And now for something I don’t think I’ve ever done: a numbered list of “top tips.”
I was inspired by an article I saw recently that was entitled 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.
My first reaction, when I saw it linked on a friend’s Facebook page, was, “These are concepts that I teach and strive to model. Am I ‘perfect’ at them 24/7? Hell no. And that’s okay. Knowing and understanding these concepts, however, has helped me immensely.”
My friend was somewhat turned off by the tone of the article so I decided to rewrite it through the lens of profound self-trust.
Here are 14 things I believe mentally [and emotionally] strong people are able to do:
1. They Take The Time To Examine Why They Might Be Feeling Sorry For Themselves
Mentally and emotionally strong people acknowledge that sometimes they feel sorry for themselves. They allow themselves to be curious about why they’re feeling that way. They also understand that ultimately they are responsible for themselves, and that outside circumstances and how others treat them is not a reflection of them. They get that life isn’t always easy or fair.
2. They Are Emotionally Empowered
They understand that their thoughts are what cause their feelings. Instead of saying things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” they understand that they have a choice in how they respond, AND that they are more empowered to make choices knowing that they get to decide how they want to feel. They do not give responsibility of their emotions to anyone else.
3. They May Be Uncomfortable With Change But Embrace It The Best They Can
Rather than trying to avoid change, mentally and emotionally strong people understand that change is a given. They choose to be flexible and they believe in their abilities to adapt.
4. They Focus On What Is In Their Control
A mentally and emotionally strong person can genuinely express so-called “negative” feelings like frustration or sadness, without complaining about things that are out of their control, like traffic jams. They strive to focus on what they can control: their response.
5. They’re Able To Say No Gracefully
Mentally and emotionally strong people know and like themselves well enough to understand that they may not please everyone all the time. They’re able to say “no” to requests that aren’t a “hell yes” because they’d rather be known and liked for who they are, instead of for pleasing others. They can handle it when other people are upset and understand that no matter what they do or don’t do, they can’t make other people happy…they know they are not responsible for others’ feelings.
6. They Take Imperfect Action
Mentally and emotionally strong people are able to quiet the voices in their heads that say things like “Who do you think you are?” and “If you try, you might fail, so don’t even bother” and “It’s not perfect, so you can’t do it.” They know that imperfect action is better than no action.
7. They Strive To Be Present
Mentally and emotionally strong people try to stay in the here and now and, despite painful things that may have happened in the past, they choose to be accepting and/or grateful, and to learn from those things.
8. They Sometimes Make The Same Mistakes Over Again
They accept responsibility for their behavior, strive to learn from past mistakes, and understand that incremental improvement is better than no improvement. They get the concept of “progress not perfection” and don’t beat themselves up if they make the same mistake twice (or three or four times). They know that trying to hold themselves to “never again” can sometimes be counterproductive. They also recognize that there is a gift in mistakes that are made more than once. They strive to do better and don’t worry too much about the future.
9. They Celebrate Other People’s [And Their Own] Successes
Mentally and emotionally strong people are happy for others who are successful because they know the energy of celebration and appreciation feels so much better than jealousy. They also know that being inspired by others, versus operating from a place of fear and jealousy, is an indication of their own success. And finally, they know that it’s important to celebrate their own successes.
10. They Have A Healthy View Of Failure
Mentally and emotionally strong people don’t take failure personally (meaning, they don’t see themselves as “losers” if they fail). They choose to be curious about what went wrong and they see it as an opportunity to learn something and to keep trying.
11. They Like To Be Alone Sometimes
They relish being alone from time to time and seek out opportunities for it. They use this time however they see fit, whether it’s to rest, do work, exercise, or just quietly for a while.
12. They Understand How The Universe Works
Mentally and emotionally strong people understand that their intentions, efforts, and actions attract success on their own terms, not based on what others tell them success is. They enjoy working towards their goals and that which comes easily and naturally to them is valuable to others.
13. They Get That It Takes As Long As It Needs To Take…
…and that’s okay. Whatever it is they are working towards, they understand that it’s a process and that it takes time. They also choose to use their own measurements of success, rather than comparing themselves and their efforts against others.
14. They Understand That It’s A Practice
Mentally and emotionally strong people understand that the first 13 things are practices, and that they won’t do these things 100% of the time, perfectly.
What would you add?
And more importantly, which of these things would you like some coaching on? I am giving away three one-on-one sessions (value: $150 each) to three separate individuals. If you are interested, please sign up (above, in the purple bar) to receive my every-once-in-while email love letters and I’ll be in touch with some questions.