If you want to become a mentally tough man, say goodbye to these 8 behaviors

Becoming mentally tough isn’t just about gritting your teeth and pushing through. It’s about learning to let go of the behaviours that hold you back.

As the founder of Hack Spirit and a mindfulness enthuasist, I know a thing or two about personal growth. And trust me, it’s not always about adding new habits to your routine. Sometimes, it’s about saying goodbye to old ones.

If you’re aiming to become a mentally tough man, there are certain behaviours you’ll need to part ways with. And I’m here to share exactly what those are.

In this article, I’ll be revealing the 8 behaviours you need to wave goodbye to if you want to become mentally tough. 

Let’s get started.

1) Overthinking every little thing

Mental toughness isn’t synonymous with over-analysis. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

As a mindfulness expert, I can tell you that overthinking is one of the biggest barriers to mental toughness. It leads to stress, anxiety, and indecision – all of which can drain your mental strength.

Being mentally tough means having the ability to make decisions without second-guessing yourself constantly. It’s about trusting your intuition and having the confidence to act on it.

That’s not to say that you should stop thinking altogether. But there’s a difference between thoughtful consideration and paralyzing over-analysis.

If you want to become mentally tough, start by recognizing when you’re stuck in an overthinking loop and learn to let go. Practice mindfulness techniques like meditation and deep breathing to help quiet your mind.

Mental toughness isn’t about having all the answers. It’s about being okay with not knowing everything and moving forward regardless. 

2) Avoiding discomfort

Life isn’t always comfortable, and if you’re always seeking comfort, you’re not growing. Being in your comfort zone means you’re playing it safe, and while that might feel secure, it doesn’t build mental toughness.

In my own journey, I’ve found that the path to mental toughness often involves stepping outside of my comfort zone and embracing discomfort.

As the famous Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “No mud, no lotus.” The lotus flower is a symbol of enlightenment in Buddhism, and it grows out of the mud. This means you can’t achieve growth without going through some discomfort or hardship.

So if you’re avoiding discomfort at all costs, it’s time to say goodbye to that behavior. Challenge yourself to do something uncomfortable each day, whether it’s speaking up in a meeting or trying a new workout routine.

Each time you step outside your comfort zone, you’re building mental toughness. And trust me, the reward is worth the effort.

3) Clinging to ego

In Buddhism, one of the major sources of suffering is attachment, and there’s no bigger attachment than our own ego.

When we’re attached to our ego, we become fixated on maintaining a certain image or protecting our pride. This can lead to defensiveness, stubbornness, and an inability to learn from our mistakes.

Mental toughness, however, requires humility and the willingness to learn. It necessitates recognizing when we’re wrong and being open to new ideas and perspectives.

So let’s be honest here: If you’re clinging to your ego, it’s time to let go.

Remember that your worth isn’t defined by an image or by what others think of you. It’s determined by your actions, your integrity, and your ability to grow and adapt.

4) Ignoring your emotions

Ignoring your emotions is like trying to hold a beach ball underwater – it takes a lot of effort and eventually, it’s going to pop up when you least expect it.

Mental toughness isn’t about suppressing your feelings. It’s about recognizing and understanding them.

Mindfulness teaches us to accept our emotions without judgement. It guides us to be present with our feelings, understanding that they are a natural response to our experiences, not something we need to hide or run from.

Here’s the raw truth: If you’re in the habit of ignoring or suppressing your emotions, it’s time to let that go.

Start by acknowledging how you feel. Practice mindfulness by sitting with your emotions, allowing yourself to experience them without trying to change or escape them.

Mental toughness isn’t about being emotionless, it’s about being emotionally resilient. And that starts with acknowledging and understanding your feelings.

5) Living on Autopilot

It’s easy to fall into the trap of living life on autopilot, going through the motions without truly engaging with our experiences.

As someone who has spent years studying and practicing mindfulness and Buddhism, I’ve learned that this kind of disengagement doesn’t lead to happiness or fulfillment. Rather, it stifles personal growth and mental toughness.

In my book, “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego”, I delve deeper into this concept and offer practical advice on how to break free from living on autopilot.

The key is to practice mindfulness daily. It’s about truly engaging with your experiences, living in the present moment, and taking conscious control of your thoughts and actions.

If you’re stuck in autopilot mode, it’s time to switch off the cruise control. Start engaging with your life fully, embracing each moment as it comes. This active involvement not only enriches your life but also helps build mental toughness.

6) Being averse to change

Change is a constant in life. Yet, many of us resist it out of fear or uncertainty. This aversion to change can hold us back from experiencing new things and growing as individuals.

Buddhist teachings remind us that everything is temporary and that change is a natural part of life. Resisting it only leads to suffering.

Here’s the honest truth: if you’re resistant to change, you’re holding yourself back from developing mental toughness.

Mental toughness is about adaptability. It’s about being able to navigate through life’s ups and downs with resilience, not resistance.

If you find yourself clinging to the familiar and resisting the new, it’s time to reassess. Embrace change, welcome it as an opportunity for growth. Only then can you truly begin to cultivate mental toughness.

7) Constantly seeking validation

Seeking validation from others is a trap that many of us fall into. We tie our worth to what others think of us, and when we don’t receive the approval we desire, our self-esteem takes a hit.

But here’s the raw truth: your value isn’t determined by external validation. It comes from within.

The renowned Buddhist monk, Pema Chödrön, once said, “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” This quote perfectly encapsulates the idea that your worth is inherent and unchanging, regardless of the fluctuating opinions of others.

Being mentally tough means understanding this truth. It means knowing your worth and not allowing it to be swayed by external factors.

8) Always being in a rush

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of life. We’re often so focused on getting to the next thing that we miss the present moment entirely.

Here’s the counterintuitive truth: Slowing down doesn’t make you weak or less productive. On the contrary, it can actually make you stronger and more effective.

Mindfulness teaches us the value of being present. It encourages us to slow down, to appreciate the here and now, and to engage fully with each task at hand rather than rushing through it.

Being mentally tough means having the ability to stay focused and present, even when the world around you is moving at a breakneck speed.

If you’re always in a rush, it’s time to hit the brakes. Take time to be present, to appreciate each moment as it comes. This mindfulness practice won’t just enhance your life; it’ll also foster mental toughness.


Developing mental toughness is not about adding more to your life but rather about letting go of certain behaviors that hinder your growth.

From overthinking to constantly seeking validation, these behaviors can keep you stuck in a cycle that prevents you from achieving the mental toughness you desire.

But remember, change is a process. It starts with awareness and continues with consistent effort. And trust me, every step you take towards letting go of these behaviors is a step towards becoming a stronger, more resilient version of yourself.

For more insights on how to live with maximum impact and minimum ego, be sure to check out my book Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego.

Remember, mental toughness is not a destination, but a journey. And I’m here to guide you every step of the way.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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