13 key habits of mentally strong men

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Mentally strong men aren’t those who suppress their emotions or act tough.

What sets them apart is their ability to deal with challenges and make sure that adversity doesn’t hold them back from reaching their greatest potential.

And while it seems that grit, confidence, and discipline are things that they’re born with, the truth is, these are qualities they’ve cultivated through practice and determination.

Here are some of the powerful habits that enable mentally strong men to bounce back from hardship better than ever.

1) They practice gratitude

It isn’t easy to be grateful during the toughest times. But for mentally strong men, it’s a discipline they develop to keep a more positive outlook on life.

They make it a habit to remind themselves of everything they have, rather than what they lack.

They recognize their pain, but it doesn’t keep them from believing that they can find a solution to their problems.  

More importantly, they express their gratitude — whether by keeping a gratitude journal or by saying thank you and showing appreciation to their loved ones. 

2) They embrace failure

Simply put: Mentally strong men view failures as opportunities for growth

They’re not afraid to make mistakes because they have a can-do attitude, which means they’ll try again. 

They know that falling short of achieving goals is an inevitable part of the journey to success.

Rather than beating themselves up for making mistakes, they focus on learning from them. 

They do their best to figure out what went wrong and what they can do to avoid repeating the same mistakes. That’s how they grow wiser and more confident.

3) They welcome change

Here’s the deal: Change is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to accept it. Even the smallest changes bring with them uncertainty that can make us feel anxious.

Mentally strong men, however, don’t resist change. They know that certain situations may require them to pivot. 

They acknowledge that this can be scary, but they adapt to the change by finding the ‘good’ and ‘exciting’ in it. 

They’re open to breaking away from the usual patterns or old ways of doing things. They strive to capitalize on the opportunities that change creates. 

4) They step out of their comfort zone

Mentally strong men love a good challenge. Sure, they can also be frightened of many things. But they feel the fear and do it anyway. 

They muster the courage to deal with their fears, work through them, and gradually get over them.

Instead of avoiding the situation or task altogether, they start taking on small steps toward it. In other words, they start with little things that frighten them and then build from there. 

They believe that a little discomfort can boost their confidence and self-esteem. Little by little, they take calculated risks that help them reach their goals. 

5) They own up to their mistakes

Think about this for a minute: When something goes wrong and you know you have a hand in it, do you take responsibility for it or play the blame game?

Mentally strong men are always accountable for their actions. This means they face the consequences of their mistakes, instead of making excuses or blaming others for their poor behavior.

They learn the values of commitment and integrity by taking full responsibility for their lives

6) They keep their emotions in check

Emotional intelligence is one of the most crucial aspects of mental toughness. Contrary to what many people may think, mentally strong men don’t suppress their feelings.

They make it a habit to identify their emotions, acknowledge and validate them, and recognize how these emotions influence their choices and behavior.

These mental check-ins help them healthily manage their emotions. They feel more in control of their emotions and do something productive with them. They don’t let their emotions affect their ability to think clearly and effectively. 

7) They forgive

It’s not always easy to forgive those who’ve hurt us, especially when they don’t apologize for the wrong they’ve done. 

But mentally strong men believe that forgiveness is a gift to yourself.

They know that harboring grudges only makes a person more miserable in the long run because it can have devastating consequences, both physically and mentally.  

They don’t let themselves be consumed by bitterness, rage, and resentment. Yes, they know that forgiveness doesn’t have to mean condoning or excusing the other person’s behavior.

It goes hand in hand with emotional intelligence — they forgive to make peace with themselves. 

8) They focus on what they can control

What do you do when things don’t go as planned? Do you spiral out of control? Or do you stay mentally happy and healthy amidst the chaos?

Mentally strong men know that there are many things in life you can’t control, but you do have a say in how you respond to them.

They acknowledge what they can’t control, react to them with patience, and learn to let go of them

Part of this is incorporating mindfulness practices that strengthen their ability to stay calm and concentrate on things they can control. 

Whenever they are in a tight place, they assess the changes they can make. They put their resources into improving their attitude and efforts in any given situation. 

9) They set healthy boundaries

Saying ‘no’ with clarity and confidence is one of the best ways by which mentally strong men stay effective, empowered, and productive.

The thing is, people-pleasing takes a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health. The more you say ‘yes’ to people and things even when you really don’t want to, the more likely you are to suffer from burnout and stress.

That’s why mentally strong men assert their ‘nos’ to people’s demands and expectations that do not serve their interests and needs.  

They believe that it’s okay to turn things down when you’re prioritizing yourself and your growth. 

10) They celebrate their progress

Any win, no matter how small, should never go unnoticed. And mentally strong men don’t wait until tomorrow to celebrate the progress they’ve achieved today.

It can be very easy to overlook the seemingly insignificant things that we’ve done when we’re focused on the big milestones. 

But mentally strong men believe that any progress — no matter how big or small — is worth honoring.

They permit themselves to feel good about even the smallest wins. Celebrating the little victories that show how far they’ve come keeps them inspired and motivated. 

11) They don’t compare themselves to others

It can be difficult not to feel insecure about ourselves when we live in a society that constantly hypes up comparisons.

Seeing other people’s success on social media can stir up feelings of jealousy. Mentally strong men, however, don’t let feelings of envy steal their life and energy.

They don’t waste their time and energy competing with others and worrying whether or not they measure up. 

They are secure in their definition of success, and they know that everyone is running their own race. 

They’re committed to reaching their goals while also celebrating the success of others. 

12) They take care of themselves

Self-love goes a long way when it comes to building mental strength. Mentally strong men know that they can’t be mentally strong if they’re always exhausted and worn down.

That’s why they make self-care a priority. 

Whether it’s getting plenty of rest, eating healthily, exercising, practicing self-affirmations, and more, they make it a habit to nourish their minds and bodies so they can be at their best even during the hardest of times. 

13) They ask for help 

Another big misconception about mentally strong men is that they don’t seek the support of others.

On the contrary, mentally strong men know that reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

If you ask me, asking for help is one of the best signs of an incredibly strong person. It takes courage to be vulnerable and admit that you can’t do everything by yourself.

That’s why mentally strong men know that sometimes they don’t have all the answers, and that’s okay. They ask for specific support in a humble and empowering way.

They can rise above the challenges that come their way because they know how to genuinely receive support from others.

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Justin Brown

Justin Brown is an entrepreneur and thought leader in personal development and digital media, with a foundation in education from The London School of Economics and The Australian National University. As the co-founder of Ideapod, The Vessel, and a director at Brown Brothers Media, Justin has spearheaded platforms that significantly contribute to personal and collective growth. His deep insights are shared on his YouTube channel, JustinBrownVids, offering a rich blend of guidance on living a meaningful and purposeful life.

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