We all have heard of people who are mentally strong. While for some people being mentally string is natural and something they were born with, for some others it doesn’t come as easy. The good news is that we can always work on it and become mentally stronger by incorporating the following habits into our lives:
1. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. We don’t see mentally strong people feeling sorry for their circumstances or dwelling on the way they’ve been mistreated. They have learned to take responsibility for their actions and outcomes, and they have an inherent understanding of the fact that frequently life is not fair. They are able to emerge from trying circumstances with self-awareness and gratitude for the lessons learned. When a situation turns out badly, they respond with phrases such as “Oh, well.” Or perhaps simply, “Next!”
2. Keep your power to yourself. Mentally strong people avoid giving others the power to make them feel inferior or bad. They understand they are in control of their actions and emotions. They know their strength is in their ability to manage the way they respond. Remember, we can’t control how other people act or what they say, but we can always control our reactions and responses and whether or not we engage.
3. Embrace change. Mentally strong people embrace change and they welcome challenge. Their biggest “fear,” if they have one, is not of the unknown, but of becoming complacent and stagnant. An environment of change and even uncertainty can energize a mentally strong person and bring out their best. Remember, change, after all, is the only constant in our lives.
4. Focus on what you can control. Just as we talked in the second point, mentally strong people don’t complain (much) about bad traffic, having to wait, or especially about other people, as they recognize that all of these factors are generally beyond their control. In a bad situation, they recognize that the one thing they can always control is their own response and attitude, and they use these attributes well.
5. Stop being a push over. Trying to always please other people or being afraid of speaking your mind or saying no is not a characteristic of mentally strong people. A lot of people go out of their ways trying to please others or to do what other people want/expect from them. A mentally strong person strives to be kind and fair and to please others where appropriate, but is unafraid to speak up. They are able to withstand the possibility that someone will get upset and will navigate the situation, wherever possible, with grace.
It takes much practice to hone mental strength
6. Take risks. A mentally strong person is willing to take calculated risks. This is a different thing entirely than jumping headlong into foolish risks. But with mental strength, an individual can weigh the risks and benefits thoroughly, and will fully assess the potential downsides and even the worst-case scenarios before they take action.
If you don’t take calculated risks you will never grow.
7. Be present. There is strength in acknowledging the past and especially in acknowledging the things learned from past experiences—but a mentally strong person is able to avoid miring their mental energy in past disappointments or in fantasies of the “glory days” gone by. They invest the majority of their energy in creating an optimal present (which in turn will become your future). Remember the only time we have is the now.
8. Learn from your mistakes. We all know the definition of insanity, right? It’s when we take the same actions again and again while hoping for a different and better outcome than we’ve gotten before. A mentally strong person accepts full responsibility for past behavior and is willing to learn from mistakes. Research shows that the ability to be self-reflective in an accurate and productive way is one of the greatest strengths of spectacularly successful executives and entrepreneurs.
In my job as a mental coach I find that the athletes that come out of a competition (whether they did well or not) looking for things to improve are the ones who end up going farther in the sport. The ones that come out frustrated, blaming and feeling sorry for themselves end up quitting at some point. We all make mistakes, it’s what we do with them that makes the difference.
9.Help other people succeed. It takes strength of character to feel genuine joy and excitement for other people’s success. Mentally strong people have this ability. They don’t become jealous or resentful when others succeed (although they may take close notes on what the individual did well). They are willing to work hard for their own chances at success, without relying on shortcuts.
I have a friend who is very successful. Her daughter is also trying to start her career as an actress (she is very talented). They know my daughter loves acting and they are always sharing casting opportunities with her. They are always cheering for her and they are happy when Kori books anything. Both my friend (who is always also willing to help me succeed) and her daughter are mentally strong. They know they don’t need to put others down to keep going up. (by the way, you can check my friend on Facebook, she is The CrockPot Girl. She has great cook books and magazines with awesome recipes!)
10. Keep trying. We all fail. Edison had to try more than 1000 times to find electricity. Remember that every failure is a chance to improve. Mentally strong people are willing to fail again and again, if necessary, as long as the learning experience from every “failure” can bring them closer to their ultimate goals. Remember, it’s only a failure if you give up completely.
11. Enjoy being by yourself. Mentally strong people enjoy and even treasure the time they spend alone. They use their downtime to reflect, to plan, and to be productive. Most importantly, they don’t depend on others to shore up their happiness and moods. They can be happy with others, and they can also be happy alone.
12. Be patient. Whether it’s a workout plan, a nutritional regimen, or starting a business, mentally strong people are “in it for the long haul”. They know better than to expect immediate results. They apply their energy and time in measured doses and they celebrate each milestone and increment of success on the way. They have “staying power.” And they understand that genuine changes take time.
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