Mental strength isn’t often reflected in what you do; it’s usually seen in what you don’t do. It’s about controlling your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.
They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. Feeling sorry for yourself is self-destructive. Indulging in self-pity hinders living a full life. It wastes time, creates negative emotions, and hurts relationships.
They don’t give away their power. People give away their power when they lack boundaries. Stand up for yourself and draw the line when necessary. If other people are in control of your actions, they define your success and self-worth.
They don’t shy away from change. Rather, they embrace the inevitable. Making changes can be frightening, but shying away from them prevents growth.
They don’t focus on things they can’t control. Instead, they focus on what they can do. Trying to be in control of everything is likely a response to anxiety.
They don’t worry about pleasing everyone. Judging ourselves by what other people think of us is the opposite of mental toughness. People-pleasing is a waste of time. People-pleasers are easily manipulated.
They don’t fear taking calculated risks. Instead, they prepare for what’s ahead. A lack of knowledge about how to calculate risk leads to increased fear. To better analyze a risk, ask yourself the following questions: What are the potential costs, What are the potential benefits?, How will this help me achieve my goal?, What are the alternatives?, How good would it be if the best-case scenario came true?, What is the worst thing that could happen?, How bad would it be if the worst-case scenario did come true?, How much will this decision matter in five years?
They don’t dwell on the past. They do take time to reflect and learn from the past, but the past is in the past. There’s no way to change what happened, and dwelling on it can be self-destructive, preventing you from enjoying the present and planning for the future.
They don’t make the same mistakes over and over. They accept responsibility and change behavior. Study what went wrong, what you could have done better, and how to do it differently next time.
They don’t resent other people’s success. Focusing on another person’s success will not pave the way to your own, since it distracts you from your path. Even if you become successful, you may never be content if you’re always focusing on others. You may also overlook your talents and abandon your values and relationships.
They don’t give up after the first failure. Success isn’t immediate, and failure is almost always an obstacle you will have to overcome. Thinking that failure is unacceptable or that it means you aren’t good enough does not reflect mental strength.
They don’t fear alone time. They make time for solitude. Solitude can increase productivity.
They don’t feel the world owes them anything. No one is entitled to anything. It must be earned. The key is to focus on your efforts, accept criticism, acknowledge your flaws, and don’t keep score.
They don’t expect immediate results. They do take small steps toward the goal. Develop realistic expectations and an understanding that success doesn’t happen overnight to reach your full potential. Mentally weak people are often impatient. They overestimate their abilities and underestimate how long change takes.
~Amy Morin, adapted