Amy Morin - What Mentally Strong People Don't Do
Posted Nov 28, 2018
Mental strength and inner peace go hand in hand. Mentally strong people are confident that they can handle whatever life throws their way.That's not to say they don't feel pain or that they don't get sad — they experience their emotions on a deep level. But they don't waste energy wishing things were different or trying to change other people. They stay focused on managing their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
They also make self-improvement a priority, because they know there's always room for improvement. And they give up these 10 things that could destroy their inner peace.
1. Engaging with toxic people
The people you surround yourself with affect the way you think, feel, and behave. Engaging with people who lie, gossip, bully, or cheat takes a toll on your well-being.
Mentally strong people don't waste their energy trying to change toxic people. They establish healthy emotional and physical boundaries.
2. Excessive self-blame
Thinking everything is 100 percent your fault — whether it's a failed relationship or an accident — will affect the way you see yourself and the world around you. You can't always prevent bad things from happening.
Mentally strong people take appropriate accountability. They recognize that they're responsible for their choices, but they also acknowledge factors beyond their control, like the state of the economy, the weather, and other people's choices.
3. Chasing happiness
Thinking you need to be happy all the time will backfire. Momentary pleasure is much different than long-term satisfaction.
Mentally strong people are willing to put in the hard work it takes to gain contentment. They refuse to give in to instant gratification or temporary indulgences. They look for ways to build a brighter future by creating long-term goals.
4. Staying comfortable
It may seem like staying inside your comfort zone is the key to feeling good in life. But avoiding discomfort always backfires in the end.
Mentally strong people face their fears, venture into unknown areas, and test their limits. They know that being uncomfortable is tolerable and allowing themselves to experience discomfort is the key to living a better life.
5. The victim mentality
Thinking the world and the people in it are out to get you will prevent you from being your best. In fact, if you blame all of your problems on external circumstances, you'll never take responsibility for your life.
Mentally strong people acknowledge their choices, even in the face of tragic circumstances. They focus on the things they can control, and they refuse to waste their time hosting pity parties.
6. Trying to impress people
You could waste a lot of your life trying to make people like you. Depending on admiration from others, however, gives others power over you.
Mentally strong people are comfortable in their own skin. They don't waste their time worrying about whether other people approve of their choices. Instead, they focus on living according to their values.
7. The pursuit of perfection
Striving for excellence is healthy. But insisting on perfection is an uphill battle. You'll never feel good enough if you set the bar impossibly high.
Mentally strong people accept that they're going to fail and make mistakes. They are able to acknowledge their flaws and weaknesses.
You may think that holding onto a grudge somehow punishes someone else. But in reality, clinging to anger and hatred only reduces your life.
Mentally strong people let go of grudges so they can focus their energy on more worthwhile causes. That doesn't mean they allow themselves to be abused by people, however. It just means they don't allow pent-up resentment to overtake their lives.
9. The quest for material things
No matter how much money you make, a bigger house, a nicer car, or more expensive clothing won't give you peace of mind. Expecting material possessions to satisfy your needs will leave you sorely disappointed.
Mentally strong people aren't necessarily minimalists, however. They can enjoy nice things. But they don't expect their material possessions to give them joy and contentment.
10. Complete self-reliance
Thinking you can do everything on your own is about acting tough — not being strong. There will be times when asking for help is important.
Mentally strong people aren't afraid to admit when they need help. Whether they rely on a higher power, ask for professional help, or lean on a friend during a time in need, they gain strength from others. Knowing they don't have to have all the answers gives them a renewed sense of inner peace.
How to Build Mental Muscle
Inner peace comes from knowing your beliefs and having the willingness to act according to them. It takes mental muscle to do that.
Fortunately, everyone has the ability to practice mental strength exercises every day. The more mental muscle you build, the easier it is to find true contentment in life.
Amy Morin is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, college psychology instructor and internationally recognized expert on mental strength. She's a Wall Street Journal and international bestselling author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do and 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do.