Top Powerful Habits That Will Keep You Mentally Strong & Unbreakable
In leadership, there are times when you need to be mentally tough to navigate through complex information. In life, there are times when you need to be mentally sharp, to make good decisions fast. In those times you need to be mentally strong. Today I’m going to share my go-to habits that will keep you mentally strong — I mean literally unbreakable and unstoppable!
Being a mentally strong minded and demonstrating fortitude are two key behaviors you must develop over time to achieve your goals.
Life is full of unexpected turns and challenges. When faced with difficulties, such as illness, death, divorce, job loss, failure, or other painful and difficult life events, you may feel disoriented or shaken, as though the ground beneath you is no longer stable. Tough times are inevitable in life, and during these tough times it’s not only your emotional health that is tested, but your mental strength as well. Learning strong coping strategies will help you remain on course despite the struggles of the moment.
Make your mind so strong that nothing can break you.
Life is tough and you would find many occasions when if you don’t have a strong mind, as strong as steel, you would break. You don’t want to break, you hear me? Build a strong mind, as strong as steel so that no matter what comes your way, you don’t break. You stand up, and get going. Do your job. You move. You do not break. Steel is one of the toughest metals in the world. It doesn’t break.
The feeling brain is 100% self-protective and it’s not a good place to be when we need to make decisions as we face adversity.
All it knows is that if we’re in discomfort and feel anxious. Instinctively, it tells us to flee or withdraw, so we obey and say, “I can’t.” To develop a strong mind, we have to switch gears to consciously move out of the reactive limbic system and into the thinking cerebral brain. When we face adversity and obstacles, it’s vital for the two parts of our brain to work together so the best decisions can be made.
Here are five habits to help you develop a strong mind and keep on being mentally strong.
Learning to develop yourself mentally and nurture stronger mental muscles, will help you in so many different areas of your life. It will help you overcome challenges, quickly bounce back from failure, and see challenges as an opportunity to grow. Let’s discover several characteristics you need to have in order to become a strong-minded person.
Mental Toughness Habit #1: Master Your Emotions
Your dominant thought often dictates the end result! Meaning, if you think you’re going to fail, you have already convinced yourself you will. Avoid this mind-set and replace this thought with, I will do this! It’s the power of positive thinking that will give you the best chance to succeed in your life. Don’t worry, reframing your mind with this technique takes time but through repetition you will change your outlook from negative to positive.
Nobody likes change, but it’s a part of life.
If you focus on parts of your life that are out of your control, it can leave you feeling drained. Instead, put your attention and what you can control and embrace the unexpected. When you feel mentally strong, you are ready to take on new challenges and overcome hurdles. Instead of resisting change, focus on adapting to it. This ability to be flexible will help you to overcome a crisis and feel much more in control.
We develop a strong mind when we change our interpretation of a situation.
Since we have an innate bias toward negativity, we process bad news faster than good news. This is because our feeling brain is always survival-driven. This also explains why we’re driven to avoid losses far more than we’re driven to pursue gains. Our emotional responses flow from our appraisals of the world. Social psychologist Barbara Frederickson recommends that when you’re under pressure, you can develop a strong mind if you pause and reflect on five things in life that are truly important to you. Pause after each one to ponder them for several seconds. Ground yourself in the simple reality that no amount of hassle or worry can rob us of what matters most.
Be aware of your emotions and tend to your emotional needs, but also take your rational thoughts and logic into consideration.
Take a minute to think about what you do when you’re feeling some unsavory emotions. Do you bury yourself in your bed and sleep for hours when you’re sad? Do you binge eat when you’re stressed? Grab a bottle and start drinking when you’re angry? While we’re all guilty of doing at least one of those things, none of them are really good for actually dealing with our emotions and working through them in a healthy way. Go for a walk or run. Physical activity will help you calm down, and the boost of endorphins will help you feel so much better. Empty your mind and push all those bad thoughts aside. You’ll reduce negative emotions, feel more patient, and will be able to cope better.
You should make some decisions based on logic. Likewise, in some cases, emotion holds more value.
