For some people, failure becomes a permanent roadblock between them and success. For the mentally strong, however, setbacks are an opportunity to sharpen skills and become better at what they do. Whether they are passed up for a promotion or their side hustle costs more money than it earns, mentally strong people don’t let failure define them.
Here’s how mentally strong people turn setbacks into comebacks:
1. They keep failure in proper perspective.
Mentally strong people don’t get overly upset when things don’t go as planned. Instead, they keep setbacks in proper perspective. They intentionally regulate their thoughts and manage their emotions so they can continue to behave productively, despite any hardships they face.
2. They practice self-compassion.
Rather than beat themselves up for not getting it right the first time, mentally strong people maintain a productive inner dialogue. They talk to themselves the same way they’d speak to a trusted friend—with kind and supportive words of encouragement.
3. They choose to be grateful.
Instead of becoming upset that their first attempt didn’t work, mentally strong people choose to be grateful for opportunities to try new things. Their willingness to look for the silver lining keeps their mood positive as they commit to moving forward.
4. They respect their vulnerabilities.
Mentally strong people use failure as an opportunity to spot their weaknesses. Rather than dispute their shortcomings or hide their mistakes, they seek to be authentic. A humble, self-aware approach helps them develop strategies to become a better person.
5. They acknowledge their strengths.
Setbacks give mentally strong people chances to evaluate their strengths, but they acknowledge their positive attributes without arrogance; they don’t need to brag about their characteristics or achievements. Instead, they simply recognize what they do well so they can build upon these existing strengths.
6. They create a plan to become better.
Mentally strong people view failure as part of the long road to success. They turn each setback into an opportunity to gather more information. Armed with more knowledge, they create a plan to try again.
7. They maintain a healthy self-worth.
A mentally strong person’s self-worth is contingent upon who he is, not what he does. As long as they behave according to their values, mentally strong people feel good about themselves, regardless of their personal or professional failures. Their confidence helps them find the courage to get back up each time they fall.
Build Mental Strength
Building mental strength is similar to building physical strength. You can perform exercises and develop healthy habits—and give up your unproductive habits—to build mental muscle every day. The stronger you grow, the more likely you’ll be to turn your next setback into your biggest comeback.
Aug 29, 2016 Amy Morin LCSW AUTHOR OF What Mentally Strong People Don’t Do
Building mental strength takes hard work and commitment, but it’s the key to reaching your greatest potential.
As the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, I usually spend my time talking about the bad habits that can rob you of mental strength. After all, it only takes one bad habit to hold you back from reaching your greatest potential.
In addition to giving up those bad habits, however, it’s also important to perform exercises that build your mental muscle. With hard work and dedication, you can train your brain to perform at your peak.
Here are 18 things mentally strong people do.
1. They practice gratitude.
Counting their blessings, rather than their burdens, helps mentally strong people keep life in proper perspective. Their choice to be grateful shines through in their mood and behavior.
2. They retain their personal power.
Mentally strong people don’t give negative people power over them. They refuse to blame anyone for holding them back or dragging them down.
3. They accept challenges.
Mentally strong people view adversity as an opportunity to grow stronger. With each obstacle they overcome, they gain confidence in their ability to become better.
4. They focus on the things they can control.
Mentally strong people stay productive and effective by focusing on the things they have control over. Rather than waste energy worrying about whether the storm will come, they invest their efforts into preparing for it the best they can.
5. They set healthy boundaries.
Creating healthy emotional and physical boundaries gives mentally strong people the room they need to grow. Even when they may disappoint others, they’re willing to say no.
6. They take calculated risks.
Mentally strong people balance their emotions with logic so they can calculate each risk they face. They’re willing to step outside their comfort zone and seek opportunities that will help them reach their goals.
7. They make peace with the past.
Mentally strong people reflect on the past so they can learn from it, but they don’t dwell on it. They refuse to live a life of regret and they let go of grudges.
8. They learn from their mistakes.
Rather than beat themselves up for their mistakes, mentally strong people focus on learning from them. They accept full responsibility for their behavior and choose to move forward in a productive manner.
9. They create their own definition of success.
Rather than resent other’s good fortune, mentally strong people feel free to share in their joy. They recognize that other people’s achievements don’t diminish their own.
10. They view failure as an opportunity for growth.
Failure is often part of any long journey toward success. Mentally strong people accept that and they choose to use each failure as an opportunity to grow wiser.
