Mental Toughness

Mental Toughness


Mental toughness has been defined as the ability to perform at consistently high levels through times of personal and professional pressure (Jones et al.,2002)

Mentally tough individuals have ‘a high sense of self belief and an unshakable faith that they can control their own destiny, these individuals can remain relatively unaffected by competition and adversity’ (Clough et al., 2002)


Mental Toughness in the Workplace

Mental toughness is now considered by many as a key aspect of performance in the workplace for  building resiliance in individuals and teams, and enabling effective coaching and development. The growing interest in this concept of mental toughness as resulted from the assumptions that the characteristics underlying mental toughness are associate with increased performance and success.

Research has found that mental toughness (like emotional intelligence) is a characteristic that can be developed.  Clough et al.,  have proposed a 4C model of mental toughness to examine this concept in individuals.  The 4 Cs are:

  • Control  – the tendency to feel you are influential, and can control ones life.
  • Commitment – a tendency to involve oneself in an encounter, carry out tasks successfully despite problems, or obstacles.  
  • Challenge – the belief that life is changeable, it refers to the extent individuals see problems as opportunities rather than a threat.  
  • Confidence – a high sense of self- belief and unshakable faith concerning ones ability to achieve success.


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