What you don’t do can be as important as what you do when it comes to how mentally strong you are.
And your mental strength can help you when you:
- Have to make tough decisions.
- Face adversity.
- Need to maintain focus through the distractions that can divert you from your core business goals.
- Need to move on from a bad decision.
Author Amy Morin shares her three-pronged approach to developing mental strength in her book “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” noting that it’s all about controlling your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.
Mentally strong people:
Don’t feel sorry for themselves.
- It’s self-destructive
- It wastes time
- It creates negative emotions
- It hurts your relationships
Self-pity hinders living a full life so swap it with gratitude. In other words, appreciate what you have.
Don’t give away their power.
By establishing physical and emotional boundaries, you maintain your mental strength.
- You can stand up for yourself and draw the line when you need to.
- You must be in control of your actions to define your success and self-worth.
- You must be able to keep track of your goals and continuously work towards them.
Don’t retract when presented with change.
There are five stages of change (pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance).
Following through with each of the five steps is crucial to face change without shyness or hesitation.
Face change immediately. Delaying will only make it harder and you may lose your competitive advantage or market share.
This doesn’t mean you don’t think change is frightening, rather it means that you accept that but are determined to accept change so growth can take place.
Don’t focus on things out of their control.
Trying to control everything is often the way people respond to anxiety, but it doesn’t benefit your business.
Focus on managing anxiety.
Shift focus from the things outside of your control to:
- Increase happiness
- Reduce stress
- Improve relationships
- Create new opportunities
- Enjoy more success
Don’t try to please everyone.
First of all, this is an exercise in futility. So don’t attempt it.
Besides, being a people-pleaser is the complete opposite of mental toughness and:
- Is a waste of time
- Leaves you open to manipulation
- Ignores the fact that it is OK for others to feel angry or disappointed
Getting rid of this mindset makes you stronger and more self-confident.
Don’t fear taking calculated risks.
The risks that are scary are the ones that you have no knowledge about. This applies to financial, physical, emotional, social, or business-related risks.
Arming yourself with knowledge about the decisions ahead enables you to:
- Calculate the associated risks
- Prevent unwarranted assumptions
Increase your knowledge of risks by knowing:
- Potential costs
- Potential benefits
- Effect on your goals
- Results of the best scenario
- Results of the worst scenario
- Ways to mitigate bad results
- Impact to long range plans
Don’t dwell on the past.
Mental strength enables you to move on. You can let the past be the past because you’ve accepted the fact that you can’t do change what happened.
Dwelling on the past:
- Is self-destructive
- Prevents planning
- Renders you unable to enjoy the present
- Can lead to depression
Thinking about the past is beneficial because that is where your lessons are learned. This is a factual exercise while dwelling on the past is an emotional one.
Don’t make the same mistakes over and over.
When you’ve learned your lessons, you can make sure that you don’t repeat your mistakes.
- Accept responsibility for the mistake
- Study what went wrong
- Figure out what you could have done better
- Identify how to make sure you do it differently in the future
- Put your plan in writing
Don’t resent other people’s success.
Resentment for what others have accomplished usually is internalized.
- Distracts you from your own goals and values
- Cannot help you succeed
- Blinds you to your own talents
- Prevents you from being content with whatever level of success you do achieve
- Destroys relationships
Don’t give up after the first failure.
Mental strength allows you to embrace failure without destroying your self-confidence.
If you’re strong mentally, you can:
- Admit you’ve failed
- Face rejection
- Use failure to become stronger
- Bounce back after you’ve failed
Failure doesn’t mean that you aren’t good enough. It simply means you need to analyze, adjust and try again.
Don’t fear alone time.
Mental strength enables you to break away from the day-to-day grind to focus on growth.
Alone time is beneficial.
- Solitude at the office can increase productivity.
- Alone time may increase your empathy.
- Spending time alone sparks creativity.
- Solitary skills are good for mental health.
- Solitude offers restoration.
Don’t feel the world owes them anything.
This correlates to one’s attitude about failure. Getting angry at the world because you didn’t achieve the success you “deserve” is the easy way out. Getting angry keeps you from admitting the failure and stepping up to analyze it and learning from it.
- Life is not fair.
- No one is entitled to success.
- Everyone has to earn it.
Instead, earn success by:
- Focusing on your efforts
- Accepting criticism
- Acknowledging flaws
- Eliminating comparisons to others
Don’t expect immediate results.
The mentally weak are impatient. They generally overestimate their abilities and underestimate how long it takes to reach full potential.
The mentally strong attain success because they are confident in their plans. They are steady in their focus and relentlessly work toward their goals. They don’t let the small failures along the way distract them, measure progress against the big picture.
Resources: www.businessinsider.com, Amy Morin’s “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do”