The problem is — we make an emotional decision when we should have applied logic and a logical decision when we should have considered the emotion. Selling a depreciating stock is a logical decision but our emotion of losing money takes over. Spending more time with family instead of work is the right emotional decision, yet we choose the logic of putting in extra time working to earn money. If you have to serious about learning how to grow mentally strong, know where to apply logic and when to consider emotion.
Mental Toughness Habit #2: No Risk Equals No Reward
You can only develop yourself if you have the courage to take risk. Whether your challenge is about leaving your current job to start your own business or breaking unhealthy relationships, it’s all about taking risks to move to the next level in your life and seizing the opportunity. Breaking new ground and achieving new goals means taking risks you once thought was impossible. The word itself gives you the best clue, I’m possible.
Life is a combination of good times and tough times, of happiness and pain.
But remember that though pain is inevitable, suffering is definitely optional. Having a broad perspective on life gives you the strength to move forward through painful times. Know that you are very much needed in this world. With all its infinite possibilities, your life is a gift, for it can become a fountain of joy and happiness not just for yourself but for many others as well. Believe in your ability to be able to ride over adverse circumstances in your life and when you face them, do not cave in. Not many people are resilient but those who are, go through anything that life throws at them.
By choosing to improve your deeply rooted beliefs and notions, you will progress much faster and better than you ever thought possible.
This will allow you to replace your fixed mindset with a growth mindset. The more you do this, the stronger your mind will become. This implies doing things that scare you, make you uncomfortable, and make you want to quit. You have been cultivating bad habits, ideas, and attitudes for years, maybe even decades, and replacing them with better habits, ideas, and attitudes is going to be a life-long process. One should not dream about goals which are easily achieved. Rather, think about something which has several obstacles to finish. One must develop instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts. It means underestimating yourself and playing it safe to hold on to your success is not worth it. If you trust your abilities and in yourself, you should go beyond the imaginable.
The fear of failure can be so potent that it overshadows the (often likely) possibility of winning.
It means that we put off things that don’t directly contribute to our successes, even if they’re things that would allow us to develop in the long-term. So how can we shift our mindset? The key to this lies in redefining success. If we only measure success in terms of monetary value, it closes us off to anything that might pose a risk to our material stability. If, however, we shift the emphasis to personal growth, the threat of failure becomes redundant; every failure becomes a lesson learned, taking us one step closer to our full potential. As Einstein supposedly said, ‘failure is success in progress’.
Making a mistake is not failure. Failing to learn from that mistake is failure.
How can any of us grow without failure? Failing and succeeding is all a part of life. It is possible to shy away from trying something because of your past mistake but trying and failing is healthy for your growth. Do not fear making a mistake, instead learn something new from your experiences and use the knowledge to make better decisions in the current situation. You can get through setbacks and come out even stronger if you can remember that’s it’s not all about you. Don’t take things personally or waste time wondering, “Why me, of all people?” Don’t personalize or let yourself get into self-pity traps. Instead, focus on what you can control.
Mental Toughness Habit #3: Train Your Brain
Just like your muscles, your mind needs to be exercised to gain strength. Growth and development take consistent work, and if you have not pushed yourself recently, you might not be growing as much as you can. Mental strength is built through lots of small wins, maintained through the choices we make every day. To gain stamina, take on a daily task that stretches your mental endurance.
Strong-minded people have a menu of self-care habits.
They have a mental list (perhaps even a physical list) of good habits that support them when they need it most. We can all become self-care spotters in our life — noticing those things that recharge our batteries. An intense workout doesn’t just take your physical muscles, but your mental strength as well. When you lift 100 pounds for the first time in your life, you do something that you thought you couldn’t do. That builds your mental strength and expands your vision of what you are capable of. Have you ever run a full marathon or even a half marathon? It is painful. However, a lot of people finish both formats. When you finish a marathon, it feels good because you learnt to go through pain and built your physical and mental muscles in the process.
High performance can only be measured in execution — it doesn’t matter how many incredible plans you have unless you do them.
“Let it be easy” is one of the most misleading phrases in the self-development world as it is too often misinterpreted that life should not require effort. A desire to totally avoid experiences which don’t feel pleasant will lead to a very limited existence. At some stage, you will be called upon to move through boredom, frustration and failure if you want to improve or grow. Whilst motivation that is born from enthusiasm and passion can give you a powerful boost, it is unreliable. There will always be times when you do not have a desire to take action. Similarly, willpower is spontaneous and fails us on many occasions exactly when we need it most. This is when you must to rely on self-discipline instead.
