What does it mean to be a mentally strong person?
It’s easier to imagine what a physically strong person is as opposed to a mentally strong person. When we think of physically strong people, a certain picture comes to mind: flexing big muscles, lifting weights, perhaps even a little threatening.
But for mentally strong people, it’s a little harder to say, because our mental states as humans generally remain invisible.
That said, there are a couple of traits mentally strong people have that could distinguish them from everybody else, and certain things they do and don’t do that makes them mentally strong.
In this article, we’ll delve into the things mentally strong people never do, no matter what.
Interested? Read on to learn more!
1) They don’t wallow in self-pity
None of us like having problems. This attitude often makes people avoid conflict, and when they do encounter it, they wallow in self-pity when they are unable to deal with it the way they would’ve liked.
However, I think it goes without saying that life, much like a book or a movie, is mundane and unrealistic without conflict.
Sorrow, sadness, and pain are inevitable. And for mentally strong people, they know there’s no use avoiding them, and the best thing we can do when we encounter these is to let ourselves feel them.
Mentally strong people don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves when they fail—instead, they learn from their mistakes to avoid repeating it in the future.
Calling ourselves stupid for our failures or believing we amount to nothing because of past mistakes is a waste of energy for mentally strong people because this doesn’t change anything. They’re confident and self-assured enough to know that they are not their failures.
Instead of fixating on their failures, they focus their energy on what they can change and how they can do better, and what they can do to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.
2) They don’t repeat the same mistakes over and over
Every single one of us makes mistakes, and it’s okay. It’s completely human. None of us are perfect, and we all deserve to be forgiven when we do make them.
However, making the same mistakes over and over again makes them less of a mistake and more of a choice.
Mentally strong people never repeat the same mistakes over and over because they know that the more you keep repeating the same mistakes, the less likely it is to be forgiven, and the more it becomes taxing on yourself and your mental health.
It’s true that most of us have patterns that are hard to get out of, but mentally strong people know that it takes a special kind of ignorance to keep making the same mistakes when you know full well about the consequences.
Mentally strong people know these consequences all too well from experience, which is why they’re strong enough not to make the same mistakes over and over again.
But even if they are able to learn the lessons from their mistakes, it doesn’t mean they waste time and energy dwelling on them too much.
3) They don’t dwell on past mistakes
When we make big mistakes, it’s easy to dwell on them, especially when they affect the people we love and deeply care about.
It’s even harder not to dwell on them when we feel the resentment of the people around us, and receive harsh judgment from those who think they could’ve done better.
This drives us to get lost thinking about what we could’ve done to avoid it, the other, better choices we could’ve made, what we could’ve seen coming…
But there’s no use dwelling too much on past mistakes.
Mentally strong people know that the past is something we can’t change. When it’s come and gone, you can’t go back and fix what you did wrong.
They acknowledge that what they can do now is learn the lessons brought about by their mistakes, apply it in their lives, and make extra effort not to repeat it in the future.
The past is something we have absolutely no control over, which is why mentally strong people focus on the present instead.
4) They don’t worry about things they can’t control
We’ve all been guilty of worrying too much about things we can’t control, and it’s understandable—even mentally strong people have done this in the past.
Knowing that other people’s choices, their opinions, and their feelings could affect us, but we have absolutely no control over them, is terrifying!
You know what sets mentally strong people apart? They are just as terrified as the rest of us, but they know that worrying won’t change anything. It’s a waste of energy and it only makes us suffer more.
This is why instead of wanting to change the past or worrying about the future, they focus on what they can do in the present to make the situation better.
For mentally strong people, focusing on what you can control instead of those you can’t is the one thing that can help you reclaim your power.
Yes, it is scary to know that we have zero control over what other people think about us, how they feel about us, or what’s in store for us in the future, but we have power over the present.
We have control over our actions and decisions right now, and it’s the only thing worth dedicating our energy towards.
In fact, it’s this attitude that makes mentally strong people less prone to people-pleasing. They know that they can’t control what others say about them, and they’re okay with it.
5) They don’t change themselves to please others
We all want to please the people around us because it’s a completely human thing to want to be wanted and to want to be liked.
