Everyone would like to be a mentally strong person, but mental resilience can be extremely hard to achieve when life gets on top of you.
There are a string of external ‘stressors’ that can affect us all every day. By external stressors I mean those actions, thoughts and feelings that come to us from outside of our everyday life and enter our brain and our internal system. These could be the actions of someone else, the environment around you, and these will elicit emotions in you.
In order to be mentally strong, you must prevent yourself from getting carried away by emotions to the point where you cannot see logic. Love the emotion of course, but be careful it does not overwhelm you.
This involves dealing with difficult tasks one step at a time and also means balancing positive and negative thoughts in a way that advantages you – not getting carried away with one side or the other.
Mentally strong people will keep their eye on the prize, and will not let their need for instant gratification or the approval of others get in the way of what they really want.
Here are 10 tips that will give you a different perspective:
Balance positive and negative thinking
Positive thinking is important because when you believe good things will happen, you tend to work towards making them happen, and you also notice good things happening.
Negative thinking is also important, because it allows you to anticipate what could go wrong, and plan how to deal with them.
Be kind and compassionate
By being kinder to yourself and others, you reduce the number of negative emotions in your life. By reducing negative emotions, it opens up a space for positive emotions to flourish.
Take things ‘one brick at a time’
Mental toughness refers to people who have gone through tough times, and tough times can be overwhelming. How do those who have made it through do it? They take it one brick at a time.
While keeping their eyes on the final goal, they break down this goal into smaller, achievable steps, so that they don’t feel overwhelmed.
Take responsibility for things you can control, accept what you can’t
It should come as no surprise that mentally strong people take responsibility for their lives, but they do not take responsibility for everything. That would drive anyone crazy.
Instead, they accept that there are things outside of their control. The weather, the market, other people. If they try to take responsibility for those it would just be futile.
Stop taking everything personally
Much of what happens in life is completely impersonal yet the need to reference oneself in nearly every situation is a deeply ingrained habit. If you step back and see that much of what goes on has nothing to do with you, it can free you from this trap of over-personalizing, which leads to suffering.
Don’t ‘need’ – want
We all want to be liked. We all want approval. Problems arise when we start needing it- when we cannot function without it.
Mentally strong people want everything everyone else on this planet wants. They just don’t need it.
Ask for help when in need
Being strong doesn’t mean that you won’t need help. It means when you do, you acknowledge it, and ask for help.
Don’t succumb to self-pity
Self-pity eats away mental energy and keeps you emotionally drained forever. It also adds to your current misery for something that happened in the past.
See the past as valuable training and nothing more.
Don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the past. Instead, write down what you’ve learned, objectives, and how to avoid pitfalls in the future. This usually works much better than wallowing. It is a great resilience tactic as well.
Balance emotions with logic.
Mentally strong people understand how their emotions can influence their thinking. In an effort to make the best decisions possible, they balance their emotions with logic. Yes, sometimes logic is a good thing!
Mike works as a trainer, consultant, mentor, coach, public speaker, and writer in the fields of human, business, and organizational endeavors. He works with public, governmental, business, sport, and organizational clients throughout the world. He has spent the last decade working mainly in the Middle East, living in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as well as conducting extensive projects in Kuwait and Bahrain. Mike has worked with global brands as well as small businesses, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership Management, ILM. Mike dedicates his work towards the following key areas: Organizational and Personal Development, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Leadership, Mental Resilience, High Performing Teams Coaching and teachings from the Ancients. The bottom line is, Mike becomes the difference that makes a difference! His company, Discover Synergy is dedicated to helping organizations achieve exactly what they want, and you can see more information at: www.discoversynergy.com. He draws on years of his direct experience in working with leadership and project teams. This allows him to coach and mentor executives and individuals, as well as train the next generation of leaders and facilitate motivational processes for sports teams on a national and international level. His earlier career included almost two decades serving with the British Army. He loves supporting charities through physical endurance projects and has a deep connection with the mountains and the wild open sea. He lives in the UK with his family. Mike has also written a book called Wild Waters in the Roar, about his amazing journey rowing across the Indian Ocean. Find a copy on Amazon.