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

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Toughness has long been held as a fundamental key to achieving peak performance. For generations, we’ve been taught toughness means bulldozing through—pushing to the point of breakdown—and that showing any sign of weakness is failure. This model of toughness has long been glorified and celebrated. But the truth is, it doesn’t work.

Steve Magness, a performance scientist who coaches Olympic athletes, now offers a new kind of toughness—real toughness—that can help anyone navigate adversity and challenge. Grounded in the latest sports science and psychology, real toughness is about paying attention to your physiological, emotional, and psychological responses (from pain to anger) and working with them to overcome a challenge. Real toughness works with our biology and psychology; fake toughness fights against them.

Real toughness is based on four core pillars which cultivate genuine inner strength:

  • Pillar 1—Ditch the Façade, Embrace Reality
  • Pillar 2—Listen to Your Body
  • Pillar 3—Respond, Instead of React
  • Pillar 4—Transcend Discomfort

Additional information

Weight0.9 lbs
Dimensions9 × 6 × 1.1 in
Date Published

May 25, 2022









Year Published



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