By: Yasmine Al Tawdy
We often hear advice like, "Think positive, and good things will happen", or, "Try your hardest, and eventually things will work out. "While such words of wisdom certainly have merit, these well-meaning suggestions will not help one reach their goals if you are simultaneously engaging in unhealthy behavior. Recognizing and replacing unhealthy thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that may be sabotaging one’s best efforts is the key to building mental strength.
Try comparing mental strength to physical strength. While a bodybuilder maintains his physique with good habits, like going to the gym, it is equally important for that bodybuilder to get rid of unhealthy habits, like eating junk food. An exercise regimen will not be effective in building lean muscle unless unhealthy eating habits are also eliminated.
Similarly, building mental muscle requires hard work, dedication and exercise. In addition to adopting healthy habits, avoiding detrimental habits—like negative thoughts, unproductive behavior, and self-destructive emotions—is also essential.
Whether one is working on becoming a more patient parent or one is striving to become an elite athlete, building mental strength will help you reach your goals. Learning to identify the common pitfalls that you are prone to and to practice exercises will help you become the best version of YOU.
Most mentally strong people have failed countless times and have been through the most challenging times of their lives in order to end up being spectacularly successful. Mentally strong people have healthy habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that lead them to success. One of the most important things about a human being’s well-being is to be mentally strong. It is not easy for some people. Mentally strong people manage their feelings and behavior to create a better life. For all the time executives spend concerned about physical strength and health, when it comes down to it, mental strength can mean even more. Particularly for entrepreneurs, where numerous articles talk about critical characteristics of mental strength—tenacity, “grit," optimism, and an unfailing ability to “fail up.”
Here are the 10 things mentally strong people avoid:
1. Avoid Burnout
When you hit “burn-out”, it is exceptionally painful to keep going. In business, winners are typically those who have more stamina than others, while those others simply give up. Burnout can be very costly. It can hit you stronger and longer than you may expect. Whilst it is easy to speak about bouncing back and being optimistic and positive it is actually not always that easy. No matter how strong or optimistic one typically is, it is far easier in practice to prevent burnout in the first place. Strong entrepreneurs achieve this by ensuring they do not overwork themselves, for example if you overbook your daily/weekly schedule, then you run the risk of feeling or being unproductive, not focusing or being able to reach targets. Instead, you ought to blank out some of your schedule to focus on the things that are important that will eventually lead you to a more productive being resulting in success.
2. Avoid Negativity
Strong entrepreneurs, who are at their core of success are full of positivity and know very well how to completely block out negativity. They absolutely cannot afford it in their lives, workplaces, offices or minds, as it will thwart their best work. From the get go, this starts with keeping certain types of negativity and distractions out of their lives all together, in this age it is the negative response and back las of social media. More often, they put forward their positive energy into the workplace, which translates to creating an organization that proves to be successful.
3. Avoid Being People Pleasers
Many people relay the words, "I don't care what other people think," but that is often simply a defense mechanism that is meant to shield you from the hurt and pain associated with rejection. People-pleasers come in all forms. Oftentimes, you can spot one a mile away, while at other times, their fear of angering others is deeply rooted. Doing and saying things that may not be met with favor takes a lot of courage; however, living a truly authentic life requires one to live according to your own values and morals even if that means your choices are not that favored.
4. Avoid Dwelling on the Past
While contemplating the past and learning from it is a necessary part of building mental strength, brooding over it can be harmful. Making peace with the past so one can live in the present and plan for the future can be difficult, especially if you have endured a lot of misfortune, but it is an essential step in becoming your best self. Mentally strong people do not empathize on their own circumstances, as a result they have learnt early on to take responsibility for their actions and outcomes. Instead of complaining when things do not go their way, they emerge with a greater self-awareness and gratitude for the lessons learned.
5. Avoid Fearing Risk
Mentally strong people are often not afraid to take risks, whether it is financial, physical, emotional, social, or business-related, however, it all comes down to knowledge. That is why successful individuals take “calculated risks. To analyze a risk, yourself the following questions:
— Are there any potential costs, if so, what are they?
— What are the potential benefits?
— In what way will this help me achieve my goal?
— Are there any alternatives?
— If the best-case scenario came true, how good would it be?
— What is the worst thing that could happen, and how could I reduce the risk of it occurring?
— If the worst-case scenario did come true, how bad would it be?
— In five years’ time, how will this decision matter?
6. Avoid The Lack of Self Control
Mentally strong people keep disruptive emotions and impulses in check. People with this this competence manage their impulsive feelings and distressing emotions well. They stay composed, positive, and unflappable even in trying moments. They think clearly and stay focused under pressure. This skill, in a sense is largely invisible; self-control manifests largely in the absence of more obvious emotional fireworks. Signs include being unfazed under stress or handling a hostile person without lashing out in return. The ultimate act of personal responsibility at work may be in taking control of our own state of mind. When we are angry, we more readily remember incidents that support our displeasure, our thoughts become preoccupied with the subject of anger, and irritability so skews our worldview that an otherwise benign comment might now strike us as hostile. Resisting this despotic quality of moods is essential to our ability to work productively.
7. Avoid Perfectionism
One always wants it to be perfect. It rarely is. Even when one thing is perfect, it is often at the sacrifice of other things. If one can nail it in a reasonable amount of time, do it. Otherwise one focuses on getting it as good as it can be. ‘Perfect enough’. Mentally strong people do not complain about traffic jams or lost luggage because they know that all these things are out of their control. Instead, they focus on what they can control: their own response and attitude. Mentally strong people simply recognize what they can improve as they go on, versus what will cost them their future, and they just kept building on it.
8. Avoid Distractions
Mentally strong people realize that time is their most precious asset. Hence, they comprehend that if they allow distractions then they will not perform to the best of their ability. Their work will suffer, and their out of work relationships will also suffer. Alternatively, they make their work more enjoyable and interesting. In addition, they avoid letting social media and a pinging inbox or smart phone distract them. Mentally strong people find their sweet spot for productivity and lock themselves in until they get the important stuff out of the way.
9. Avoid Trying to Do it Solo
Mentally strong people truly understand that they cannot be a master of everything. It does not matter how smart or talented they are, if they are going to launch and grow the most successful business possible, then they will need great talent in several areas. It takes someone who is mentally strong and confident to recognize this, and then learn to delegate. Trying to do it alone is essentially seen as weakness.
10. Avoid Fearing Alone Time
In today's fast-paced world, obtaining a little quiet time often takes a concerted effort. Many people avoid silence and solitude because the lack of activity feels uncomfortable. However, time to one’s self is an essential component to building mental strength. Mentally strong people create opportunities to be alone with their thoughts, reflect on their progress, and create goals for the future. They treasure the time they spend alone. They use it to reflect, plan, meditate and put things into perspective. Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they do not fear silence. They are not afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and are not dependent on others for companionship and entertainment. Learn to be your own best friend.