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Tuesday, 18 April 2017 12:27

Eleven habits of mentally strong people

By: 

Travis Bradberry says mentally strong people set themselves apart from the crowd by seeing barriers as challenges to overcome. He lists some strategies we can all use to develop our mental strength.


We all reach critical points in our lives where our mental strength is tested. It might be a difficult friend or colleague, a dead-end job, or a struggling relationship.

Whatever the challenge, you have to be strong, see things through a new lens, and take decisive action if you want to move through it successfully.

It sounds easy. We all want good friends, good jobs, and good relationships.

But it isn’t. It’s hard to be mentally strong, especially when you feel stuck. The ability to break the mold and take a bold new direction requires that extra grit, daring, and spunk that only the mentally strongest people have.

It’s fascinating how mentally strong people set themselves apart from the crowd. Where others see impenetrable barriers, they see challenges to overcome. There are habits you can develop to improve your mental strength. In fact, the hallmarks of mentally strong people are actually strategies that you can begin using today.

They’re emotionally intelligent:

Emotional intelligence is the cornerstone of mental strength. You cannot be mentally strong without the ability to fully understand and tolerate strong negative emotions and do something productive with them. Moments that test your mental strength are ultimately testing your emotional intelligence (EQ).

Unfortunately EQ skills are in short supply. TalentSmart has tested more than a million people, and we’ve found that just 36 per cent of these are able to accurately identify their emotions as they happen.

They’re confident:

Mentally strong people subscribe to the notion that your mentality has a powerful effect on your ability to succeed. A recent study at the University of Melbourne showed that confident people went on to earn higher wages and get promoted more quickly than others did.

Fuel chaos

True confidence — as opposed to the false confidence people project to mask their insecurities — has a look all its own. Mentally strong people have an upper hand over the doubtful and the skittish because their confidence inspires others and helps them to make things happen.

They say no:

Research conducted at UC Berkeley showed that the more difficulty you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Mentally strong people know that saying no is healthy, and they have the self-esteem and foresight to make their ‘nos’ clear.

When it’s time to say no, mentally strong people avoid phrases such as: “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” They say no with confidence because they know that saying no to a new commitment honours their existing commitments and gives them the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

They neutralise difficult people:

Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. Mentally strong people control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check.

When they need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally. They identify their emotions and don’t allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. They also consider the difficult person’s standpoint and are able to find common ground and solutions to problems.

Even when things completely derail, mentally strong people are able to take the toxic person with a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring them down.

They embrace change:

Mentally strong people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear of change is paralysing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for change that is lurking just around the corner, and they form a plan of action should these changes occur.

Only when you embrace change can you find the good in it. You need to have an open mind and open arms if you’re going to recognise, and capitalise on, the opportunities that change creates.

They embrace failure:

Mentally strong people embrace failure because they know that the road to success is paved with it. No one ever experienced true success without first embracing failure. By revealing when you’re on the wrong path, your mistakes pave the way for you to succeed.

The biggest breakthroughs typically come when you’re feeling the most frustrated and the most stuck. It’s this frustration that forces you to think differently, to look outside the box, and to see the solution that you’ve been missing.

Yet, they don't dwell on mistakes:

Mentally strong people know that where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems that you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress, which hinders performance.

When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy, which produces positive emotions and improves performance.

They don't compare themselves to others:

Toxic proteins

Mentally strong people don’t pass judgment on other people because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don’t need to take other people down a notch in order to feel good about themselves.

Comparing yourself to other people is limiting. Jealousy and resentment suck the life out of you. Mentally strong people don’t waste time or energy sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up. Instead of wasting your energy on jealousy, funnel that energy into appreciation.

They exercise:

A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more socially, intellectually, and athletically competent. They also rated their body image and self-esteem higher.

Best of all, rather than the physical changes in their bodies being responsible for the uptick in confidence, which is key to mental strength, it was the immediate, endorphin-fueled positivity from exercise that made all the difference.

They get enough sleep:

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your mental strength. When you sleep, your brain removes toxic proteins, which are by-products of neural activity when you're awake.

Your brain can remove them adequately only while you're asleep, so when you don't get enough sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc by impairing your ability to think — something no amount of caffeine can fix.

They’re relentlessly positive:

Keep your eyes on the news for any length of time, and you’ll see that it’s just one endless cycle of war, violent attacks, fragile economies, failing companies, and environmental disasters.

It’s easy to think the world is headed downhill fast. And who knows? Maybe it is. But mentally strong people don’t worry about that because they don’t get caught up in things they can’t control.

Instead of trying to start a revolution overnight, they focus their energy on directing the two things that are completely within their power — their attention and their effort.

Mental strength is not an innate quality bestowed upon a select few. It can be achieved and enjoyed.

*Travis Bradberry is the co-founder of TalentSmart, a provider of emotional intelligence tests, emotional intelligence training, and emotional intelligence certification.

This article first appeared on the TalentSmart website.

Source : psnews.com.au

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