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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

5 Ways to Help Yourself Advance Your Mental Strength

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5 Ways to Help Yourself Advance Your Mental Strength

When life knocks you down and leaves you feeling battered and bruised, how do you help yourself get back into the game? The natural reaction is to spiral into panic and worry. Let’s face it, a knockdown can be emotionally and mentally exhausting.

I believe that the core difference between those who thrive through life, versus those who fall apart at the first sign of struggle, is their mental strength.

Mental strength refers to the resilience and strength that people possess to soldier through struggles and succeed[1]. It is the secret sauce that allows you to push past exhaustion when everything in your body is telling you to quit. Learn how to tap into your own mental strength and move forward.

The Importance of Advancing Your Mental Strength

Mentally strong people decide from day one that they will not allow their circumstances to define or destroy them. When something doesn’t go their way, they don’t curl up in a ball and give up.

Instead, they stand back up, wipe away their tears, and use the challenges as opportunities to prove to themselves and the world that they can overcome anything and everything.

I’ve got great news. Mental strength isn’t a superhuman trait. Instead, it’s something that you can develop and master through trial and error.

Take a moment and think back to a challenge that you had to overcome. What traits did you have to pull upon to get through that difficult time?

We don’t give ourselves enough credit for how far we’ve come and what it took for us to get where we are today. Let’s face it—life doesn’t always like your plans.

However, the tough times will make you a stronger and more resilient human being. The train wreck moments when my life felt as if it was falling apart proved to be signs that better things were actually falling back together.

Why Is Mental Strength Hard to Achieve?

Your mind is a powerful tool. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Here’s the kicker—we all have that voice inside of our heads, otherwise known as your inner critic.

Rather than empathize with you, this voice basks in the enjoyment of beating you down and trying to convince you that you are not the CEO of your life.

You aren’t strong enough.

You’re messed up.

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You aren’t worthy of happiness.

Unfortunately, a lot of people allow this voice to dim their light and dictate every decision in their life. The bottom line is that your inner critic robs you of your mental strength. However, it’s important to not silence this voice without understanding where it comes from[2].

A lot of people fall into the trap of assuming that because they are thinking awful things about themselves, they must be true. Wrong.

In actuality, your inner critic is your inner child. Psychologists believe these voices are residues of childhood experiences. We become so used to living under these narratives that we don’t even notice or question them[3].

Ironically, your inner critic just wants to help you. Talk about mind games at their finest! I want to propose a different perspective. Instead of fighting with this critical voice, what would happen if you reframed the intention behind it?

Help yourself by transforming your inner critic into your inner coach.

Whereas a critic knocks you down, a coach challenges you to find solutions and gives you the confidence to face new obstacles with courage, grace, and determination.

For example, you could say out loud to yourself, “Critic, thanks for trying so hard to keep me safe, but it’s time for you to step aside now.”

The beauty of life is that, at any given moment, you have the power to rewrite your story and unleash the strength that has always been a part of you.

5 Ways to Help Yourself Advance Your Mental Strength

I want you to think of your mind as if it were a muscle. Just like you go to the gym and work at building your physical strength, you’ve got to commit to flexing your mental muscle as well.

At the end of the day, success is a mindset game. As Tony Robbins says,

“80 percent of success is due to psychology—mindset, beliefs, and emotions—and only 20 percent is due to strategy—the specific steps needed to accomplish a result.”

Let’s explore 5 ways that you can help yourself advance your mental strength.

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1. Develop Unshakeable Confidence

Nobody is born with unshakeable confidence. Anybody that you’ve come across who possesses this trait has it because they have worked tirelessly to build it.

As Maxwell Maltz once said,

“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on.”

Mental strength is the thing that allows you to take the hit and bounce forward so that, even though you are bruised, you are not defeated.

Anyone can strengthen their confidence muscle. The question is, how do you practice being confident when you don’t feel like you have anything to be confident about?

Check out the video below to start developing some answers:

Being successful in life is all about developing and conditioning positive core beliefs every day. This is why I’m a big believer in the power of reciting positive affirmations.

You have to trust that you are better than your limiting beliefs. When in doubt, fake it until you feel it. Once you start believing that you are amazing and capable of achieving anything, you naturally start to embody that feeling.

