A while ago I did some work with a friend for an elite sports team. This got me thinking about the idea of mental toughness. A lot of people in sports, and those involved in other high performance activities talk about mental toughness. This ability, or characteristic is with out a doubt important in high pressure environments. The problem is that most people's understanding of what makes up mental toughness is quite limited. A common mistake is to see mental toughness as a sort of tough it out, push away the pain and get on with it attitude. Technically this is an avoidance strategy. While this can work well in the short term, it takes a lot of energy, and does tend to fail in some situations. It also tends to narrow our field of concentration, and limit our flexibility of responding to events.