Resilience Training in Adelaide

So What Is Mental Toughness?

So what is Mental Toughness?

Mental Toughness is a personality trait which is emerging as the key to understanding how people respond to stress, pressure and challenge. The research shows us that mental toughness is a key factor in resilience and sustainable performance. It can in fact account for up to 25% of the variation in an individual’s performance and is a significant factor in wellbeing.

There are many exercises that you can do to help you develop your mental strength. Try these on for size.

1) Evaluate your Core Beliefs – We all develop core beliefs about ourselves, our lives and the world around us. They build up over time, based on our experiences and interactions with the world. You may be very conscious of what they are, or have minimal insight – but they are there. Sometimes these core beliefs are inaccurate or unproductive. If you believe you’ll always fail when under pressure or during a test, then it is likely that you will never believe you will succeed and probably never really try. These beliefs can in some way, become self-fulfilling prophecies. Think about identifying some of your core beliefs and “put them on trial”. Look for beliefs that are black and white or make you “catastrophise”. Very few things in life are “always” or “never” true. Could you modify your thinking and core beliefs? It can be hard work – but oh so worth it.

2) Make your ANTs your PETS – We all have ANTs in our heads – don’t panic, I don’t mean the little creepy crawly kind, I mean Automatic Negative Thoughts. These thoughts sap your confidence. We don’t often actually spend much time thinking about how we think. But increasing awareness of your thinking habits is hugely helpful to build our mental toughness and resilience. Thoughts such as “I can’t do anything right” stop us from reaching our goals and our potential. Catch your negative thoughts and turn them into PETs – Performance Enhancing Thoughts. Now notice we don’t call them Positive Enhancing Thoughts. We don’t want to just look at the world through rose coloured glasses. We want to be optimistic for sure, but realistically so. Is it actually true that you “Can’t do anything right?” What other evidence exists for you getting it right quite a bit, in fact a lot? Usually in life there are never only two options, left or right, black or white, right or wrong. We always have a few shades of grey. So could we put a slightly different slant on our ANTs and question them, explore options, alternatives? Could we enhance our performance by changing and managing our thought? Perhaps ANTS are actually just termites in disguise and they can’t stand the light of reason, because they are not reasonable.

3) What is within your circle of influence – Do you waste your mental energy ruminating about things that are outside of your control. Worry is a complete waste of time. All it does is steal your joy and keep you busy doing nothing. Save your mental energy for productive tasks such as solving a problem that is within your control or setting goals. Make a conscious effort to shift your mental energy to something productive. The more you practice expending your mental energy wisely, the more habit forming it will become.

So try these strategies on for size, just for starters. There’s a lot more you can do.

Are you interested in measuring your own Mental Toughness? The MTQ48 is the world’s first valid and reliable psychometric tool measuring Mental Toughness. It measures 4 key areas relating to:

  • Control – believing you can control your destiny

  • Challenge – seeing challenge as an opportunity

  • Commitment – being able to stick to tasks

  • Confidence – having high levels of self-belief

Contact Michelle Bakjac at Bakjac Consulting on 0412047590 or if you would like to assess and build your Mental Toughness.

Strengths or Weaknesses??? Which Do You Focus On??

Strengths or Weaknesses??? Which Do You Focus on?

So……. Do you focus on your strengths, or do you try and always rectify your weaknesses?

Let’s pretend you are a little sailboat out in the middle of a beautiful open blue ocean. But unfortunately, you have a leak. Let’s call that leak your weakness. Now common sense dictates that we shouldn’t ignore that leak altogether otherwise you are going to sink. It is therefore important that you attend to the leak, in fact, it is often critical that we do. In the real world, leaks like this are our weaknesses. They can make us sink unless we attend to them and take care. So of course, we need to put some effort in to attend to this weakness. BUT……. Even if we attend to this leak, you will not be able to actually travel anywhere on that big beautiful blue ocean. It is your sails….. Your actual strengths that give your forward momentum. Sure, you need to take care of your leak to stop you sinking, but you need to hoist those sails up high to catch that wind and move you forward to where you want to go.

Focusing on only our weaknesses is not sufficient to help us move forward.

There is strong scientific foundation to have a strengths focus. When we identify our strengths and focus on nurturing what we are naturally good at, we gain significant benefit. Research demonstrates when we use our strengths we are more confident, have higher self-esteem, greater levels of energy, are more resilient and are much more likely to reach our goals.

Using your strengths helps you to personally develop and grow. You find you are often more engaged at work and in your relationships.

So……. Do you know what your strengths are? Are you too busy plugging leaks, or are you hoisting your sails so you can “go places”. Contact Michelle at Bakjac Consulting now on 0412047590 or for a consultation/coaching to allow you to reach your full potential.

Resilience - More than just "Bouncing Back"

Resilience – More than just “Bouncing Back”

When I undertake Resilience Training in Adelaide, I often ask participants what they consider Resilience actually is. There are often many and varied responses depending on individual participants and the culture of the workplace, but the response I hear most often is “it’s the ability to bounce back”. However open discussion and deliberation often leads to the final conclusion that resilience is a significantly more complex concept.

I will often recount one of my childhood experiences of having a favourite toy – a big blow up clown with a heavy base at the bottom –are you old enough to remember these? You would hit the clown and it would slowly go down to the ground and then pop back up in the exact same position. And what was there waiting for him? My fist –ready to knock him down all over again. So it seems Resilience must be more than just “bouncing back”, otherwise we would just continue to get knocked down by our life and work stressors on a continuous basis.


I think one of the key concepts central to resilience is the ability to ADAPT. How do we adapt in the face of adversity, setbacks and significant sources of change and uncertainty.  When we adapt, we embark on personal growth using the adverse experience as a platform for the ability to better manage our next adverse encounter. Interestingly resilience can only be developed when we are actually exposed to setbacks and obstacles and have the ability to work through them.

Resilience is a state every person and team can develop through characteristics such as optimism, flexibility, effective communication, self-confidence and effective problem solving. A strong component of resilience also relates to managing strong emotions (emotional regulation) and understanding what is within our circle of influence.

It is possible to learn to be more resilient, to be more optimistic, to manage emotions, to problem solve and communicate needs more effectively. It just takes a willingness to be open and engage in opportunities.

If you are a leader within an organisation, the goal is to unlock the resilience potential of your staff to build a high performing, agile workforce than can respond to changing demands. It enables organisations to build strength from within.


So how resilient is your team? Are you an organisation in Adelaide who could benefit from Resilience Training. Consider contacting Michelle at Bakjac Consulting to tailor a programme specific to your organisation’s needs.