our Automatic Negative Thoughts and reframing them as Positive Energising Thoughts instead.


Confidence is viewed as a person’s ability respond to threats, to see the potential in any situation and create opportunities. Think about how confident people look, what do they say? How do they act?


To make permanent change in regards to mental toughness we need to rewire our thinking and change our habits, but we can also explore temporary change. Power posing is a great form of temporary change, positioning your body in a way that makes you feel stronger like a superhero, try it yourself (your testosterone levels will be higher in 2 mins). We have been engaging in some power posing with the Coral Room children and it makes everyone perk up and feel good. Remember that everyone is born confident, if you don’t use your confidence, it will fade.


Wellbeing was also a word that we unpacked, offering up words of meaning that resonated with everyone and discussing how it looked for individuals. The consensus was that there are some core ideals for wellbeing like mental health, relationships, physical health etc. What that looks like for each person and how they balance the important aspects of their life is unique to them. It is important that we investigate what wellbeing looks like for ourselves and others and recognise the physical, psychological and behavioural warning signs of stress that are unique to ourselves and the people around us. We also need to make sure that we fill our own wellbeing bucket before we can start filling anyone else’s.


It was bought to our attention that mindfulness is about putting our thoughts and feelings to the back of our minds and focusing on our five senses. Right now in the moment what can I see, smell, taste, feel and hear? Mindfulness can help reset your thinking


There were two quotes from the sessions that really resonated with mepersonally.....

Stop focusing on the impression you are having on others and start focusing on the impression you have on yourself.” 

“Reflect of what is working well.”


Remember we can:

  • Change our perspective by realistically scaling our problem from 0-10 (with 10 being death)
  • Change our physiology by focusing on our breathing
  • Change our problems with one achievable step at a time




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