Life is full of challenges, and rich in experience which ultimately come to define a person. Some people have the ability to respond to the journey of life with a kind of mental strength. They have perhaps had to learn this strength, earn it through their ability to tackle what is thrown at them. Here are 8 things that mentally strong people do:
1. Stand Up For What They Know Is Right
It can be tough at times to really stand up for what you believe to be right, especially in the face of impeding social pressure. Mentally strong people are firm and passionate about their moral standards, and they will not detriment their values even when social trends, or people at work say otherwise. Not only will they make the effort to keep themselves in check; they are also more likely to speak out if they feel somebody else is overstepping the mark, and would not stand for bullying in the workplace for example, even if it was someone else who was inflicted.
2. Don’t Sell Themselves
You have heard the phrase “everyone has a price,” right? Well, not everyone. Some of the more mentally hardy among us would not sell themselves, their hopes and dreams, or their values, no matter what the price. The way I see it, everything in life is either in line with what I want to do/be/feel, or it is not in line with what I want to do/be/feel. Money, and other material gains should not be able to change that. A mentally strong person may be inclined then to turn down a financially promising job, preferring one that they enjoy.
3. Set Loving Boundaries
Mentally strong people are often capable of setting the loving boundaries which they require to get along with other people. These can include definitions of space, time needed alone, which subjects are off bounds for them, what their values are, how they should be respected, and so on. Setting loving boundaries is not about pushing people away, or being volatile and needy; it is about setting limits that allow you to get closer to people. Some people seem to fear this deliberate setting of boundaries, probably not wanting to offend anyone. The aim of boundary setting is not to offend, only to make relationships more sustainable.
4. Show Compassion
Mental strength is not all about being thick-skinned. It is is largely the opposite; mentally strong people know how to let go of their ego for long enough to show compassion for themselves, and for other people. They want to give, and to listen, and to advice, and to be there for people who need them. Emotional openness and receptivity are both valuable strengths for the well rounded individual, and compassion and understanding both take great mental strength to demonstrate.
5. Resist Temptation
Let’s face it; temptation is all around us, nearly all of the time, in one form or another. It is quite subjective really; what we are tempted by, and what we consider a temptation. Loosely, a temptation could be described as something that we consider off limits, but that we really want anyway! The mentally strong still succumb to temptation, but in a more controlled fashion, on their own terms. They are strong willed enough to say “no” when they do not want something, and they are more likely to value their health and lifestyle enough to know when something should be avoided.
6. Break The Mold
What is interesting is that deep down we all know that we are unique and different. There is no real “norm” of what a person should be like in a given context or culture. This can cause some dissonance as we do feel some implied pressure to conform to the expectations of other people, and society. This can leave many people unable to express their more flamboyant aspects. The mentally strong have, at some point, entered an internal battle with this dissonance, and have managed to overcome the contradiction between the societal expectations, and the reality of who they feel they are. This often makes for expressive and highly energetic individuals who are not afraid to express just how different they are.
7. Think About Themselves
Mental strength does not necessarily require that the person be a “thinker,” that they sit for hours pondering existence. I do think it does require some amount of introspection to gain the sort of strength and clarity that we are talking about. I do not believe that it comes overnight, or that it takes no effort. We have to know ourselves, and become comfortable in our being in order to be mentally strong. This means that we must think about ourselves, spend time alone to know who we are, and ponder our relation to the world that we live in, and the people around us. The more we do this, the more mental strength can be cultivated.
8. Overcome Obstacles
The result of all the hard work that it takes to develop mental strength, is the ability to overcome any obstacle. The hard times in life, and how we react to them, will come to define us as a person. The mentally strong thrive in hard times, and take pleasure in overcoming the hurdles they need to leap in order to get back on track.