Mental toughness boils down to one thing: discipline. You can make any change you want to your mindset and the way you think, with discipline.
Discipline is about not letting the small stuff topple over your tower of happiness. To have an abundance of mental toughness you have to make a decision. That decision is that you have to decide to be in control. That means not letting events control you but making sure that you decide what those events mean for yourself. Apart from a decision, mental toughness is about practice. It’s about becoming conscious of your thoughts and then getting the best out of them.
Discipline is about no longer settling for second best. It’s about choosing to the right decisions which you already intuitively know the answer to.
You know you should work before play, eat healthy, exercise, do what you love, and treat people with love and kindness. You know all of these things, yet you don’t do them when you lack discipline. The best way to always come from a state of discipline is to tie it to your purpose. You need to have a life quest that is more important than anything else in your life. Then, when you have a decision to make that requires discipline, remind yourself of your purpose, and tell your brain that you will fail at your purpose if you are not disciplined. By linking the outcome of your purpose to discipline, you rewire your brain to make the best decisions for you. It gives you leverage over your brain to rig the game in your favor.
Mental Toughness Habit #4: Set New Goals
New goals allow for new accomplishments. People have different ways of coping with negative emotions such as anger, outbursts, anxiety or sadness, but these common coping methods will only make them feel better for a short time. Often with long term regrets. Mentally strong people understand the importance of time and know how precious it is. They set specific, measurable goals based on what is most important to them and what their biggest capabilities are. Strong-minded people know that only a small number of activities achieve transformational results so they take control of their time and are far more sensitive about spending time on non-essential activities.
There is a mission you are trying to achieve in life, and there will be obstacles.
Make your purpose your guide. Let it determine what you are supposed to do in a certain situation where your emotional and mental strength is being tested. If you don’t have a purpose, you need one. The more you fight life, the more mentally strong you become. More the challenges you face without giving up, the more confident you become of facing them. The more adversity you go through without it breaking you, you build a lifetime stock of memories that no matter how tough life got, you did not let it break you. So, fight with all you have got.
Once you’ve accepted the irrefutable facts of life, what remains are the things you can change.
You have direct influence over everything else in your life. If you believe things simply “happen to you” and that “everybody is out to get you”, that’s a recipe for an absolutely miserable life. You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself. By “change yourself” I mean change your mindset. Change the way you approach life and the situations you encounter. You always have a choice. Even if you don’t do anything, you are making a choice. The same way, you always have options. They may not be the options you particularly like, but options still exist.
Mentally strong people have the courage to trust their judgment and stay on their own path, despite what other people may say or think.
They have the mental strength and courage to shoot for bigger and better goals, even though they may not have the capability right now to achieve them. Strong-minded people trust themselves, their vision and their choices. They are internally driven and are in total control of their choices, guided by their vision of a bigger future. They take total responsibility for their choices and hold themselves accountable for making those choices. When you have the mental strength to choose a specific path, you become responsible for how you react to the challenges and successes you experience along the way.
Mentally strong individuals have the guts to express how they truly feel and act how they want to, even if it isn’t popular with everyone else.
It won’t happen overnight, but try doing and saying things you actually want. If you don’t want to hang out with your friends that night, tell them. If you feel like singing along to “Call Me Maybe” when it comes on at the bar, by all means, sing your heart out. That stuff takes courage, and trust me when I say people will respect your giant balls for actually doing what no one else can do. As we all know, the things we want in life don’t magically appear in front of us, and sometimes, we need to really work for those things. And I’m talking blood, sweat, and tears. That’s why only the mentally strong achieve what they want — they’re willing to endure that pain.
Mental Toughness Habit #5: No Is an Answer
You feel mentally stronger if you are happy. It’s Time to take back the power of your happiness. Avoid making compromises to please others at the expense of following your dream. The fear of disappointing others may hold you back, so you need to focus on your own personal goals and develop the courage to make decisions that work for you without fearing upsetting some people.
For many of us, saying NO is pretty damn hard.
