13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do
1. Don't Feel Sorry for Yourself #
Everyone faces tragedy at some point. When it inevitably does, focus on feeling gratitude instead of self-pity. Feel grateful for what you still have and find ways to turn tragedies into future opportunities. Feelings of gratitude can even improve physical health.
2. Don't Give Power to Others #
Letting other's opinions influence your goals and behavior simply gives others power over you. Others who may use that power with uncaring or bad intentions. Not letting those opinions matter means you keep the power over your own life. Even people whose opinions of you take the form of rejecting you or blocking you from your goals, like a manager refusing you for a job you want.
A big part of reclaiming your power over yourself is forgiveness. Holding a grudge means holding on to negative emotions that will keep influencing your behavior, thus giving the person power over you. Forgiveness lets those emotions go and puts the focus back on yourself. This forgiveness has to be unconditional since putting conditions on it gives others the power to purposefully meet or avoid them. Unconditional forgiveness also has physical benefits for long-term health, like gratitude.
3. Don't Fear Change #
Embracing change lets you make the most out of unexpected or bad situations. Resisting it can keep you on a path that's no longer viable or isn't the best for you. Some steps to build the right attitude for change:
- Realize that negative thoughts about "I can't do X" are usually unfounded and not worth listening too.
- Set a realistic goal with a set reasonable time limit, like 30 days.
- Build concrete, daily habits to help you reach that goal.
- Anticipate obstacles you'll face, like a lack of motivation, and keep them handy as time goes on.
- Keep yourself accountable in some way. Telling others is a good way since you won't want to disappoint them.
- Measure your progress. Making your progress visible boosts motivation.
4. Don't Stress Over What You Can’t Control #
If throwing your energy at something won't do anything, like getting angry in a traffic jam, don't throw energy at it in the first place. Concentrate instead on what you can control, and do as much good with it as you can.
You can both take lots of steps with what you can control while doing nothing about what they can't control.
5. Don't Worry About Pleasing Everyone #
Don't fear that what you do will hurt others' feelings. Changing yourself to match what you think others want only makes people not respect you for being fake, and brings you further away from what you want.
Knowing what you want, and pursuing it regardless of others' feelings, is the best way to get where you want to be. People will dislike you no matter what you do, so you might as well do what you like.
6. Don't Avoid Risks, and Take Calculated Ones #
Taking no risks hampers your progress, but huge risks can cause crippling or demotivating failures. So when you do take a risk, minimize them and aim for "low risk, high reward" scenarios.
First, know the specific nature of the risk. One specific part of a larger situation may be where more or all of the risk lies. Then take steps to avoid or lower that specific risk.
Sometimes it could be as simple as looking at the risk another way, and realizing it's not as bad as you expected. Getting a second opinion can often help you realize this.
7. Don't Dwell on the Past #
Don't pretend bad past events never happened. Accept what happened in the past and forgive yourself (and the others) who were involved. This lets you build on those experiences in the present, such as helping others avoid similar experiences.
Some tips to better come to terms with the past are:
- Let yourself enjoy your current life
- Don't avoid change due to what happened before
8. Don't Make the Same Mistakes Twice #
Accept the mistakes you made before, and will likely keep making, so you can't learn from them. Ignoring them simply makes them more likely to happen again. Study why they happened and takes steps to avoid it again.
Ask what you did wrong, what could have gone better, and what you can do differently next time. Be honest and not too hard on yourself. None of this is easy, however, and takes some self-discipline.
- Remember how it will feel to reach your goal. This is a good motivation to keep you on a different path.
- Keep a list of reasons why you don't want to make the same mistakes. Have it nearby to consult for motivation during weak moments.
- Make restrictions ahead of time to avoid mistakes. For example, store money away before going out so you can't waste it at a mall.
9. Don't Resent Other's Success #
Resent and envy are common but unhealthy. But these feelings can be overcome so you can harness others' success instead. The best way to do this is collaboration. This helps avoid needless fights that damage the parties involved. Collaboration with successful people makes those involved better and attracts more good people they can work with. Everyone is lifted.
10. Don't Give Up After an Initial Failure #
In most cases, success only happens after lots of failures. So treat failures as stepping stones to walk across, not walls to give up at. This is why persistence is usually more important than talent in the long run.
So failure is important, but you may see it as shameful. Treat yourself with compassion to help accept failure more gracefully and work to improve afterward.
11. Don't Fear Being Alone #
When alone many people need noise to keep their mind occupied, like television or other distractions. This drowns out internal thoughts and worries but also keeps you from self-reflection and inspiration. Things to reflect on include:
- Life goals
- Negative emotions
- New goals and dreams
Record these important musings in a journal. They help a lot in finding a better path in life.
Meditation is also great for removing this reliance on noise. It can also improve long-term mental health and brain structure.
12. Don't Feel Entitled #
Everyone has a chance of developing a sense of entitlement throughout their lives. But it prevents people from earning things based on merit. Focused on what you believe you're owed takes away the reason to work for anything.
Instead of expecting everything from the world, focus on giving. Not expecting to keep taking brings the focus to giving back. This is the root of making an actual difference in the world.
13. Don't Expect Immediate Results #
Major changes are tough, so keep expectations realistic by:
- Don't expect it to be easy. This primes you to put in the right amount of work.
- Don't get fixated on a deadline. If it takes you longer than expected to get the desired result, that's fine.
- Don't expect your life to get wonderful afterward. Sometimes a goal is just a goal, and it won't make everything else better.
It also often takes time to show real results. Don't expect changes to be visible right away. Be patient, even if things seem to get worse at first. Stick to the goal and keep going.
Put It All Together #
Keep a watchful eye on yourself to make sure you follow these rules.
- If you're repeating bad behavior, come up with workable strategies to avoid or fix them.
- Be aware of your emotions. Reflect on negative feelings as they appear, try to understand them, and let them go.
- Watch for bad thoughts, such as unrealistic expectations or trying to control the uncontrollable. Acknowledge them and let them fade away, and move towards more productive ones.