Mental toughness and resilience enable people to bounce back from life’s worst surprises or uncertainties. Mentally tough (or resilient) people seem to simply take everything that life throws at them in their stride.

Counselling that focus on mental toughness and resilience helps guide and enable clients to handle challenges and diversity constructively through teaching or honing appropriate life skills.

Mental toughness is the ability to keep your determination and focus in spite of the difficulties that you might experience.

Nobody is born with it but it can be developed and involves certain thoughts, actions and behaviours that anyone can learn. Young children, when given the chance, can develop mental toughness from dealing with everyday challenges. Not getting what they want or not being able to do something the first time all create the foundation for how to cope with bigger challenges in life. Failure can sometimes be a devastating blow but mental toughness gives you the tenacity to learn from your mistakes. When life seems overwhelming resilience gives you the strength to keep your emotions in check and be strong. When the going gets tough it is mental toughness and resilience that help you to push forward and keep going.

Essentially there are 4 components of mental toughness:


Extent to which you think you are in control of your circumstances.


Extent to which you set goals and do whatever it takes to achieve your goals.


Extent to which you see the world full of opportunities as well as threats and stretch yourself accepting risk, learning from success as well as failure.


Extent to which you believe in your abilities and using these abilities.

Control and commitment form the basis of resilience (the ability to persevere in spite of setbacks and difficulties). To be mentally tough, one also needs to learn how to let challenges bring positivity instead of anxiety, and to develop confidence in the face of uncertainty. In this world everyone experiences setbacks, change and challenges more quickly than ever before. Adapting to life’s ups and downs is part of the process of personal development, part of the journey through life – adopting a positive mindset is important.