Mental strength doesn’t come easy, and not everybody has it.
If you’re one of the few with exceptional mental strength, you might not even realize it. You’re just you, doing what you do.
But if you engage in the following habits then you can be sure that your mental strength is far above average.
Let’s take a look at the key signs you’re mentally strong.
1) You balance your head and heart
When you have exceptional mental strength, you learn to balance your head and your heart.
What this means, practically speaking, is that you take your emotions into account but you also think them over on the practical level.
You may love somebody a lot and want to move closer to them, but you also have a great job where you are and a move right now would jeopardize that.
So you find a balance between your head and your heart and agree to move in six months after also finding a way to transition your career more and shifting it to the new location.
Instead of just going with your gut, you also call on your rational thinking.
2) You align your thoughts with action
Exceptional mental strength means you don’t just live in your mind.
Your thoughts line up with your actions. You think things over and then you go for it.
You’re not lost in endless overthinking or analysis.
You use your mind as a tool, instead of it using you. You organize your thoughts and decide which are useful and lead to a decision and which have no use or could lead you astray.
When times get tough and the pressure is on, this makes all the difference.
3) You make a living and handle practical matters
Earning a living isn’t always glamorous and practical issues are tempting to push aside.
You know the kinds of things I mean:
Bills, insurance payments, healthcare plans, looking after kids, partners and pets.
It can also mean cleaning around home, dealing with illness, handling basic landscaping and lawncare, getting the car repaired and similar tasks.
When you’re mentally strong, none of this fazes you. You get stressed, of course, but you never break. You just face each task and get it done.
4) You adapt to change without complaint
If you’re looking for one thing you can count on in life all the time, it’s change.
This can include some very difficult changes, including getting older, getting sick, losing jobs and experiencing painful breakups.
When you’re mentally strong you suffer like everyone else, but you don’t complain about it or play the victim.
You do your best to survive and find a lesson in the suffering while finding ways to move on and decide what to do next.
5) You don’t seek outer validation and praise
The mentally fragile person seeks praise and validation, wanting assurance that he or she is doing a good job and is approved of.
If you’re mentally strong, you’ve never sought out validation or external approval.
You don’t mind a round of applause, but it’s not the fuel that keeps you going.
You’re living life by your own core values and doing your best to achieve your goals regardless of whether other people like it.
This brings me to the next point…
6) You do the right thing even if it’s unpopular
Mentally weak people fold to peer pressure every time. They watch the news or listen to their friends to find out what they should believe.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re all influenced by those around us and it’s natural to care what our friends and colleagues believe.
But if you’re mentally strong, you’ve always done what you believe is right regardless of whether it’s popular. Even if you get some cold shoulders and critical comments, you stay on the right path if it’s important to you.
No amount of praise will get you to go back on what you believe, and neither will any amount of insults or mockery.
7) You don’t waste your time on unnecessary conflicts
Conflict is a natural part of life and we can’t get along with everyone.
The mentally weak person allows themselves to be sucked into hours of useless arguments, bickering online and heaving with rage over a comment somebody made earlier in the day.
If you’re mentally strong, you simply skip all this noise. It doesn’t matter to you and you realize that it’s a huge drain of your energy and attention.
If you have a conflict you do your best to win and learn from it, but you don’t let it fester, nor do you dwell on it extensively.
You seek to resolve problems rather than dwell on them.
8) You are highly self-aware and continue to improve
Self-awareness is the key that unlocks a thousand doors.
When you’re mentally strong then you want to learn about yourself as much as possible.
You have the patience and humility to pay attention to how you deal with emotions, conflict and life and to keep improving.
You take note of your strengths and weaknesses and respond accordingly.
This also relates to the next point…
9) You accept and process difficult emotions instead of repressing them
Far too many folks feel angry, sad or scared and try to push it down and lock it away.
As a mentally strong person you face your difficult feelings and try to do something about them.
Maybe anger and fear can be channeled, maybe sadness will give you patience or insight into a new path you want to take in life.
You don’t split off part of yourself and call it bad or repress it down.
10) You’re always learning from your surroundings and other people
When you’re mentally tough, you’re always learning.
Other people (even difficult people) are your best teachers.
Life experiences help you grow and advance, noticing more about yourself and other folks as you continue to adapt and move forward.
You don’t stop learning, nor do you let disappointment and setbacks kill your curiosity.
11) Your life is lined up with your core values
It’s one thing to have strong values and beliefs, but it’s another to actually live by them.
When you’re mentally strong, you do your best to live your life in accordance with your values even when it’s difficult.
You pursue friendships and connections that reflect your values and you do your best to seek out situations, jobs and scenarios where what you care about is what you’re surrounded by.
In short, you don’t just talk the talk, you also walk the walk.
12) You engage in long-term thinking and can put off gratification
It’s hard to put off instant gratification, but mentally strong people can do it.
You’re able to invest long-term or start a business that you know won’t be profitable for many years to come.
You’re willing to enter into a relationship that you know will take some work, instead of an easy hookup that might be more pleasurable in the short-term.
You’re looking at the big picture because you’re able to put off your desire for instant, short-term gratification.
13) You take responsibility for your choices
We all have excuses.
But when you’re mentally strong you don’t bother with any of them.
You take responsibility for your choices, good and bad, and you react and take the next step without trying to emphasize victimhood or your own bad luck.
You accept that a lot of what happens to us is outside our control and that’s just how it is. Nothing personal.
What you do have some control over is the choices you make. So you take ownership of the decisions you make for better or for worse.
This connects with the next point as well.
14) You face your mistakes and learn from them
Nobody I know enjoys making mistakes or being wrong.
But if you’re mentally strong then you react to your own mistakes by doing your best to learn and grow.
You accept that you’ve made a mistake and you do your best to learn from it whether or not it was your fault.
Let’s face it:
Some mistakes aren’t even our fault or just occur mostly as bad luck. But we can often still learn from them.
15) You’re optimistic but not reckless
Too much optimism or pessimism are both signs of a lack of mental discipline.
The mentally strong individual doesn’t submit to either.
If that’s you then you know what I mean:
You celebrate your wins and feel sad at your losses, but you’re not consumed by them. They don’t become the core of your story, just chapters.
You’re optimistic about the future, sure, but you’re not reckless or childish about it. You have guarded optimism and put your best foot forward without being cocky.