According to Amy Morin of The Good Men Project,
recognizing and replacing the unhealthy thoughts,
behaviors and feelings that may be sabotaging
your best efforts is the key to building mental
Comparing mental strength to physical strength,
you’ll realise that while a bodybuilder maintains his
physique with good habits, like going to the gym,
it’s equally important for that bodybuilder to get rid
of unhealthy habits, like eating junk food. An
exercise regimen won’t be effective in building lean
muscle unless unhealthy eating habits are also
Similarly, building mental muscle requires hard
work, dedication and exercise. In addition to
adopting healthy habits, avoiding detrimental habits
—like negative thoughts, unproductive behavior
and self-destructive emotions—is also essential.
Whether you’re working on becoming a more
patient parent or you’re striving to become an elite
athlete, building mental strength will help you reach
your goals. Learn to identify the common pitfalls
that you’re prone to and practice exercises that will
help you become your best self.
Here are the 13 things mentally strong people don’t
1. Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves:
Many of life’s problems and sorrows are
inevitable, but feeling sorry for yourself is a
choice. Whether you’re struggling to pay your
bills or you’re dealing with unexplained health
problems, indulging in self-pity won’t fix your
problems. If you’re prone to feeling sorry for
yourself when the going gets rough, train your
brain to exchange self-pity for gratitude.
Mentally strong people don’t waste their time
and energy thinking about the problem.
Instead, they focus on creating a solution.
2. Give Away Their Power: It can be very
tempting to blame other people for our
problems and circumstances. Thinking things
like, “My mother-in-law makes me feel bad
about myself,” gives others power over us.
Take back your power by accepting full
responsibility for how you think, feel and
behave. Empowering yourself is an essential
component to building mental strength and
creating the kind of life you want to live.
3. Shy Away From Change: Although we feel
safest when we stay within our comfort zones,
avoiding new challenges serves as the biggest
obstacle to living a full and rich life. Learning to
recognize when you avoid change because of
the discomfort involved in doing something
new could be the first step in a long journey
toward improving your life. The more you
practice tolerating the uncomfortable feelings
associated with change—whether it involves
taking on a new job or leaving an unhealthy
relationship—the more confident you’ll become
in your ability to create your future.
4. Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control: So
often, we worry about all the wrong things.
Rather than focus on preparing for the storm,
we waste energy wishing the storm wouldn’t
come. If we invested that same energy into the
things we do have control over, we’d be much
better prepared for whatever life throws our
way. Pay attention to the times when you’re
tempted to worry about something you can’t
control—like the choices other people make or
how your competitor behaves—and devote that
energy into something more productive.
5. Worry About Pleasing Others: A lot of people
say, “I don’t care what other people think,” but
that’s often a defense mechanism meant to
shield them from the hurt and pain associated
with rejection. People-pleasers come in all
forms. Sometimes, you can spot one a mile
away. Other times, their fear of angering others
is deeply rooted. Doing and saying things that
may not be met with favor takes courage, but
living a truly authentic life requires you to live
according to your values, even when your
choices aren’t popular.
6. Fear Taking Calculated Risks: We make
dozens—if not hundreds—of choices every day
with very little consideration of the risks we’re
taking. Whether we choose to wear a helmet on
a bike ride, or we decide to take out a loan, we
often base our choices on our emotions—not
the true level of risk. Making decisions based
on your level of fear isn’t an accurate way to
calculate risk. Emotions are often irrational and
unreliable. You don’t get to be extraordinary
without taking risks, and learning how to
accurately calculate risk will ensure you’re
making the best choices.
7. Dwell on the Past: While reflecting on the past
and learning from it is a helpful part of building
mental strength, ruminating can be harmful.
Making peace with the past so you can live for
the present and plan for the future can be hard,
especially if you’ve endured a lot of misfortune.
But it’s a necessary step in becoming your
8. Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over: It’d
be nice to learn enough from each mistake that
we’d be guaranteed to never repeat that same
mistake twice. But the reality is that we’re
prone to repeat the same mistakes sometimes.
Learning from our mistakes requires humility
and a willingness to look for new strategies to
become better. Mentally strong people don’t
hide their mistakes or make excuses for them.
Instead, they turn their mistakes into
opportunities for self-growth.
9. Resent Other People’s Success: Watching a
co-worker receive a promotion or hearing a
friend talk about her achievements can stir up
feelings of envy. But resenting other people’s
success will only interfere with your ability to
reach your goals. When you’re secure in our
own definition of success, you’ll stop envying
other people for obtaining their goals, and
you’ll be committed to reaching your dreams.
0. Give Up After Failure: It’s normal to feel
embarrassed, discouraged and downright
defeated when your first attempts don’t work.
From a young age, we’re often taught that
failure is bad. But it’s nearly impossible to
succeed if you never fail. Mentally strong
people view failure as proof that they’re
pushing themselves to the limits in their efforts
to reach their full potential.
1. Fear Alone Time: In today’s fast-paced world,
obtaining a little quiet time often takes a
concerted effort. Many people avoid silence
and solitude, because the lack of activity feels
uncomfortable. But time to yourself is an
essential component to building mental
strength. Mentally strong people create
opportunities to be alone with their thoughts,
reflect on their progress, and create goals for
2. Feel the World Owes Them Anything: It’s easy
to get caught up in feeling a sense of
entitlement. But waiting for the world—or the
people in it—to give you what you think you’re
owed isn’t a helpful life strategy. If you’re busy
trying to take what you think you deserve, you
won’t have any time to focus on all that you
have to give. And everyone has gifts that can
be shared, regardless of whether they’ve
gotten a “fair deal” in life.
3. Expect Immediate Results: Wouldn’t it be nice
if everything in life could happen at the touch of
a button? We often grow so accustomed to our
“no lines, no waiting” world, that our brains
begin to believe that everything should happen
instantaneously. But self-growth develops at
more of a snail’s pace, rather than at lightning
speed. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or
develop a more gracious attitude, slow and
steady wins the race. Expecting immediate
results will only lead to disappointment.
Mentally strong people know that true change
takes time, and they’re willing to work hard to
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