“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.” -Bob Marley
You poured your heart out. Put in your all. And you got rejected. Abandoned. Embarrassed. You failed. You went home, ranting in your mind of all the ways your boss, family members, spouse have let you down. They were not there for you. They didn’t support you enough. This shouldn’t have happened to you!
You start beating yourself up and you feel so sorry for yourself that this happened to you AGAIN. You thought it would be different this time and you’d have it all figured out. Have you ever found yourself feeling this way?
We all have setbacks.
But what most of us don’t realize is that we have some bad mental habits that keep us from reaching our full potential. That prevent us from being mentally strong. I know I have personally fallen prey to many of these bad habits that get in the way of reaching my goals. Given the fact we all have struggles, what’s the difference between someone who overcomes them and thrives versus someone that doesn’t?
Taking the notions from Amy Morin’s, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, I’d like to dive into these mental habits and how you can knock them to overcome adversity and reach your highest self.
They Don't Waste Time Feeling Sorry For Themselves
This is where we get into the victim mindset of self-pity. We all get into this mindset from time to time. I know I do. But what do you really gain by feeling sorry for yourself? All you do is take all your power away because by thinking thoughts of, “Oh, poor me, poor me, poor me” you’re basically giving away your own power. Your own creative energy to solve your problems. You’re thinking that your life should be different then it is, so you’re resisting reality.
You have a choice in this moment to choose what your experience of yourself and life will be today. Right now. If you want to be happy, being a victim doesn’t serve you in any way, shape, or form.
Stop arguing with reality and start accepting it. It takes courage to accept your life as it is and take responsibility for how you co-create your life. Especially the bad parts. When we can tell ourselves “everything is as it should be right now” we stop struggling against the universe and start adapting and thriving.
They Don't Give Away Their Power
Another part of being in the victim mindset. By blaming others, we give away our power. By expecting other people to make us feel better or happy, we give away our power. By reacting out of our emotions, we give away our power. By letting someone make decisions for us, we give away our power. The moment you give up your power to choose is the moment you enslave yourself. Life can hurt your body, take your home, break your relationships. But nothing can take away your power to choose, unless you choose to relinquish your power. Nothing can touch your spirit. No one can take your freedom unless you allow it.
Take responsibility not just for your outer, but also for your inner experience. Trust yourself. Let go and trust that life is as it should be. (trust your higher power if you have one) Envision your highest, wisest self guiding you.
They Don't Shy Away From Change.
Change requires brain power and intentional effort, and that’s why most people don’t like change. But if you have a handle on your mind, and you’re able to manage your emotions and inner experience, you won’t shy away from change. Especially the change that helps evolve you into the next best version of yourself.
Remember that change means you are growing! Just as a caterpillar must change to become a butterfly. We must also change to reach our highest selves. And the best change happens outside of your comfort zone. When you are uncomfortable or scared, that means you are growing, which is a good thing! Resistance and fear are normal and okay! But don’t let that stop you in your tracks towards reaching your potential.
They Don't Focus on Things They Can't Control.
There are many things you will never be in control of in life. This is a fact.The weather. Traffic. Other people’s opinions of you. The government. Your boss. The media. Your spouse or lover. The past.
The only things you can’t control are circumstances outside of you, others, or the past. But you do have a choice to choose your interpretation of what happens (or happened).
Remember what you do have control over. Yourself. Your thoughts, mindset, feelings, actions, and results you get in your life.
They Don't Worry About Pleasing Everyone.
Because usually when you’re spending your energy pleasing everybody else, the result is you don’t please yourself. You don’t take care of yourself, and you don’t follow your own path.
People pleasers try and take care of everybody else, but they end up feeling resentful, in hopes that those other people will like them and approve. They’re not being their true authentic self, and they’re out of integrity. This will cause you to burn out fast!
Take care of yourself and your own needs first. Prioritize it. Keep you cup full. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they think it is selfish, but it’s NOT. If you don’t take care of yourself and your own needs you will have nothing left to give to others.
They Don't Fear Thaking Calculated Risks
The worst thing that can happen is a feeling. Feeling fear. Embarrassment. Disappointment. Shame. Which are only vibrations in your body.
If it’s a well thought out risk, strong minded people are willing to take that chance because the worst that can happen is a negative feeling. They’re willing to evolve by trying new things, taking risks, and challenging themselves.
Train yourself not to fear fear (or any other negative emotions). Allow it. Don’t resist it when it comes up. Notice it. Sit with it. Feel it. Notice where you feel it in your body. Allow it to fade away. (because it will; it isn’t permanent). If you aren’t afraid to feel fear, or any other emotions, then there is nothing you aren’t willing to do.
They Don't Dwell On the Past.
This is something we all get stuck in, but it’s ultimately a big waste of time. It’s very similar to #4, which is don’t focus on things you cannot change. The past is one of those things. They also don’t think about it in a way that causes them to feel bad about themselves. They don’t beat themselves up.
