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Mental Toughness – part of the missing link?

Nov 17, 2021
Bob Larcher
Core Spirit member since Oct 30, 2021
Reading time 2 min.

If you are not sure what Mental Toughness is all about, you can take a look at some other articles I published previously here on Core Spirit: “Is Mental Toughness a fad?” and “Why developing your Mental Toughness is important” for example.

I have been helping people develop their leadership capacity for just over thirty years now and a cornerstone of my work has always been around understanding the impact of our personality on our behaviours.

The first “approach” that I used (in the mid-eighties) to understanding personality was Transactional Analysis; in particular the PAC model and the notion of “Drivers”.

In 1992 I discovered MBTI and “Jungian Preferences” as a way of “modelling” our personality and then around 1999 I discovered Insights and their “colour / energy” version of Jung’s work.

Both MBTI and insights enable people to understand their “less conscious” inner functioning and, hence, their “more conscious” external behaviours.

MBTI and insights work very well together; one is more based on identifying personality preferences and the other more on behavioural preferences.

Albeit that the (sometimes frighteningly accurate) behavioural descriptions given by MBTI or Insights correspond to the personality “types” identified through their respective questionnaires, I always thought that was something missing; the idea that, “this is my personality, hence I behave like this” seemed too simple for me.

For many (quite possibly the majority) of people I have worked with, the “personality, hence way of behaving” works perfectly and clearly helps people to understand how they can start to develop “behavioural flexibility”. There are others for whom there is clearly a discrepancy between the description of their personality and description of how they typically behave.

My current thinking is that Mental Toughness may well be part of the “something missing”; the missing link between personality and behaviour.

Mental Toughness is described as a “mindset” and often as a “can do” mindset or, for those lacking Mental Toughness, a “can’t do” mindset.

If I have a “can do” mindset, then maybe there are behaviours that, according to my personality, should be “difficult” & “uncomfortable” for me, but are in fact, relatively easy.

I would be very interested in any thoughts, or even research, that you may have with regards to the impact of how mindset “comes between” personality and behaviours.

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