Professional athletes and other high-performing people recognize that being at their fullest potential is about training not just for a healthy body but also for a healthy mind. If you ask Laura Eiman, a 67-year-old grandmother, how she lifts a heavy barbell over her head, she will tell you emphatically that it’s 80% mindset and 20% muscle.
Laura is a gold medal Olympic weightlifter; Navy SEAL-certified mental toughness coach; and a successful entrepreneur endorsed by Oprah, Barbara Walters, Rachael Ray, Kathi Lee and Hoda Kotb. But, her story has not always been one of success. At the age of 48, she was reeling from a divorce, had two young kids and was overweight due to her constant binging on sugar.
“I didn’t like myself, and I knew I didn’t want to be that way, but then I would run to the next pint of ice cream and say I would figure it out tomorrow (and this went on for years),” says Laura.
Her life changed one day when she watched a documentary on Navy SEALs who do extraordinary things. They are mentally tough and have a strong personal ethos that she wanted for herself. Their undeniable discipline, daily habits and attitudes made such an impact on Laura that she immediately made a commitment to change her life, which is how her journey toward mental toughness began. She was ready to believe in herself, absorb their habits and dump the sugar.
What can Laura teach us about mental toughness in the workplace? With the right strategy, an ordinary person can go on to do extraordinary things. Here are three ways Laura says you can develop this mindset and achieve greater success at work and in your personal life:
1. Believe in Yourself
“Most people do not believe in themselves 100% of the time, and they wonder why they are not winning at work,” says Laura. “They believe in themselves Monday through Wednesday, and then their confidence derails Thursday through Sunday.”
We need to believe in ourselves every day (especially when we have our most difficult days at work or hit a low point in our life). This unfailing belief that we can do extraordinary things and have the ability to pull ourselves up when we fall is the foundation of mental toughness. “We must be willing to let go of self-pity and stop blaming the world for our problems,” says Laura.
She coaches people to have big dreams for their career and other personal achievements and reminds us that it is important for everyone to have a driving force for change.
For example, her dream was to be a better mother for her children. “We all need to focus on that driving force and believe in our ability to change, especially when we hit our low,” says Laura. There is so much truth in the simplicity and strength of this positive way of thinking.
2. Practice a Proven Strategy
To learn how to become mentally tough, you must learn and practice a proven plan. Most people want to become better at work but do not really know how to do so. It is a mindset that we typically do not learn at school, at work or in our families, and we need to develop it. People’s standards of themselves are usually too low, Laura says. A mental toughness coach or trainer can help increase your potential at work by offering you a strategy.
3. Find a Coach
Remember, life is not a do-it-yourself program. We all need coaches (i.e., personal trainers, therapists, spiritual advisers, life coaches, etc.) to help us believe in ourselves, define our career dreams and hold us accountable. Let’s face it: Most days present new challenges.
Elite athletes, top executives and influential people use coaches to build a strong success-based mindset. You can do the same!
Make 2021 a Year of Mental Toughness
How would you like to overcome anxiety, fear and failure and replace them with a resilient, mentally tough mindset? Anxiety is a constant threat to our health and well-being, but you can replace it with a powerful “Yes, I can!” mindset.
Since that day when Laura first saw how the Navy SEALs think, train and work together, she made the conscious decision to change her life for the better. With belief, practice and help, Laura transformed her way of thinking about herself. Today, she is a proud grandmother, gold medal Olympic weightlifter, Navy SEAL-certified mental toughness coach and successful entrepreneur who has been sugar-free for over 20 years.
“If I can offer one piece of advice to anyone — and this is going to sound corny, canned and trite, but it is truer than anything I can share — that is to ask for help and never ever give up on yourself,” says Laura.
2020 was a year filled with uncertainty. Make 2021 the year of resiliency and mental toughness for you and your workforce!
To learn how to think like a Navy SEAL and develop the habits of an Olympic athlete so you can win at work and in your personal life, register for the virtual Training Industry Conference & Expo, and join Laura’s live session on April 27 at 1:45 p.m. Eastern.
Editor’s note: This article was updated after publication to correct a typo in the title.