11. They set aside time to be alone.
Mentally strong people take time to be alone with their thoughts. Whether they write in a journal, practice meditation, or sit silently and reflect, they know a little solitude is essential to their well-being.
12. They accept full responsibility for their lives.
Mentally strong people create opportunities for themselves. They don’t waste time waiting for the world to give them what they think they’re owed.
13. They practice perseverance.
Mentally strong people know that the best things in life are worth waiting for. They exercise patience and persistence as they strive for their goals.
14. They modify their unhealthy beliefs.
Mentally strong people refuse to allow self-limiting beliefs to restrict their potential. They understand their minds can be their best asset or their worst enemy.
15. They expend their mental energy wisely.
Instead of complaining about things they can’t change or rehashing something that happened yesterday, mentally strong people devote their energy to productive tasks. They don’t waste limited resources, like time and energy, on things that aren’t helpful.
16. They practice realistic optimism.
Mentally strong people talk to themselves like a trusted coach. They refuse to believe pessimistic predictions but they also don’t allow themselves to become overconfident.
17. They tolerate discomfort.
Mentally strong people aren’t afraid to endure a little pain. Whether they keep running when their legs are tired or they resist instant gratification, they practice self-discipline even when it’s uncomfortable.
18. They stay true to their values.
Mentally strong people keep their priorities in line with their beliefs. They’re courageous enough to live according to their values, even when it’s not the popular choice.
JUN 8, 2016 BY AMY MORIN Author, “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do”
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
There is only one certainty in life, and that is change. Circumstances arise, either good or bad, which require a response. How we respond, especially to adversity, depends upon our character and resolve.
Like many habits, inner strength can be attained. It doesn’t matter if someone is thought of as weak or timid; they can still grow and achieve the inner strength necessary to overcome any of life’s challenges. But it’s not easy.
Inner strength, resilience, wherewithal, whatever one calls it, must be forged. The only way it can be forged is through conscious effort. Challenges must be thought of as opportunities, because that is exactly what they are. One cannot attain inner strength without challenges. This makes challenges vital to growth. When we give into challenges without a fight, we become weaker. When we resolve to overcome any obstacle, we become stronger. It’s simple to understand, but difficult to achieve.
There are things that we can do to build upon our inner strength. Before we get into the list, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, nobody is going to be strong 100% of the time. Second, failure on the path to achieve inner strength is inevitable – it’s the response that’s important. It’s essential to get back up, and resolve to do better. There’s only one roadblock to achieving inner strength, and that is complacency.
HERE ARE 10 WAYS TO BUILD INNER STRENGTH:
1. LEARN TO RELAX
Building inner strength does not mean rushing around and draining ourselves. To build inner strength, it’s important to have some energy. If there are difficulties – with finances, family, work, etc. – find a way to recharge the batteries. If that means going for a run, meditating, taking a bath, reading, do it. When we prioritize and choose our battles wisely and take the time to recharge, we’re in a much better position to handle whatever comes our way
2. SPEND TIME WITH POSITIVE, PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE
Again, personal energy reserves are important to cultivating inner strength. Spending time with people who care for themselves and others is a terrific way to gain and maintain energy. Negative people are energy sappers; they have a tendency to complain and make other’s lives more difficult. When trying to build inner strength, this is an unnecessary burden. Also, spend time with people who are productive and accomplished – energy flows this way also.
3. FORGIVE OURSELVES
When trying to cultivate and carve out a new, stronger identity, it’s possible that we’ll reflect on times that we may have come up short. It cannot be emphasized enough: the past is the past. Again, this is a difficult thing to do. However, when we’re actively trying to improve ourselves, especially our character, it’s very important that we have the ability to forgive ourselves from any and all past mistakes that we’ve made.
4. BUILD CONFIDENCE
If we’re going to build upon our inner strength, it’s helpful to be in a confident state of mind. There are a couple of ways to achieve this. First, reflect upon any and all past accomplishments and ask if there were any roadblocks that needed to be overcome at the time. This is important because it reinforces that objectives can be achieved despite of difficulty. Second, remember that nobody is perfect. Even people who we think are successful still have difficulties in life. It’s often inner strength that is the deciding factor.