Take a look at this guide if you’d like to boost your self-confidence: How to Be More Confident (the Definitive Step-By-Step Guide)

2. Take Responsibility for Your Life

When it feels like the world is caving in on you, it’s easy to blame the world for your problems. However, adopting this mindset only serves to disempower you.

If you constantly say, “Bad things always happen to me,” life will constantly feel like a struggle. The Universe listens, so be careful of the words that you speak.

You cannot wait for someone to come along and make your life better. This is important if really want to help yourself. You have the power to take responsibility for your life.

No dream or goal is going to save you. The sooner that you accept and start living that truth, the sooner that you step into your power.

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3. Reframe Setbacks as Signposts for Growth

Setbacks aren’t fatal or permanent. In actuality, there are times when getting knocked down by life is very much needed.

Sometimes you’ve got to hit your emotional threshold or rock bottom before you are finally ready to change your life. If you feel like you are at the bottom now, the good news is that you can’t go any lower. The only way is up!

I believe that hitting rock bottom can be a catalyst for personal transformation and the foundation upon which anyone can rebuild their lives.

I like to think of setbacks as signposts that exist to shake me awake. Whenever I feel stuck, I’ve either been getting too comfortable in my environment or haven’t been listening to my intuition.

Setbacks offer great opportunities to redirect and refocus your life, but it’s up to you to see them that way. I encourage you to reframe your challenges as opportunities for growth.

The next time that nothing seems to be going your way, step back and ask yourself what the challenge is teaching you. This will help you prioritize your emotional health.

Every problem has an advantage. When you learn how to embrace your challenges, you are better able to look every future challenge dead in the eye and give it a wink.

4. Master Your Emotions

When things fall apart, how do you react? Do you panic and lose control, or do you sit back, assess the situation, and take action?

You can’t always control how you feel. The only thing that you can control is how you respond to your feelings.

You may be able to influence a certain outcome, but everything else is out of your hands. If you don’t master your emotions, they will end up mastering you, and that will make it very difficult to help yourself.

Psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett suggests in her book, How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain, that emotions do not happen to us without our volition. Rather, we construct our emotions by making predictions using our past experiences.

This line of thinking supports the belief that you are the creator of your own reality. This means that you are—and will always be—in control of your life and your emotions.

The best way to have more control over your emotional responses is to move throughout your days more mindfully. This comes down to being present and more aware of yourself, your experiences, and how you participate with them.

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The next time that you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a deep breath and calm your emotional center. Give yourself time and space to choose how you will respond.

You can learn more about practicing mindfulness here: Meditation Can Change Your Life: The Power of Mindfulness.

5. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

I believe that comfort is the enemy of progress. Your comfort zone is a safe place to hang out, but nothing ever grows there.

New research from Yale University shows that uncertainty sends a signal to the brain to kickstart the learning process[4]. This means that those unstable situations that make you feel uncomfortable are critical to your ability to grow and succeed[5].

Help yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone.

    Do you think that some of the most successful people in this world got to where they are today by sipping apple martinis and sitting on a beach? Absolutely not.

    They worked tirelessly and risked a lot to turn their dreams into reality. In short, they took massive action, despite their fears. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

    I challenge you to do one thing every day that stretches your mental muscle. That is how you become the driver of your destiny.

    Are you still wondering how to step out of your comfort zone? I strongly recommend you read this article.

    Final Thoughts

    Starting today, help yourself become mentally stronger.

    Your mental strength is bigger than any obstacle or adversity. You can either choose to stay on the ground and play the victim, or you can rise up and transform your pain into possibility.

    Are you ready to show life who’s boss?

    More About Mental Strength

    Featured photo credit: Jonas Verstuyft via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    More by this author

    Ashley Elizabeth

    Resilience Mastery Coach and Motivational Speaker

    How Successful Women Shake Up and Redefine the Workplace 4 Signs You Have a Victim Mentality (And How to Break out of It) How to Overcome Fear and Find Success (The Ultimate Guide) What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward? 5 Reasons Why Keeping a Mood Journal Is Good For Your Mental Health

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    Last Updated on November 19, 2021

    25 Signs That You’re A Mentally Strong Person

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    25 Signs That You’re A Mentally Strong Person

    I am not ashamed to admit that I am a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The episode that always comes to mind is when Wesley Crusher had just missed getting into Star Fleet Academy. Captain Picard consoles him by telling him the real measure of a man is what he learns from his mistakes.

