Mental Toughness

"It is a personality trait which determines, in some part, how individuals perform when exposed to stressors, pressure and challenge .... irrespective of the situation." Clough & Strycharczyk (2011) 

Mental Toughness refers to an individual’s resilience and an inner drive to succeed - particularly when the going is challenging. It explains why when two individuals are in the same working environment, one finds it difficult to manage pressure and one thrives.

Mentally tough individuals tend to be:

  • Sociable and comfortable dealing with all types of people;
  • Able to remain calm and relaxed in most circumstances - they are competitive or goal orientated in many situations and have lower anxiety levels than
  • With a high sense of self-belief and an unshakeable faith that they control their own destiny, these individuals can remain relatively unaffected by competition or adversity. They can be enthusiastic about change and change even when the challenge is daunting.
  • An individual with a low level of mental toughness is described as mentally sensitive (not as mentally weak).

A significant body of research since 2002 shows that the mental toughness of an individual is a significant factor in:

  • Wellbeing - mentally tough individuals enjoy greater wellbeing and appear to be “comfortable in their own skins”
  • Behavior – mentally tough individuals consistently demonstrate more positive behaviors – they tend to see opportunity where the mentally sensitive see
  • Attainment – mentally tough individuals typically achieve more than mentally sensitive individuals. They are minded “to be the best that they can be”.

In turn these enable a wide range of useful, valuable and tangible outcomes for individuals in almost everything they do. It includes achieving more but also embraces completing things, managing change and transition effectively, employability, contentment, building better relationships with people, influencing others and openness to learning.

Mentally tough individuals will typically work harder and more effectively than most and appear to derive satisfaction in doing this.

Mental Toughness Components

Research has identified four key components of Mental Toughness:





We call these the 4 Cs. To find out more about the 4 Cs, click the button below.

Mental Toughness Measurement

The MTQ48 is a unique 48-item high-quality psychometric measure that provides a reliable and quick assessment of an individual’s ability to withstand pressure in a wide range of environments. It measures mental toughness in terms of the 4 core components – control, commitment, challenge, and confidence. The MTQ48 provides a highly effective and user-friendly set of reports designed for optimum impact in a wide range of scenarios.

For more information on reliability and validity of the MTQ48 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP), click the button below.