WORK-LIFE BALANCE / DEC. 31, 2013
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Things Mentally Strong People Avoid Doing

Mental strength is associated with the ability to regulate emotions, manage thoughts and behave in a positive manner despite your circumstances. Being mentally strong means you have a set of attributes that allow you to cope with difficult competitive situations and thrive without losing confidence. Developing mental strength is all about finding the courage to live according to your values and being bold enough to create your own definition of success.

Amy Morin, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist has compiled a list of actions mentally strong people avoid, to help identify what makes a person mentally strong. Read on if you want to avoid these actions and increase your mental strength.  

1. Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves

You 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 life is frequently unfair. They are able to emerge from trying circumstances with self-awareness and appreciation for the lessons learned. When a situation turns out badly, they respond with phrases such as “Oh, well.” or perhaps simply, “Next!”

2. Give Away Their Power

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.

3. Shy Away from 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.

4. Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control

Mentally strong people don’t complain (much) about bad traffic, lost luggage, 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. Worry About Pleasing Others

Those with mental strength will not go out of their way to dis-please others as a way of reinforcing an image of strength? Instead, they strive 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 and wisdom.

6. Fear Taking Calculated 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.

7. Dwell on the Past

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 and future.

8. Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

Mentally strong people accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes repeatedly. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future.

9. Resent Other People’s Success

Mentally strong people can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. They recognize that success comes with hard work, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success.

10. Expect Immediate Results

Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.

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