If you are like me, when faced with stress, you might be tempted to ask, “Am I as mentally strong as I need to be?” Or, you might ask, “Why do everyday things seem to affect me worse that others that I respect?” Being mentally strong can help you face and defeat stress that might otherwise distract or battle you. So, why are some able to fend off these issues better than others?
Kathryn Stanley, Chair, Organizational and Leadership Psychology Department at William James College has created a list of “18 Things Mentally Strong People Do.” Take a look at Stanley’s list:
- They move on
- They keep control
- They embrace change
- They stay happy
- They are kind
- They are willing to take calculated risks
- They invest their energy in the present
- They accept full responsibility for their past behavior
- They celebrate other people’s success
- They are willing to fail
- They enjoy their time alone
- They are prepared to work and succeed on their own merits
- They have staying power
- They evaluate their core beliefs
- They expend their mental energy wisely
- They think productively
- They tolerate discomfort
- They reflect on their progress
So, did any of these stand out to you as hurdles that you face? Which of these ranks as the most challenging for you? I think this list serves as a great checklist for us to provide a self-assessment of our mental strength. For example, if you have a tendency to be mentally exhausted and unable to concentrate during important meetings, you might consider whether spending more time alone to help focus your mental energy might benefit you. Or, there might be others of these that could represent individual opportunities for growth over the next few months or year. The premise is that we can all become mentally stronger if we focus on improvement in areas that hinder us.
Think about your own mental toughness today as you face whatever battles that might be occurring in your life. While you are at it, consider items from the list that you can intentionally influence today (e.g., kindness, personal attitude, diligence, etc.). Perhaps, just a few tweaks in your attitude and some intentionality in your approach might make a huge difference for you.
Have a fabulous day!
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