If you want to get mentally tougher as you get older, say goodbye to these 9 behaviors

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Mental toughness isn’t about gritting your teeth and bearing it. It’s about adapting, learning, and growing as you age.

As we get older, we tend to cling to certain behaviors that hinder our mental strength. 

So, if you’re aiming for a stronger mindset, you’ll need to bid farewell to these 9 behaviors that are doing more harm than good.

Let’s dive in and build a healthier mindset together!

1) Overthinking

Overthinking is a common habit that many of us fall into. It’s the process of constantly analyzing and rehashing our thoughts and decisions, which often leads to stress and indecisiveness.

As we grow older, the tendency to overthink can become more pronounced. We may start worrying about the future or regretting past decisions.

This not only robs us of our present happiness but also hampers our mental strength.

Mental toughness is about focusing on the present moment and accepting that we can’t change the past or predict the future. It’s about making decisions based on the best information we have at the time and then moving forward.

Letting go of overthinking doesn’t mean you stop caring or planning. It simply means you don’t let your thoughts control you. Instead, you control them!

2) Fear of failure

I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist. For years, I found myself avoiding new experiences or challenges out of fear of failure. This fear held me back in both my personal and professional life.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that failing isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s often through our failures that we learn the most valuable lessons.

I remember when I first tried to start my own business. I was terrified of failing and being judged by others. And guess what? I did fail, and it wasn’t easy.

However, it was through this failure that I learned resilience and perseverance – two essential aspects of mental toughness.

Bouncing back from that experience made me realize that failure is just a stepping stone on the path to success. It’s not something to be feared, but rather something to be embraced and learned from.

3) Resistance to change

Change is the only constant in life. Yet, many of us spend a significant amount of energy resisting it. This resistance can stem from a fear of the unknown or a desire to maintain control.

Oftentimes, individuals who are open to change tend to be more mentally tough. They see change as an opportunity for growth and development, rather than a threat.

When we’re open to change, we’re better able to adapt and thrive in various circumstances. This flexibility is a key component of mental toughness.

As we age, it’s crucial to remain adaptable and open-minded. This allows us to navigate life’s twists and turns with resilience and poise.

Embrace the opportunities that come with change, and watch your mental strength soar!

4) Negative self-talk

We all have that little voice in our heads that likes to critique our every move. Known as negative self-talk, this habit can be incredibly damaging to our mental health and toughness.

Negative self-talk often involves criticizing oneself harshly, doubting one’s abilities, or expecting failure. It’s like having a constant critic in your head, undermining your confidence and resilience.

The mind is a very powerful tool. You become what you are constantly thinking about.

If you feed your mind with all the negative thoughts, you will naturally only be drawn to negativity, as you, yourself, don’t believe in your capability and that you deserve all the best. 

So, if you want to become mentally tougher and attract positivity, it’s time to say goodbye to negative self-talk and hello to a kinder, more supportive inner voice.

5) Dependence on others for happiness

It’s natural to seek happiness in our relationships with others. But relying on others for our sense of joy and fulfillment can be a slippery slope.

When we hinge our happiness on someone else, we give them control over our emotional well-being. This dependence can leave us feeling vulnerable and unstable—far from the mental toughness we’re aiming for.

I soon realized the importance of finding happiness within myself. Whether it’s through pursuing my passions, practicing self-care, or simply enjoying my own company, deriving joy from within has made me mentally stronger.

Cultivating a sense of contentment that comes from within is what makes you more resilient and emotionally independent!

6) Holding onto grudges

We’ve all been hurt or wronged at some point in our lives. It’s a part of being human. But holding onto grudges and past hurts can be a significant roadblock to mental toughness.

Carrying around this emotional baggage is exhausting.

It weighs us down, preventing us from moving forward and growing. It’s like trying to swim with a heavy anchor tied to your waist—it’s going to pull you under unless you let it go.

Forgiveness isn’t about saying that what happened was okay—it’s about choosing your peace over your pain. It’s about deciding not to let past wrongs control your present happiness and future potential.

7) Comparing yourself to others

In a world driven by social media, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others.

We see their highlights and compare them to our behind-the-scenes, often feeling inadequate or unsuccessful in the process.

But here’s the thing: Comparison is the thief of joy!

It shifts our focus from our unique journey and achievements to what others are doing or have. This can be detrimental to our self-esteem and mental toughness.

Mental strength comes from recognizing and celebrating our individual progress, not from how we stack up against others.

It’s time to break free from the comparison trap. Focus on your path, celebrate your victories, and remember that everyone’s journey is different.

8) Avoiding difficult conversations

Confrontation isn’t comfortable. Most of us would prefer to avoid difficult conversations if we could. But dodging these conversations can hinder our growth and resilience.

Difficult conversations are often the ones that lead to the most significant growth and understanding. They force us to articulate our feelings, stand up for ourselves, and listen to others’ perspectives.

As we get older, our ability to handle these conversations can greatly influence our relationships and personal development.

9) The power of adaptability

The journey towards mental toughness is not a straight path. It’s a winding road with ups and downs, twists and turns. It requires perseverance, resilience, and, most importantly, the ability to adapt!

Adaptability is the key to mental toughness. It’s about changing our behaviors, mindsets, and habits to become stronger and more resilient.

As we age, our ability to adapt and grow becomes even more crucial. Letting go of certain behaviors not only makes us mentally tougher but also enables us to navigate life’s challenges with more grace and resilience.

So as you reflect on these behaviors you may want to say goodbye to, remember – it’s not about being perfect or avoiding failure.

It’s about adapting, growing, and becoming mentally tougher as we journey through life!

Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling has a background in entrepreneurship, having started and managed several small businesses. His journey through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship provides him with practical insights into personal resilience, strategic thinking, and the value of persistence. Ethan’s articles offer real-world advice for those looking to grow personally and professionally.

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