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5 Mental Habits That Can Make You A Stronger Person

5 Mental Habits That Can Make You A Stronger Person

Thinking. We do it nearly every second of our lives. We cannot help it. It is part of our nature. Our parents and friends often influence our mental habits- and these habits can make or break us.

Are your thoughts enabling you to achieve success, or disabling you? It is probably the most important question that you can ask yourself, but how often do you ask yourself that question?

The worse thing that you can do is succumb to the opinions of others. You can become mentally strong by committing yourself to develop emotional intelligence. So, here are five habits that can make you a mentally strong person:

1. Be Willing To Take Risks

Not everyone is courageous. Taking risks can be quite frightening, whether it is quitting your job for an ideal lifestyle or moving abroad to pursue a lucrative business opportunity.

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In order to be confident in taking risks, you must increase your ability to live with uncertainty. It does not sound comforting. However, if you never take a chance, then you will always remain where you are currently.

It may be scary, but it does not mean that it cannot be exciting. The thrill of taking the risk can be the very thing that helps you to reach the finish line. Many successful people attribute their success to the risks that they took at the beginning of their journey.

2. Embrace Change

Change does not always sit well with us. Some people enjoy their routines and don’t like rocking the boat. I have routines that I enjoy, myself. Although, once we fall in the comfort zone, it may spell the very end of our growth.

Change serves us. It offers us learning opportunities that ultimately expand our awareness.

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Immersing yourself in a different environment can surely do the trick. As an expat, I enjoy a lifestyle that is quite different, and even uncomfortable for some, but it has its benefits.

3. Stay Positive

There are many times when people preach the importance of being positive. Unfortunately, most of these people have trouble maintaining that momentum. Nothing is worse than having a therapist or life coach who is advising you, but fails to apply the same advice to their own life.

Staying positive is extremely important if one expects to become a mentally strong person.

We will always encounter obstacles in our path. For most people, it almost an immediate process to allow their emotions to influence their thoughts and decisions.

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There are always two perspectives with which you can view every experience – a positive one and a negative one. The question is: which perspective will you choose?

4. Focus On What You Can Control

One of our main problems is that we worry too much. We often worry about things that we cannot control. Occasionally, I am guilty of it too. Although, we can all do better when we concentrate on the things that matter most in our lives.

While people may attempt to control other people, it is ultimately a waste of one’s time. You do have control over your life. So, invest your time in focusing on your life rather than worrying about others.

5. Always Remember The Big Picture

Everyone has a different conception of the big picture. It is pertinent for us to keep this in mind, or we will risk losing sight of our direction.

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The big picture serves to remind us of our purpose as we continue our journey to the finish line. It helps to have someone to join us as an accountability partner; it makes reaching the finish line much easier.

Some people may feel alone on their journey, but an inspirational book, movie, or podcast can definitely curb that feeling of loneliness and remind you of the big picture.

Featured photo credit: Ben Kerckx via pixabay.com

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Kallen Diggs

Bestselling Author / Magazine Editor / Syndicated Radio Show Host

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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