#5 USING AFFIRMATIONS
Many people have found affirmations to be an important part of their being. When trying to cultivate a new, stronger self, come up with some affirming phrases to state (even if it’s to just us) throughout the day. Maybe try saying a few affirmations first thing in the morning and a few when going to bed. It’s important to remind ourselves that we’re valuable and each brings something unique to this world. Add in some affirmations that include phrases on inner strength.
#6 CREATE OUTER STRENGTH
Developing a strong inner self is actually more holistic than it may sound. It’s important to have a strong foundation by taking care of our physical needs. We should be taking the time out to get in some kind of physical exercise – running, biking, yoga, etc. – to build upon and maintain this foundation. Also, make a conscious effort to eat healthy food and get an adequate amount of sleep each night.
#7 WATCH OR READ SOMETHING MOTIVATIONAL
There are people, past and present, who have achieved extraordinary success mostly because they were exceptionally strong of mind. Some suggestions for people to listen to are: Stephen Covey, Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Wayne Dyer, Oprah and Tony Robbins. Some of the people on this list overcame some very difficult circumstances on the way to achieving what they have.
#8 TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
Here’s something very important: we cannot (cannot!) build inner strength by making excuses. If there is a situation that we’re responsible for and we fail, we must own up to it. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. But it’s absolutely necessary to take responsibility for our actions. Mentally strong people do not make excuses for themselves. If we want to cultivate a core of inner strength, we must follow their examples. If a mistake is made, admit it, forgive, and move on.
#9 WORK TOWARDS SHORT AND LONG-TERM GOALS
One terrific way to gain inner strength is by achieving our goals step by step. Notice the three words “step by step.” Sometimes, we have a tendency to want things now. This cannot be so with anything worthwhile, but here’s what we can expect: we can expect to earn inner strength with every step that we take towards the achievement of our goals. Nothing breeds confidence, accomplishment and inner strength like progress. Progress is one of the keys to building stronger versions of us.
#10 CELEBRATE SUCCESS
This success doesn’t have to be money or status; in fact, it probably won’t be. But if we consistently apply principles to build a stronger person, we’ll see definite results. In being stronger people, we can expect to earn rewards that others will not. When things begin to come to fruition, make sure to savor moments like these. All of that hard work in developing character has paid off and will continue to do so.
It’s easy to look at successful people and think they have it all figured out. They may seem like the A+ students of life. But what can we learn from them?
Successful people often have certain characteristics in common — things like how they don’t focus on their competition, or they surround themselves with positive people. Being successful is kind of like a system; once you know the program you can put it into practice and live to your fullest potential. We all want to be happy and healthy, but for many of us that means reaching a certain level of success as well.
What is success to you?
What makes you happy?
If you’re working hard to make your dreams come true but you feel like you aren’t where you want to be, it could be time to regroup. Success is a journey, and the experience of getting to your goal is the real reward.
Several years ago I left a successful corporate job to follow my heart and become a writer. Starting a business from scratch with nothing more than a strong willed desire meant I had to detach from emotional habits and limiting beliefs. I needed to give myself a mental makeover and become mentally strong in order to become successful in my new career choice. And four years later, after putting my own success steps into action, my business is booming.
The pivotal moment for me was learning to see my “failures” as growth. The real success stories are those who rise when they fall. You can’t have success without failure and letting the failures guide you instead of take your down or give up will help you become tremendously successful.
To give your dreams a boost of confidence, I created a list of the 15 things mentally strong people do. Perhaps it can help you along your own path.
1. They know when to move on.
2. They use their fear to motivate action.
3. The know failure is part of success.
4. They train their brains to see the good in everything.
5. They’re tenacious with their goals.
6. They start before they’re ready or confident.
7. They don’t take anything personally.
8. They believe in themselves.
9. They don’t try to fit in.
10. They allow themselves to be a beginner.
11. They don’t do things they don’t want to do.
12. They celebrate the success and happiness of others.
13. They don’t need a reason to help people.
14. They are unapologetic about their unique selves.
15. They accept what they can’t change.
What makes some people persevere through trying circumstances while others begin flailing at the first sign of crisis? Understanding the key qualities of resilient people is the first step to cultivating that bounce-back quality in yourself.
By Gwen Moran
On April Fool’s Day 2011, I was unexpectedly diagnosed with early-stage invasive breast cancer. As a freelance writer with a career I love and a family that depends on my income, I spent most of the year juggling surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation with assignments, interviews, and youth soccer schedules. Throughout, friends and colleagues seemed surprised that I remained relatively active and pretty optimistic.