However, sacrificing who we are as people just to please others is, at the very least, unhealthy.
Mentally strong people know this, which is why they don’t make themselves smaller to please others.
Even if people think they might be “too loud,” “too outspoken,” or “too bossy,” they will never change themselves just to accommodate the discomfort of others.
Of course, this doesn’t mean having zero regard for other people’s feelings—it simply means they won’t change who they are because they’re afraid of being judged.
Mentally strong people know that those who truly love them will never want them to change drastically. They will want them to flourish, and the only way they can do that is to be who they truly are as people.
This is why they don’t need the validation of strangers to feel loved and satisfied with themselves.
6) They don’t worry too much about what others think
It’s inherent in all of us to want to be liked—and it’s perfectly reasonable, because if everyone dislikes us, we can’t make friends, find love, or fit in. Not to mention that being rejected hurts like hell, too.
However, there’s a fine line between wanting to be liked to make friends or find love and worrying too much about what others think that we’re unable to make decisions for ourselves, and mentally strong people don’t toe that line.
While harsh criticism and judgment can still hurt, at the end of the day, they acknowledge that the only opinions that matter are theirs and those of the people they love.
And one of the reasons why they don’t worry so much about bad opinions against them is because it often ends in self-sabotage.
7) They don’t engage in self-sabotage
Self-sabotage happens when we deliberately hinder personal growth and success by undermining our own values and goals.
So why do we self-sabotage?
There are a couple of reasons why self-sabotage is a thing, but most commonly, we do it because we’re afraid of failing or of not being able to reach the goals we set for ourselves.
It happens because we sometimes set too high standards for ourselves, and then beat ourselves up when we don’t meet these unrealistically high expectations.
Mentally strong people might have been guilty of doing this in the past, but they’re strong enough to at least try to avoid doing it in the present.
They know that self-sabotage is a waste of energy because it doesn’t help you improve—it only makes you feel sorry for yourself.
And when you’re too caught up with feeling sorry for yourself, how would you have the energy to improve?
Instead of engaging in self-sabotage, mentally strong people practice self-compassion.
They know that when you’re more forgiving of your mistakes and when you allow yourself to fail, it’s easier to pick yourself up and try again until you succeed.
However, self-compassion doesn’t mean mentally strong people avoid accountability.
8) They don’t avoid accountability
It’s true that mentally strong people try their best not to engage in self-blame, but this does not equate to avoiding self-responsibility.
Mentally strong people forgive themselves when they make mistakes, but they still own up to it. They don’t attempt to justify them, make excuses, or to outrightly refuse the mistakes they’ve made.
This is because they know that avoiding accountability hinders their self-growth because when you refuse to acknowledge your mistakes, you won’t be able to learn from them.
Even if they make mistakes, however, it doesn’t prevent them from taking calculated risks.
9) They don’t avoid taking risks
Fearing risks is understandable. The prospect of making a mistake and having it blown out of proportion is scary.
However, for mentally strong people, they understand that making calculated risks should not be based on emotion, but on reason.
Our fears hinder us from taking risks because we worry about the consequences and how they could possibly affect our lives.
But when mentally strong people worry, they ask themselves: are these worries realistic, or are they just worsened by my anxiety?
This is because our worries are usually too influenced by fear to be realistic.
So when you acknowledge the fear, it’s easier to calculate risks accurately and to effectively choose which ones are worth taking.
Even if they are afraid just like the rest of us, it’s a little easier for mentally strong people to take risks because they’re strong enough to take the leap of faith even with the possibility of stumbling or falling down.
10) They don’t feel resentful of the achievements of others
Envy and jealousy is a completely human emotion, though they can often be ugly.
We feel resentful of the achievements of others because we believe we deserve the same but have no way of reaching them.
But when you’re mentally strong enough, this envy does not lead to resentment—instead, it leads toward what you want.
This is why when mentally strong people see the achievements of others, they don’t feel resentful because: one—they understand that it’s not their time, and two—they use envy to figure out what they want in their own life.
And mentally strong people know that knowing what you want is the first step to reaching your goals.
It’s this mentality that really sets them apart from the rest of us, and we really could learn a thing or two from them, couldn’t we?