The 4 C’s of Developing Mental Strength

Did you know that:

  • The human brain contains approximately one hundred billion neurons – around the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
  • When you are awake, your brain generates about 12-25 watts of electricity – enough to power a small light bulb.
  • The brain works really fast – the information going from your arms/legs to your brain travels at a speed of 150-260 mph.

The human brain is an extraordinary tool. It can do everything from keeping us breathing and moving to allowing us to time travel in our minds when we smell a perfume that reminds us of our grandparents. It works consciously and unconsciously every day and the great news is ………. it’s all yours to work with!

Where your thoughts come from

The average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, only around 6000 are unique and about 80% are negative. They are negative because one of the primary roles of the brain is to keep us safe, so we find it easier to focus on problems and risks than opportunity. This means we have work to do every day to ensure our mental focus is positive.

Your thoughts fall into 3 main categories.

  1. Our capabilities – ‘This is new to me but I know how to work it out’
  2. Our beliefs – ‘Things are moving in a positive direction’
  3. Our identity – ‘I am a great mum!’

When they are working for you, thoughts can energise and empower, when working against us thoughts can make us feel:

  • Helpless – I can’t do it
  • Hopeless – I don’t believe it will happen
    and even
  • Worthless – I don’t matter

Every thought we have is important because to paraphrase Lao Tzu and Gandhi, thoughts become words, become actions and eventually our destiny. These ‘thought spirals’ can be positive, helping us to achieve our dreams, or negative, pulling us into a downward spiral of anxiety and overwhelm. To stay on that positive path requires mental strength and like physical strength, this is something you can develop yourself.

“The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you.”

Tom Bradley

Developing mental strength

Like our physical muscles, our mental muscles need exercising. Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint. To develop mental strength you need to build up gradually and you can do this by working daily to make micro changes using our 4 C’s approach:

Check in – firstly notice the thoughts you are having. Simply be more aware of what is going on in your mind or start tracking your thoughts in a note or journal format.

Challenge – When you spot a negative/unhelpful thought ask yourself ‘What would my best friend say if they heard me say this?’ Or perhaps you need someone more challenging? ‘How would Andrew Marr respond to this thought?’

Change – Flip the thought, switch the negative words and repeat it to yourself a number of times in the positive. Or stop for a moment and think, how could I look at this differently? When you do that you are changing your thoughts by reframing them.

Create – more positive thoughts to reduce the negative. Use mantras to empower you every day, look for the positives and the things to be grateful for. They say everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality so visualise and focus on the great dreams you have for the future. Think what would that look and feel like, step into that future moment …….. and you are half way there!

By adopting the 4 C’s you are developing mental strength every day. How amazing to have your future in your hands!



About Us

I Have Got This! offers a range of mindset growth programmes to help individuals and teams navigate change and uncertainty. Through our boot camps and workshops using our 6 cognitive habits, we will help you change your mindset and develop the self-confidence, agility and resilience to embrace change and thrive. Click here to find out more.

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