But research from the University of California in San Francisco revealed that the harder it is for you to say no to people, the more likely you are to be stressed, get burnt out, and even depressed. And that’s not good. That said, mentally strong people don’t have a problem saying no, which keeps them from overcommitting themselves. If you say yes to things you don’t want to do, or every time someone asks you for help or invites you somewhere, you won’t have any time for yourself, nor will you be happy. Long story short, try to incorporate the word “no” more into your vernacular. Your mind and body will thank you.
So, if you too are a member of the “yay” club then you’ll be well aware of the fact that you can’t keep everyone happy.
And saying yes all the time, especially when you really want to say no, you end up feeling over-burdened. Isn’t it? It becomes easier for people to accept your no if you kindly disarm them first. You could for example do that by saying that you are flattered and that you appreciate the kind offer. And be honest about whatever you say. Then you can, for instance, add that you do not have the time for accepting and doing what they want. Although offering a helping hand and being generous with others is a good thing and provides you with many benefits, it’s also important to remember that you’re your first priority. It’s okay to be flexible, but not to the point of doing everything to please others and put their needs before your own.
If we don’t set limits, we disrespect ourselves.
It’s as if we’re invisible to ourselves, giving those around us the right to decide for us. In fact, if we don’t learn to say no, our self-esteem may suffer to the point where we feel lonely and destined to fail. When we always do everything for others, we tend to ignore our true desires. Our focus is on pleasing those around us instead of meeting our own needs, which leads to a deep feeling of inner loneliness. We start to think that nobody loves us for who we are, but for what we can do for them. But the truth is that, if that’s the case, our behavior is what’s feeding those thoughts. Think about this: how are other people going to get to know your true self when you’re only trying to satisfy their needs?
Be clear with others about what you can take on.
In some situations, it might not always be possible to say no to things, or tell people exactly how you feel. But if you can, let people know if their demands are unreasonable or unrealistic. You need to take on enough challenges to keep you interested and engaged with the world, but not too many to the point where you are exhausted. Like resilience, managing your boundaries is a practice. It is something that you need to work on and continually adapt. Start by being aware of what works for you and for those around you. Notice what gives you energy, what drains you, and how you communicate to others about what you need. Be alert to when you need to say ‘No’ but also when you need to say ‘Yes’, let others in or accept help.
Many people end up sabotaging themselves by letting minor issues affect their mindset. Over the years, I have realized that knowing how to grow mentally strong is the key to success. Knowing how to worry about things you can control and clearing your mind off your rest can not only make you a better person but also keep you happy.
Mentally strong people are clear on what success means to them, and set their lives and mindset up so they are always winning and moving forward.
We all want to be better. Better at our jobs, better lovers, happier overall…but it’s easier said than done thanks to how easily our emotions and willpower get swayed by everyday life. But if you learn how to avoid those pitfalls, your life will suddenly get a whole lot better. Becoming successful takes the mental strength to take personal responsibility and accountability for your life and the choices you make.
The reason mental strength is the single most important skill you can develop in your life is because it is the root of everything else.
When you’re mentally strong, you can be confident, disciplined, social, rich, or successful in any way you define the word success. Mentally strong people have the ability to perceive reality for what it really is. They can manage their emotions in a healthy and positive way to navigate through life. Although at times it feels impossible to always feel happy about situations you don’t like, it’s important to accept what is happening and move forward.
Practice mental toughness and you’ll soon be amazed at how strong you’ve become.
If you want more out of your life, whether it’s to do better on the job despite a competitive work culture, or enhance your skills no matter the severity of the roadblocks you’ve previously faced — then it’s time to get mentally tough. Times are tough… but the tough get going, and we can learn a lot from them. Be happy and be mentally tough, and know for sure that you will be able to handle anything that comes your way!
Your mind is everything for it contains the thoughts that drive your life.
If you are able to exercise a level of control over your mind so that you don’t break easily, you will be able to go through difficult situations when others give in to pressure and pain. Do not let life break you. You will be tested.
Do not let life break you. Become unbreakable.
Becoming mentally strong doesn’t happen overnight, it’s the result of good habits practiced daily. Strong minded people simply set boundaries, have respect for themselves, and don’t expect others to take the reigns in their life. I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness. Feel free to share your own thoughts and experience in the comments below 😉
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.