How to cultivate mental toughness

4 methods that will help you

Adebayo Ijidakinro
6 min readNov 30, 2020


Photo by John Arano on Unsplash

When you think of a mentally tough person, who comes to mind? For me, it’s Michael Jordan.

Some see Michael as a person whose success was based solely on his inborn talent. That’s not the case.

Some feel that he didn’t have to overcome anything on his path to victory. That’s not the case.

  • As a sophomore, he didn't make his varsity team.
  • In his first 7 trips to the playoffs, he didn’t make it to the Finals.
  • He made it to the Eastern Conference Finals twice, only to be defeated by the Pistons.
  • The media said he wasn’t a champion like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
  • When he came into the league many felt that he wouldn’t have much of an impact because at that time it was a “big man’s” league.

He overcame negative criticism from the media. Defeat on the cusp of victory. And victory in the face of difficult circumstances. How? Because he was mentally tough.

If you want to succeed, you have to be mentally tough. Period.

So the question is, how can you cultivate this kind of mental toughness?

How to cultivate mental toughness

First of all, what is mental toughness? Here’s one definition that explains it well.

“Mental toughness is the ability to resist, manage and overcome doubts, worries, concerns and circumstances that prevent you from succeeding, or excelling at a task or towards an objective or a performance outcome that you set out to achieve.” —

This quote defines why mental toughness is a key ingredient to success. Everyone has doubts, worries, concerns, and circumstances that can prevent you from succeeding. Everyone has them. No one is exempt from this.

Whether we realize it or not, we face similar challenges every day. Funny enough, this is a good thing. Why? Because it gives us opportunities to build mental toughness.



Adebayo Ijidakinro

I’m a 10+ year iOS Developer whose worked with 6 startups. This past year I released 6 iOS and web apps. Follow me and learn how to make your Startup a success.