There are many misconceptions about what it means to be mentally strong.
At its core, mental strength is about regulating your thoughts, managing your emotions, and behaving productively, despite the circumstances you find yourself in.
Building mental strength is similar to building physical strength. You need to develop healthy habits and give up the things that rob you of mental strength.
Assessing mental strength, however, isn’t quite as simple as assessing physical strength. You can tell a lot about how physically strong someone is likely to be by simply looking at them. A big bicep probably means that person can lift some weight. But you can’t tell if someone is mentally strong based on a quick glance. Much of what determines mental strength happens on the inside.
Honest self-reflection is the key to building mental strength. Knowing your strengths and being willing to work on areas that need improvement can help you become mentally stronger.
How Well Do You Regulate Your Thoughts?
The conversations you have with yourself play a major role in your overall well-being. While everyone uses harsh self-criticism at one time or another, talking to yourself like a trusted friend is the key to building mental strength.
It’s important to think realistically. Overly negative thoughts can prevent you from taking productive action. But overly positive thoughts can be harmful, too, because you might be left unprepared for the realities you face.
Ask yourself these questions to assess your mindset:
- What inaccurate conclusions do I draw about myself?
- What types of things do I beat myself up over?
- Are there excuses I let myself make?
- What’s my definition of success?
- How do I talk to myself when I fail?