Mandy has been working in the mental health field for more than eight years and has worked with a diverse group of clients. These range ...Read More
What makes one person survive a crisis when another buckles under the strain? What do mentally strong people do to maintain equilibrium and stay on the right track? I have put together a list of common traits that mentally strong people tend to possess. See how many you have…
1) Highly self aware – know their strengths and weaknesses
Mentally strong people live a life that is insightful. They do not live in denial nor do they constantly procrastinate when they know an issue needs to be dealt with. Mentally strong people push themselves out of their comfort zone regularly in order to test their limits and see what they are capable of. They see life as an adventure – to be explored and savoured. They play to their strengths and minimise their weaknesses.
2) Able to tolerate uncertainty
Life is uncertain and there are no guarantees for any of us. Mentally strong people get this and work with it instead of resisting uncertainty. They are adaptable and welcome change as yet another opportunity to expand their comfort zone. When the unexpected happens they do not freak out and go into melt down. They accept that this is part and parcel of life and focus on what they can influence. Being adaptable is key to coping with uncertainty as well as being prepared for whatever comes their way with a personal mantra of “no matter what happens, I will find a way to deal with it.”
3) Able to regulate their emotions and rationalise
Instead of catastrophizing and automatically assuming the worst, mentally strong people realise that this type of panic-thinking serves no purpose. Listening to wayward thoughts and acting on emotions is the easiest way to make a mistake and mentally strong people are able to separate emotion out of the equation and use reason to move forward.
4) Able to express emotions appropriately rather than suppress
Contrary to popular belief, mentally strong people are emotionally intelligent. They have empathy for others and have a healthy relationship with their inner emotional landscape. They are able to identify emotions and express them appropriately. Suppression of emotion leads to an imbalance and emotionally laden decisions tend to dominate. Expressing emotions to meet personal emotional needs as well as connect with others is healthy and the hallmark of a mentally sound person.
5) High level of self belief
Mentally strong people like themselves and have an unswerving faith in themselves. Even in the midst of failure and hardship, these resilient types have an inner strength that they can called on – self belief. They stand up for what they believe in and aren’t afraid of what others think of them. A healthy self esteem ties in with self belief and this inner stability is crucial in maintaining a balanced, unwavering front when the world throws curve balls at them.
6) Learn from their mistakes
Some people seem to be stuck in a maze, just like the poor rat that never finds the cheese. Mentally strong people learn quickly from their mistakes and adjust accordingly. They often don’t get it right the first time, perhaps not even the second time, but they are constantly trying to better their game. They use their “can do” attitude to move onwards and upwards.
7) Sense of humour
Mentally strong people don’t take themselves too seriously and use humour as a shock absorber for life. Possessing a healthy sense of humour provides a cushion that takes the edge off the tough challenges life sends us. See the funny side of life and everything gets easier.
8) See failure as way to learn -an step towards success
Failure isn’t something to fear. It’s a useful method to learn from. Life is a process of trial and error and no one gets it right first time. Mentally strong people possess self belief that helps them to deal with failure – they see failure as an action that didn’t work rather than seeing themselves as the failure. There’s a big difference.
9) Accept responsibility for themselves. Don’t play the ‘victim’ card
Mentally strong people know themselves well and like themselves and as a result they are less defensive when things don’t work out. They will be the first to admit that they made a mistake and do not fear appearing weak by apologising or admitting they got it wrong. They accept responsibility for their choices and decisions and deal with the consequences without trying to find someone else to blame. In this way, they also maintain their personal power over their lives and what they choose to do with their lives. They accept full responsibility for their position in life.
10) Able to keep perspective, see the bigger picture
Mentally resilient people understand that nothing stays the same and that change is inevitable. They use change to their advantage and remind themselves that when times are tough – they will pass.
11) Accept what they cannot change and influence what they can change
Knowing the difference between what you can and can’t control is crucial for mentally strong people. Wasting unnecessary energy on things you cannot change with drain you emotionally and mentally and these people know better. They can quickly separate the two and use their influence effectively rather than ‘flogging a dead horse’.
12) Equilibrium comes from inner wisdom & strength
Mentally strong people trust their instincts rather than relying excessively on external sources for stability and reassurance. They have a strong inner core and gain their composure and strength from listening to their instincts. That gut feeling that we all have – they trust it and they tune in regularly.
13) Positive inner talk
Negative self talk is something that mentally strong people don’t engage in. We all have intrusive thoughts and self doubt but mentally strong people learn to let those thoughts pass by. They can only come to life if you ‘buy into’ the thought and believe it. Mentally strong people understand that their thoughts don’t always work in their favour and choose the thoughts that work for them rather than against them. They see thoughts for what they are – chemical impulses in their brains, their perceptions of the world. Thoughts are NOT directly representative of reality.
14) Not cynical, bitter and twisted
It is rare to find a mentally strong person that is cynical, bitter and twisted. Their ability to maintain perspective and gain strength from within allows them to see the world in a positive way – where there is enough success for all. They enjoy seeing others succeed and do not see this as a negative reflection upon themselves. In fact, other people’s success inspires them instead of highlighting their own insecurities. They are kind, compassionate and champion others. This positive outward flow brings positivity back to them in many inspiring ways.
Mentally strong people have their down days too but they have an arsenal of ‘tools’ and tricks to help them remain in control most of the time. Many of the above characteristics can be learned – we can all work towards being stronger and more mentally resilient.