Motivation vs. Mental Toughness

Joen is the guy behind, which is the biggest fashion and lifestyle blog for men in Denmark. He writes articles with the main purpose of inspiring his readers to become the best version of themselves. Connect with him on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

One of the things that many of us are exposed to on a daily basis, whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram or similar, are these endless motivation posters, usually with a quote by some famous guy.

Here’s Drake sharing some of his wisdom.

“Work until your idols become your rivals.” – Drake

People love motivation posters. That includes me too. It inspires and sometimes it ignites a spark that initiates mad productivity throughout the day. I love those days.

There is one problem about these posters, though and that goes for the whole idea of motivation in general. We people have become obsessed with staying motivated. We will do and try anything in order to become and stay motivated.

And that’s a problem.

Motivation is a State of Mind

In other words, motivation is rarely something that people experience as a continuous feeling. At least not when it comes to sitting on your behind and getting shit done.

Let me clarify.

I feel that I am always motivated to become successful in life. I know what I want to accomplish in life. I know what kind of life I want. I have everything thought out in a boringly detailed fashion. I am motivated to get there. Really, I am.

However this motivation often seems to fade when I have to actually work. Often procrastination is leading the mind here. Suddenly the motivation to get started has shrunk to a level where it feels uncomfortable to get started with “this article” I want to publish on my blog, Stay Classy.

I have to pull myself up in order to get started. This is a struggle I have nine out of 10 times. Rarely am I so motivated that the motivation itself does all the work for me.

This is called mental toughness. I need to be mentally strong in order to get started.

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

It has taken me quite some time to really learn how to distinguish between the two concepts of motivation and mental toughness.

See, the problem of not knowing the difference or perhaps even being able to identify what mental toughness is, is that you most likely will rely solely on being motivated.

And that is really bad.

Because when motivation is your only productivity tool your output efficiency potential will barely reach half of what you got.

So instead of taking one day to complete a task, it will take two days. Instead of two months it will take four. Instead of three years it will take six. And finally instead of 25 years it will take 50.

Suddenly you have spent an entire lifetime only reaching half of your potential.

I keep telling myself this in order to work on my mental toughness on a continuous level. Because fact of the matter is that toughening up your brain’s mental health is a really difficult game.

It requires a relentless effort.

It’s something you can only achieve if you really want it. And I don’t mean this like, “I really want that Maserati.” I mean it as in, “I really want to bitch slap the hell out of this cancer thing.”

The best tool I have found in the battle of mental toughness is forcing myself to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It might sound counterintuitive but with enough practice it is very much an attainable goal that will do wonders for you.

Metacognitive Self-Therapy

It sounds complicated but it is actually not that challenging a practice to learn. Basically metacognitive therapy is the act of analysing and being aware of your own thoughts.

So when you are in an uncomfortable situation you address your emotions by applying metacognition.

What am I feeling right? What is making this uncomfortable? Does it makes sense to be anxious right now? Whether yes or no, then ask why. It’s all about using rationality in order to attain information that enables comfortability although being uncomfortable.

Mental Toughness Leads to Happiness

This is one of the great side effects of toughening up your mentality. And it makes pretty good sense, really.

Once applying mental toughness as part of your routine the likelihood of reaching your goals is much higher. You become even more determined. You become a better you. Luck will favor you.

Things will generally start going your way consequently improving your life.

But it’s tough. It really is.