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Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness

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The biggest downside of the tough guy macho man boss, coach, or parent is that their attitude breeds fragile humans. We tell our sons and daughters to “man up” or, in much cruder terms that are heard on playing fields across the country, “stop being a pussy. As one soldier put it, “When there’s a difference between what you project and what you are capable of, it all crumbles under stressful situations. In this section he gives some concrete ways to change our self-talk to help us push through those mental barriers. I find mental toughness and the ‘harden up’ mentality so unhelpful and feels rather outdated when it is actually mental flexibility that helps athletes thrive in both performance and wellbeing.

To create space so that you don’t jump straight from unease to the quickest possible solution, but to the [correct] one. In reality, perseverance through failure should be rewarded in children (and adults)—continuing to pursue a hard task, through failure, which is what actually builds toughness and grit. I'd be happy if more coaches (and teachers and parents) read this one, and I'm likely to go back through at least my highlights if not a full re-read, especially of the first 3/4 or so. Resilience is tied to low levels of denial and the ability to face fears—being able to encounter challenges, not through delusion, but with realistic optimism, the belief that it may be difficult, but we possess the skills to persevere. It shows how traditional markers of toughness, like putting on a brave face and pushing past pain, can actually hinder physical and mental performance outcomes in the long term.

I initially read this book to gain insights for my own distance running journey, and to consider how Magness's ideas relate to Jesus's/the Bible's view of toughness.

In the corporate world, we prop up the companies that create slick-looking ads promoting values of inclusion and diversity, all while the inner workings of those organizations are littered with abuse, hostility, and harassment. From beloved performance expert, executive coach, and coauthor of Peak Performance Steve Magness comes a radical rethinking of how we perceive toughness and what it means to achieve our high ambitions in the face of hard things.On the other hand, if you’re honest with yourself, and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, what you’re capable of and what might scare you, then you can come to terms with what you’re facing and deal with it. A lot of stories trying to explain his points on the book, but everything had a reason and helps you digest the true meaning of Do Hard Things. I use "yelling" in the colloquial sense here – talking down to someone regardless of volume; you can berate or chastise someone, in a low tone of voice, and be yelling. Both Apple and Google state that they ensure that only users who have actually downloaded the app can submit a review.

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