What else was there to do, I wondered. Taking to my bed for the better part of a year wasn’t an option for my personality or my bank account. Why not look at the bright side of early diagnosis and great prognosis and keep going? During that time, I contributed to two books, wrote dozens of articles and ended the year with a clean bill of health.
Since then, I’ve been more curious than ever about why some people persevere through trying circumstances while others begin flailing at the first sign of crisis. I wondered if there were commonalities among resilient people and whether it’s possible to develop those qualities and strong points. The answers, according to the experts, are yes and yes. Here’s what those never-say-die folks have in common–and how you can develop them for yourself.
1. They Build Relationships.
People who bounce back tend to have a network of supportive people around them, says Michael Ungar, Ph.D., co-director of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. For some people, that’s a close-knit family, but for others it’s a carefully cultivated group of friends, colleagues, mentors and others who actually care and are willing to help. Ungar says he’s seen the tendency to seek out support sources in children as young as five years old: When the family unit isn’t functioning in that way, children tend to reach out to coaches, teachers or other adults as a support network. Similarly, resilient adults seek out others who care about them who can offer emotional, professional or other assistance when times get tough.
2. They Reframe Past Hurts.
Lorenn Walker had just left a hotel bar one night in 1976 when an unknown assailant nearly murdered her. He fled, but she was left badly injured, needing surgery on her face. Her recovery took four months. Through therapy and willfully refusing to be mired in fear and resentment, she was able to “reframe,” or think about the situation in a different way. Instead of resenting the scars and the fearful memories, the Waialua, Hawaii, lawyer and counselor sees the attack as the catalyst that led her to her work in what she calls restorative justice–counseling prisoners and victims of violent crime in how to make peace with the past and cultivate meaning in their lives.
“You have the power to determine how you’re going to look at a situation, and you don’t give that power to other people, particularly people who are bad or who hurt you,” she says.
3. They Accept Failure.
Paul LeBuffe lectures about resilience as part of his role as director of the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, a Villanova, Pennsylvania, facility that works with educators and mental health professionals to develop more resilient children. It’s not uncommon for his audience to include young people who were highly successful students, but graduated during the recession and are devastated at their inability to find jobs.
“They don’t know how to cope with the fact that they didn’t get the first job they applied for. So we hear a lot about these young people sitting in their parents’ basements playing video games,” he says.
If you don’t give yourself the opportunity to fail sometimes and accept it as a part of life, you’re going to struggle with bouncing back, LeBuffe says. Successfully emerging from failure develops the ability to be optimistic that things can be bad now, but they’ll be okay eventually, he says.
4. They Have Multiple Identities.
If you get most of your self-worth from your job and you get fired, you’ve suddenly lost both your source of income and a big part of your identity, says Ungar. Resilient people often have a number of areas from which they get their sense of self-worth, says Ungar. They may have deep friendships or family connections, strong faith, or a leadership role in the community. They’re better able to bounce back, because even if one goes away, they still have a sense of connection and being valued from those other areas, he says.
5. They Practice Forgiveness.
Whether it’s forgiving yourself for a failure or forgiving someone else for an injury or injustice, being able to let go of past hurts and move on is an essential component of resilience, Walker says. When you find yourself “ruminating about grievances and negative stories, you have to just stop yourself and remind yourself of what you have to be grateful for,” she says. If you’re not a naturally forgiving person, this takes practice, but it is a skill that can be mastered, she adds.
6. They Have a Sense of Purpose.
LeBuffe says resilient people have a sense of purpose that helps them analyze their situations and plot the next moves. This stems from a set of values that is unique to each individual. When you know what’s important to you, whether it’s family, faith, money, career, or something else, you can prioritize what needs your attention most immediately to help you get back to where you want to be. That goes for organizations, as well. When everyone knows the ultimate goal, they can make meaningful contributions. When they don’t, they’re mired in indecision.
“If the people who work in a company don’t know the values, they’re paralyzed. They have to keep coming back to senior management to say, ‘What about going after this market?’ or ‘What do you think about extending credit another 30 days?’ instead of being able to act adaptively,” he says. “It’s the same for people. You have to know what’s important to you to be able to take action.”
Dream Coach Marcia Wieder shares 10 tips for creating positive change in your life.
“Can you believe in something simply because it matters to you? Then act on it to prove you really do.”