When you think about the past, you’re not literally thinking about the past. You’re thinking a current thought (right now) about something that happened in the past, but it’s current thinking. You’re telling a story. A current, present story, about your past. Those thoughts are not serving you.
Find meaning from the past. When we don’t have meanings, or lessons learned, then we are bitter and tend to dwell.Meaning gives us wisdom. Getting stuck in a cycle of beating yourself up about the past (something you can’t change) is not serving you.
They Don't Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over
Similar to #7 above. If you are able to find meaning from the past and learn from your mistakes, you are not going to repeat that same mistake. This takes a large amount of awareness. You must pay attention.
If we aren’t aware of our patterns and behaviors, then we are most likely going to stay stuck in those patterns and repeat the same behaviors over and over expecting different results. Which is the definition of insanity!
Be aware of your patterns and behaviors. Learn from your mistakes. If something isn’t working, really take a good look at it. If you want a different result, you must be willing to make a change and try something new!
They Don't Resent Other People's Success
I think we all get bit by the jealousy bug from time to time and then get left with a big jealousy hangover! This subconsciously trains your mind that “success is bad”, because you are oozing out negative energy towards someone else and their success.
Next time you see someone else succeeding try to let it inspire you.
*Bless that person; cheer them on; support them – either verbally or mentally. Tune in to your jealousy: the universe may be showing you exactly where you are holding back yourself. It may be pointing out exactly what you want to pursue for yourself.
*Don’t make someone else’s success about you. Remember to focus on yourself and stay in your own game. Comparing is toxic and as life coach and motivation speaker Marie Forleo says, we will subject ourselves to a “Comparison Hangover” that can last for days and leave us feeling bad about ourselves. Ask yourself what you are Thankful for. What’s working? And what can you take action on right now to change whatever isn’t working in your life?
They Don't Give Up After the First Failure
Failures can feel pretty awful. But what is failure anyways? It’s the meaning we give something when we don’t meet the expectations we or someone else set for ourselves.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison’s quote really hits the nail on the head. It’s all about mindset! We can never succeed without trying novel ways to do something.We must fail time and time again until we get it right. I guarantee the more you are willing to fail the more likely you will succeed.
When you do “fail”, tell yourself it’s okay! Give yourself a pat on the back for giving it a shot and love on yourself. Give yourself some compassion instead of beating yourself up! You can always do it again, but this time with more wisdom and perspective for what didn’t work the first time. Or the second time. Or third time.
They Don't Fear Time Alone
This may be a bit harder for extroverts than introverts. Someone that is mentally aware, that is taking care of themselves and their mind is probably going to enjoy their own company. They’re not looking outside of themselves to be filled up. They are also not afraid of just sitting with their own thoughts, which is what many people fear.
I think this one will start with self-work and a lot of practice. Try to look at time alone through different colored lenses. As a time to recharge and do things that you want to do. Instead of fearing it, tell yourself a different story about it. If boredom is the culprit, it’s time you find some go-to activities you enjoy.
Regardless of what you feel about being alone — practice sitting with whatever that feeling is instead of resisting it or ignoring it. It may help you get to the root of something you need to work on.
They Don't Feel the World Owes Them Anything
Entitlement is a nasty little guy. I find myself slipping into some kind of entitlement periodically. I think that’s one of the worst feelings in the world, to feel like you are owed something, because it’s another way you give away all your power.
It also leaves you in a space of feeling helpless, like you can’t get whatever that thing is you feel you are owed. It’s a much more freeing feeling to be in a mindset of abundance instead of scarcity. To be in a mindset where you are your own savior, that you can create for yourself what you need.
Ask yourself: do you feel like people or the world owes you, and is that the kind of person you want to be? If the answer is no, then it’s time to claim back your power and remind yourself that YOU are the only person that can get for yourself whatever it is that you need.
They Don't Expect Immediate Results
This one is so hard! We live in a world now that is so built around instant gratification. We want quick fixes. We want immediate success. We want it and we want it NOW. Strong minded people know this isn’t realistic, and therefore don’t expect it. If you expect it, then it will be much more difficult to deal with reality and the struggles that go with hard work over the long term.
Be consistent. Play the tape through and envision the long-term results to keep yourself focused and motivated, but don’t forget to be patient and in the moment. Short-term pain for long-term results! Ultimately, we all have to decide who we want to be and how we want to show up in our life and relationships.
Instead of focusing so much on what job you have, what car you own, where you live, focus on who you want to be and your internal mindset of how you want to approach life regardless of material possessions and external circumstances.
“I realized that it’s insane to oppose it. When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100% of the time. How do I know that the wind should blow? It’s blowing!” -Byron Katie
I hope looking at these 13 habits are helpful and awaken some awareness in your life.I know it did for me. If you find yourself resisting this, remember that resistance is normal. However, what we resist is usually what we fear. Whatever we resist persists. And what we resist in life is typically what we NEED the most.