Kaitlyn has a background in psychology and writes articles that teach you how to lean on your body, mind, heart, and on those around you.
Do you ever wonder what makes someone a good parent, leader, entrepreneur, athlete? Why do some people accomplish their goals, while others fail? What makes some people able to withstand any setback?
Studies have shown that intelligence alone only accounts for 30 percent of what you achieve in life. Mental strength, on the other hand, plays a much more significant role in helping you achieve your goals. What’s terrific about this is that there are many things you can do to improve your mental strength as opposed to gaining a few IQ points.
Here are 7 things to get you started on your mental strength journey.
Poll: Finishing What You Started
1. Prove Yourself Wrong
Anytime you think you can’t do something, try before you give up. Do everything you can to prove yourself wrong. Push yourself to do that extra push up, sprint the last hundred meters, wake up fifteen minutes earlier than you thought you could. You are the biggest obstacle to achieving newer, more significant milestones. You’re capable of amazing things if you can just get out of your own way. Always try to prove to yourself that you’re better than you think you are and stop underestimating yourself.
2. Get Used to Discomfort
When we get too comfortable, we run the risk of stagnating and becoming complacent. While it’s normal to want to avoid feeling uncomfortable, when we learn how to push through that initial feeling of discomfort, we’re learning to increase our mental resilience. Many successful people and leaders are not born good public speakers, but they keep at it anyway. When you watch them now, you’d never know how nervous they’re feeling on the inside. The more you embrace feelings of discomfort, the stronger you’ll become.
3. Manage Your Emotions
Whether you like it or not, emotions play a large part in our decision-making process. So the key is learning how to control and utilize your emotions when making decisions. If you realize that you’re feeling a little too excited or a bit too anxious about something, take a step back, sleep on it, and perhaps write down your thoughts so you can approach the decision more objectively. Knowing when you need to control your emotions is essential for both your mental strength and health.
4. Explanations Not Excuses
Taking responsibility for your mistakes or failures can feel humiliating, but don’t ignore them or try to cover them up. Mentally strong people accept their mistakes as just one more step towards ultimate success. The only way you can learn and grow from your failures is to take the time to understand why you failed. Don’t make excuses or try to blame someone else. When you get used to approaching setbacks in this way, you’ll be surprised at how natural it becomes to tackle your future failures.
5. Say No
Studies have found that people who can't say “no" are more likely to feel stressed, burnout, and depression. Mentally strong people understand that making their boundaries known by saying “no” is crucial to maintaining their mental health and high self-esteem. When you say no, do it clearly and with confidence without any waffling. A clear “no” is more effective than a soft “I don’t think so.”
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Learning to delay gratification and avoiding impulsive decisions are crucial aspects of self-control that will help you become mentally stronger.
6. Do One Hard Thing Every Day
Mentally strong people continuously challenge themselves to expand their boundaries. You can do this by attempting to do at least one difficult thing a day. Don’t know anything about software, but always wanted to create your own website? Sign up for a beginner web design or coding course to see how well you take to it. Not used to standing up for yourself? Make yourself heard even if it makes you uncomfortable.
When we sleep, our brains detoxes by removing toxic by-products of daytime neural activity. So when we don’t get enough sleep, these toxic by-products stay in our brain cells and can impair our ability to think and manage our emotions and self-control. Mentally strong people know what getting enough sleep is essential to maintaining their self-control, memory, and concentration. So make sleep your top priority to become mentally stronger.
Mental Strength and You
At the end of the day, becoming a mentally strong person is down to whether you have the self-discipline and motivation to develop consistent behaviors. Most people choose to avoid tackling something that’s a little more difficult than they’re used to and may choose something more manageable to tackle instead. Mentally strong people, on the other hand, will find a way to forge ahead.
There will be many moments in the future that require vast amounts of strength, resilience, and courage. So when you encounter these moments, remember not to avoid them. Find a way to push through because that’s the only way you can become a stronger person.
© 2018 KV Lo
Jean Labitoria on October 22, 2018:
I can relate to the Say No, I was stressed when I was younger as I did not know how to say no... then one person told me if I couldn't say no for myself, who will?
Cecil Kenmill from Osaka, Japan on September 15, 2018:
Great info! One thing I noticed missing here is "integrity." Probably because it goes without saying.