These are my 10 quick tips for living an inspired life:
1. Set an Intention: Understand the power and importance of intention as the rudder to steer your life.
2. Maintain Integrity: Intention and integrity together form the key building block for manifestation. Live with integrity by keeping agreements with yourself and others. It is essential to clear up aspects from your past that can get in your way now.
3. Live on Purpose: Standing in your purpose, the quality of your dreams will change. Without purpose, many climb to the top of the mountain, only to realize – “wrong mountain.”
4. Access Your Dreamer: Create a dynamic relationship with the dreams that you are passionate about. Reality is an important aspect but consider what being realistic has cost you.
5. Learn From Your Doubter: Left unattended, this can sabotage your dreams. But when you create a powerful relationship with your doubter, others people’s doubts actually become the opportunity to deepen your commitment.
6. Believe in Your Dreams: If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either. Prove you believe in your dreams by taking action.
BY ALLY HAMILTON SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 Most of us feel stuck at one time or another. Life isn’t looking like the picture we had in our head, things aren’t flowing, and frustration and despair set in. Of course, this only compounds the problem, because when you’re feeling listless, discouraged and depressed, it’s very hard to get motivated. Feeling paralyzed is awful, and doubting your ability to live a life that feels good can be a very isolating experience. Here are three ways people tend to block themselves, along with three ways to drop-kick those blocks across your path so you can get moving again. 1. We compare ourselves to others. Many people look around and feel “less than.” They see a peer who somehow seems to be living a life where things come easily, and they wonder why they aren’t getting the breaks. Or they elevate other people and think, I could never do that because I’m not as outgoing, or attractive, or [fill-in-the-blank]. We live in interesting times where much of our interaction takes place over the internet. It’s easy to feel like everyone else has this glossy, perfect life when you base it on status updates, pithy tweets or hazy Instagram pictures. Everyone suffers and everyone struggles. Most people just don’t post about it. I’m questioning my ability to have an impact on the world around me. or I’m wondering what I’m doing here. or I feel alone in a world that doesn’t make sense to me. Most people are not going to post that. The more we focus on what other people are doing or having or being, the less energy we have to shine. And I’m not suggesting you should feel better because everyone else feels confused, too. I’m saying life is so much about what we do with what we’re given. Your power lies in your response. And you can respond with fear and tell yourself you don’t measure up, or you can respond with love and direct your energy toward uncovering and sharing your own particular gifts. If you’re having a rough day, that isn’t the time to troll Facebook, because you’ll probably end up feeling worse. Think about what you’re feeding yourself, and I don’t just mean your body. Think about what you’re feeding your mind and your heart, too. Everything we take in is food, it’s fuel, it’s energy. Feed yourself the stuff that strengthens you.
2. We live with a harsh inner dialogue. I know many people who quit before they try. They ask themselves, Who am I to…? But the real question is, Who are you NOT to…? It’s important to remember there are roughly seven billion people on the planet at this point, and only one YOU. You’re made up of about 100 trillion cells that have never come together in exactly the same way before, and won’t again. You have a particular song to sing, and if you don’t belt it out, that’s a song the world never gets to hear. If you’re doubting whether or not you have something meaningful to offer, consider that no one but you has had your experiences, your memories, your ideas, your fears or your dreams. You have a unique perspective, although the themes of your life are likely to be universal. You never know how you might shine a light for someone else simply by sharing what’s in your heart. And the joy in this life comes through connection, through giving and opening and accepting. Feed a loving voice. Feed a voice you want to hang out with, and starve the voice that asks you “who you are” to do anything. 3. We procrastinate. Many people have dreams and ideas and the pull to follow their hearts, but the effort to follow through on this can feel so daunting. The idea that things will have to change can also create a lot of fear. If you’re trying to make a huge shift in your life, small steps get the job done. If you look at the whole task, you’re likely to feel defeated before you begin. You have an inner “yes” that you can trust. If that yes is pulling on you, it’s pointless to resist, because what you’re opposing is a life that’s going to feel good to you. Just do one small thing, take one positive step. And keep putting one foot in front of the other. You don’t have to make it all happen today. But try to make something happen. That’s how you start to trust yourself and build the confidence required to make those big changes when you must. You watch yourself following that inner GPS, and you realize you can act on your own behalf, and that it feels right and good.
“Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them.
You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.”