13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

15-minute summary of Amy Morin's bestseller

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Chapter One: What is mental strength?

We all possess some degree of mental strength, but there is always room for improvement. People aren’t just categorized into mentally strong and mentally weak. Developing mental strength is about your ability to regulate your emotions, manage your thoughts, and behave in a positive manner. Mental strength comes easily to some people as they are generally more predisposed to physical strength than others, but it doesn’t mean others can’t have such strength as well, you just have to develop and maintain it. It makes you resistant to stress and improves your contentment with life. It also enhances and increases your performance in whatever goal you choose.

Keep reading to find out the 13 things mentally strong people don’t do.

Chapter Two: Mentally strong people don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves

Sometimes as humans, something tragic and irreversible happens to us but that is no excuse to give up.

Everyone experiences pain and sorrow in life.

And although sadness is a normal and healthy emotion, dwelling on your sorrow or misfortune is self-destructive. Whatever the problem is, always know that there is a light at the end of every dark tunnel. It is good to remember that sadness is a part of life and grief is okay, but thinking other people have it better is unhealthy.

Indulging in self-pity hinders living a full life in the following ways:

  • It is a waste of time. Feeling sorry for yourself requires a lot of mental energy and actually does nothing to change the situation.

  • It leads to more negative emotions. Once you allow it to hold, self-pity will ignite a flurry of other negative emotions like loneliness and resentment.

  • It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you feel sorry for yourself, you’re unlikely to perform at your best. And as a result, you may experience more problems and increased failures.

  • It prevents you from dealing with other emotions. Self-pity can stall your progress from healing and moving forward as it keeps the focus on why things should be different rather than accepting the situation for what it is.

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  • It causes you to overlook the good in your life. Self-pity causes you to forget five good things that happened and focus on one bad thing.

  • It interferes with relationships. A victim mentality is not an attractive trait. Complaining about how bad your life is will wear on the people around you quickly. We all experience pain and sorrow one way or the other and it is in facing it that we become stronger.

Chapter Three: Mentally strong people don’t give away their power

There is always someone we feel is against us. It is unavoidable. They are there to be unbearably intrusive and irritating, undermine your authority, and undoubtedly get on your nerves. It is perfectly reasonable and human to get incensed and want to react. But it is unhealthy to devote much time and energy to nurturing those negative emotions as you are effectively giving them power over you to control your reaction to your emotions.

Until you focus your energy on things that hold more value to you, negative emotions will always have that power against you.

The following are the problems that come with giving away your power:

  • You depend on other stop regulate your feelings

  • You let other people define your self-worth

  • You avoid addressing the real problem

  • You become a victim of your circumstances

  • You become highly sensitive to criticism

  • You lose sight of your goals

  • You ruin relationships

Identify the people who have taken your power and reclaim it. This will make you stronger.

Chapter Four: Mentally strong people don’t shy away from change

Change is a part of life, it is a part of being human. But it is hard, and even though we know we will improve our lives if we embrace it, we often resist it because our routine is easy and comfortable. It is okay to be afraid of change.

When diving into changes too fast, we overwhelm and tire ourselves out instead of facing the change.

There are five stages of change:

  • Pre-contemplation: When people are pre-contemplative, they don’t yet identify any need to change.

  • Contemplation: People who are actively contemplative are considering the pros and cons of making a change.

  • Preparation: This is the stage where people prepare to effect a change. They establish a plan with concrete steps that identify with what they want to do differently.

  • Actions: This is where the concrete behavioral changes take place.

  • Maintenance: This step is often overlooked but it is essential. It is important to plan ahead so as to maintain lifestyle changes in the face of obstacles.

Five stages of change are Pre-contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Actions, Maintenance.

If what you are trying to change is too much and you attempt it alone, it is doomed to fail. It is then you need to accept help and support from people you trust and also take it one step after another, committing to the goals you have set.

Chapter Five: Mentally strong people don’t focus on things they cannot control

There are several problems associated with trying to control everything:

  • It leads to increased anxiety

  • It wastes time and energy

  • It ruins relationships

  • It makes you judge others harshly

  • You’ll unnecessarily blame yourself for everything.

Learn to let certain things go. Understand that some things are just beyond your control. Holding on sometimes hurts more than letting go. If you’ve exhausted all possible options to get something to work your way and it doesn’t, it would be unreasonable, unhealthy, and unwise to keep at it.

Accept that you cannot control it all for your peace and wellbeing and move on. Learn to influence and not control.