We all know that in many sports, the physically strongest and toughest have an advantage. The strong, tough wrestler has a considerable advantage over an opponent weaker in the body. And yet, toughness isn’t all about bulging biceps: mental toughness is just as important as physical toughness.

In order to develop mental toughness, you need to train yourself in seven areas – the seven C’s of mental toughness.

The first of these is Competitiveness. The mentally tough are driven to battle against adversaries and come out on top. For example, it was Competitive spirit that pushed Michael Jordan to leave basketball – a game he had mastered – and take up major league baseball. He couldn’t let himself grow old without trying to master another sport he loved.

Having mental fortitude also relies on not being afraid of a difficult opponent. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that successful people have an abundance of Courage. They aren’t scared, even by the most daunting challenges.

Then there is Confidence. Mentally robust people simply believe they are always going to win. To return to Michael Jordan, every time he stepped onto the court he was convinced he was the best player out there. This confidence helped ensure he almost always was.

Perhaps the most obvious signs of mental toughness are Control and Composure. Those who are able to focus and keep their emotions in check even in the face of enormous pressure are the ones who will think and act in the clearest, most appropriate manner.

Consistency is another vital component of mental strength. Winners are always at the top of their game, regardless of how they’re feeling. For example, when a mentally tough person is under the weather, she doesn’t use this as an excuse to perform poorly – she resolves to try as hard as ever.

Finally, mental toughness requires Commitment. This isn’t simply about having the skills to be a stellar athlete or businessperson – you have to want to be successful at it and commit to working hard until you achieve your ultimate goal.