Great to have been invited to speak at The Wellbeing and Performance Company event at the LTA centre in Eastbourne. The theme was mental toughness and its link to performance, mental health and resilience.
What a set of fabulous people, many of whom who had their own powerful personal stories of overcoming challenge. This matched with ideas around understanding and supporting those at a point in life when they may be struggling to cope made for a hugely valuable event for anyone interested in people development and emotional health and wellbeing.
What particularly struck me was the power of personal stories. Listening to the journey people had been on to overcome what some would perceive as overwhelming challenge was truly inspirational. Brene Brown tells us much about the power of sitting comfortably with vulnerability, and these speakers were proof of this. What some people might hide, for fear of shame and embarrassment they embrace as part of life’s journey, recognising also that this had taught them something about themselves, and about others.
It was also interesting listening to Professor Clough who co-developed the Mental Toughness Questionnaire (MTQ). With over 8o peer reviewed papers on the topic of mental toughness he can be regarded as an expert in this area. He made the point that those who are mentally tough are usually those who are not interested in scoring points off of others. This resonated. I often encourage people to look behind behaviours that they find hard to cope with in the workplace, including, very often point scoring. Reframing this as something a person does when they lack self esteem, or perhaps have other issues going on in their life can help better understand where this irritating behaviour has come from. It is clearly not always the behaviour of the mentally tough, and now we have the research to prove it.