10 signs you’re mentally stronger than the average person, according to psychology

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Too often, we think being mentally strong means you don’t feel emotional pain or hardship.

But really, it means you know how to effectively and efficiently bounce back from life’s inevitable challenges.

Psychologically speaking, mental strength is about resilience and emotional intelligence. It’s about knowing when to push through, and when to pause and reflect.

Below, we’ll dive into some key signs that you might be mentally stronger than the average person.

Remember, this isn’t about superiority or comparing yourself to others; it’s about understanding your own unique strengths and how they set you apart.

Signs of mental strength

Psychological research and clinical observations have outlined several key characteristics that often signify a high level of mental strength.

It’s worth noting that this is not an exhaustive list, and everyone may exhibit these traits differently. However, here are nine signs that you might be mentally stronger than the average person:

  1. Ability to manage emotions: You’re able to understand, express, and control your emotions effectively.
  2. Resilience in the face of adversity: You bounce back from setbacks or hardships quickly and efficiently.
  3. High levels of patience: You have the ability to wait for results without getting frustrated or anxious.
  4. Balanced self-confidence: You have a realistic understanding of your abilities, neither underestimating nor overestimating them.
  5. Flexibility in thinking: You can adapt your thinking to new situations and adjust your plans when needed.
  6. Strong decision-making skills: You make informed decisions promptly, even under pressure.
  7. Ability to set and maintain boundaries: You can say “no” when necessary and protect your time and energy.
  8. Proactive approach to life: You take action to create the life you want rather than waiting for things to happen.
  9. Ability to learn from mistakes: Instead of dwelling on failures, you see them as opportunities for growth and learning.

Remember, exhibiting these traits doesn’t make you better or worse than anyone else. It simply means you might be equipped with a unique set of traits that can help you handle life’s challenges with relative ease.

Being aware of the signs of mental strength can give you a clearer understanding of your personal strengths and areas for growth.

Here are some signs to look out for and some insights into how these qualities can impact your life:

1) Emotional resilience

A key trait of mentally stronger individuals is the ability to handle emotional turbulence effectively.

This means you don’t suppress your emotions; instead, you understand and manage them because you know that life can be tough and that setbacks are a part of the journey.

When faced with difficulties, you don’t break down—you bounce back, learning and growing from the experience.

Resilience doesn’t mean you’re immune to pain or hardship, but that you are more adept at handling them.

2) Growth mindset

When you’re mentally strong, you see challenges as opportunities for growth.

Instead of avoiding difficulties, you embrace them, understanding that it’s through overcoming obstacles that we grow stronger and wiser.

You understand that abilities and intelligence can be developed over time; that it’s not just innate talent.

This belief system makes you take on challenges with a positive attitude, persist in the face of setbacks, and see effort as a path to mastery.

Your focus is not solely on the end result but also on the process and the learning that comes with it.

3) Effective boundary setting

To be mentally strong is to know your limits.

You have a clear understanding of what you can tolerate, both emotionally and physically, and you’re not afraid to communicate these boundaries to others.

You understand the importance of self-care and are unapologetic about protecting your time, energy, and mental space.

4) Comfort with discomfort

While most people naturally seek comfort and ease, mentally stronger people like you understand the value of stepping outside your comfort zone.

You’re willing to endure short-term discomfort for long-term growth and achievement because you know that real progress often involves risk, uncertainty, and feeling unsettled, and you’re willing to embrace these feelings as a part of their journey towards success.

5) Acceptance of imperfection

Mentally strong people recognize that they, like everyone else, are a work in progress.

That’s why you’re not afraid to acknowledge their flaws, mistakes, or shortcomings. Instead of denying or hiding these aspects of your character, you accept them as part of your humanity. 

You understand that imperfection is not a sign of weakness—it’s an opportunity for improvement and personal growth.

6) Empathy for others

Despite your own mental strength, you never look down on others who may struggle more with emotional resilience or stress management.

You understand that everyone’s journey is different, and that each person has their own set of challenges to overcome. 

Instead of judging, you offer support, understanding, and compassion, recognizing that kindness and empathy are strengths, not weaknesses.

7) Regular self-reflection

We’ve all had those moments of lying awake at night, replaying the events of the day.

What sets mentally strong people apart is that these moments, for them, are not about dwelling on mistakes, but understanding them.

They don’t just question their actions — they learn from their missteps and seek ways to improve. 

8) Ability to laugh at themselves

When you’re mentally strong, you don’t take yourself too seriously. You understand that everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes, those mistakes can be downright funny.

So rather than feeling embarrassed or defensive, they’re able to laugh at their own blunders.

This lighthearted approach helps them to maintain a positive attitude, even when things don’t go according to plan.

After all, life’s too short not to find humor in our human foibles!

9) Persistence in the face of failure

Mentally stronger people don’t shy away from failure. This is why you understand that failure is not a dead end but a stepping stone to success.

When you fall, you dust your knees off, learn from the experience, and keep moving forward.

You don’t indulge in self-pity or give up when things get tough. Instead, you buckle down, dig in your heels, and persist because you understand that anything worth having doesn’t come easy.

It’s a hard truth, but it’s one you’ve learned to embrace.

10) Consistent self-improvement

Above all, mentally stronger individuals are committed to consistent self-improvement.

You understand that mental strength isn’t static; it’s something that can be cultivated and improved over time.

You’re always looking for ways to learn, grow, and become a better version of yourself.

This ongoing commitment to personal growth is perhaps the most important characteristic of mental strength.

Embracing your mental strength

Recognizing and embracing your mental strength is an empowering journey.

Dr. Albert Bandura, a renowned psychologist, once said: “In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, to struggle together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life.”

Simply put, living with mental strength doesn’t mean you won’t face hardships or challenges. It means you’re well-equipped to handle them and bounce back stronger.

Remember that it’s perfectly okay to have moments of weakness. Mental strength doesn’t mean you have to display constant toughness; it means understanding your emotions, accepting your imperfections, and persisting through life’s difficulties.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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