My skills in martial arts saved my life when I was confronted by a stranger in an elevator. My training in situational awareness, self-control, the martial arts way of emotional intelligence, and mental toughness prevented me from looking or acting like a victim. My demeanor and attitude made the attacker think twice. As a martial artist, it is vitally important to be physically sharp and mentally alert, and utilize whatever martial arts technique necessary to survive a life or death struggle.
Since that fateful day, my martial arts training has helped me develop a successful business, a fulfilling life, and an offensive spirit, one prepared not only for situations that I expect, but also for unexpected turns of events.
Although your personal safety may never mirror the challenge I encountered, I want you, too, to be prepared not only for situations that you expect, but also for unexpected turns of events. You can achieve this by developing emotional intelligence through mental toughness.
Here are three mindsets used by black belt martial artists to develop the kind of emotional intelligence that keeps them mentally strong:
1. Mentally strong people have an awareness of self. They know how to manage their internal state of mind, regulate emotions, and conduct themselves in a positive manner, regardless of circumstance, the situation, or the emotional sway of others.
When you find yourself faced with a conflict, situation, or circumstance, quickly size it up and delay acting on impulse. Controlling such emotions as fear or anger gives you time to think and respond deliberately, decisively, and confidently.
Avoid becoming a victim of the situation, circumstance, or other psychological controls that place you in a disempowered state of mind. The first step in controlling emotions and effective thinking is emotional self-awareness.
2. Mentally strong people know that the challenge in business is to have consistency in ‘who you are’, from personal branding and authenticity, to following your gut.
What makes this so challenging is that no one else can tell you who you really are. We have many assumptions of who we are and who we want to be as we are constantly evolving, negotiating how we want others to see us.
By summoning such mental strengths as persistence, resilience, and emotional intelligence, we can identify and manage emotions in a positive way. The more you like yourself, know your core strengths, understand the values that are important to you, know how your moral compass drives you toward success and what influences your failures, you’ll have a more accurate perception of the real “you” that is constantly evolving.
3. Mentally strong people are disciplined. They take charge of themselves, are responsible for their life choices and consequences, and are their own person. Self-discipline means responding appropriately to what you are thinking in the moment rather than what you are feeling.
In a world of choices and potential influences, we can often forget to remain grounded by thinking first to ‘look within ourselves’. But doing so summons the inner strengths necessary to cope with the demands of life as they arise.
Self-discipline depends on what you expect from yourself. Self-expectation enables you to direct your mind to function at a higher level. A higher expectation promotes improved self-esteem, higher self-worth, and transforms desires into action. Conversely, low expectations foster compromises and poor self-image and tells your mind to function at a low capacity.
Copyright 2015 Jennifer Touma Mindscape