    If you look at real-life historical figures, there are many examples of those that exhibit mental toughness. One that stands out is Teddy Roosevelt. His words and deeds tell the true character he possessed.

    Teddy Roosevelt. Captain Picard. Examples in fiction and nonfiction of inner strength and fortitude. But many people may not look at themselves as a mentally strong person. We are often our  harshest critics and do not realize what kind of strengths we possess. Here are 25 signs that show you have nerves of steel:

    1. You don’t yell or become easily angry.

    Even in the harshest stress factors, you choose to stay calm and you try to handle situations smoothly. You feel that by raising your voice, you’re lowering yourself.

    2. You are open to feedback.

    You are not afraid to voice your opinion; neither are you afraid to take other’s opinions or feedback, whether they’re negative or positive. You rather welcome it so you can learn.

    3. You apologize when necessary.

    You know well when you’ve made a mistake and you apologize, not worrying about losing face. You are aware that by apologizing, you’ll be the bigger person.

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    4. You are willing to adjust to bring improvement.

    Being a mentally strong person, you’re adaptable to change. You know that change is good for whatever condition you’re in.

    5. You don’t limit your thoughts to just superficial matters

    You don’t just see things as they are. You look deep into matters and you read into things before drawing a conclusion.

    6. You refrain from expectations on others.

    You don’t expect anything in return when you go the extra mile for someone. You have always been selfless.

    7. You know how to set boundaries to keep things in perspective.

    You don’t let others cross the limits you’ve set, and you let others know about those limits politely yet firmly.

    8. You are open to receiving help.

    You are well aware of the areas you’re weak in and you are not afraid to ask for help from others. You know that by doing so, you’re only learning.

    9. You are not co-dependent.

    You are just not the kind who relies on others emotionally or just to get things done. By doing so, you maintain a healthy relationship both personally and professionally.

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    10. You follow your instincts.

    You believe in gaining experiences, because of which you learn to follow your instincts to guide your judgment.

    11. You forgive yourself.

    It’s hard to move on if you don’t let go, and this is one of the things you’ve learned over the years. So you forgive yourself when you make a mistake and leave the past where it belongs instead of dwelling on it.

    12. You understand your limitations.

    You have certain limits that you’ve established for yourself and you’ve embraced them because you know well that that is who you are.

    13. You understand that conflict can bring resolution to a problem.

    You know that holding grudges has never been a solution to problems, nor has anyone achieved anything out of it. So you think of a solution, instead.

    14. You avoid procrastination.

    You prefer to finish the task at hand before moving to the next one. Although procrastination sounds appealing, it only keeps piling up work.

    15. You take negativity with grain of salt.

    You’ve hardly ever made assumptions without first being fully aware of the situation. You avoid believing in the negative stuff that you’ve been told, as much as you can.

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    16. You are responsible in financial matters.

    You, in general are a wise person. You don’t only make decisions wisely; you also avoid spending money foolishly.

    17. You know that persistence pays off.

    You have a strong will power which doesn’t let you give up on things you really want. You keep persisting until you know success is at your doorstep.

    18. You find ways around any obstacle.

    You keep trying and you don’t stop until you’ve achieved that target. Giving up just isn’t your thing, but looking for alternatives is.

    19. You are always looking for ways to improve yourself.

    You often feel that you can do better and that there’s always room for improvement, because you embraced the fact that no one is perfect a long time back.

    20. You take action in maintaining your health.

    If you’re not healthy, you’re not wealthy and wise — and that you’re motto. So you try to eat, sleep, drink and breathe healthy as much as is possible for you.

    21. You try new things outside your comfort zone.

    It’s not as if you get bored easily but staying put gives you no exposure nor do you learn. You move outside that comfort zone to experience change and fun along with it.

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    22. You do not blame circumstances on extrinsic things.

    You take everything into consideration and you know that blaming something that’s beyond your control is useless and silly.

    23. You use your time wisely.

    Going around wasting your time is a big “NO” for you. So you choose to spend that time productively so that others along with you can benefit.

    24. You let others take the lead.

    You know how things are done so you sit back, relax and others take the lead while you enjoy. You do try to give them your full support, though, if they need it.

    25. You remain calm and clear of thought during a crisis.

    Good result of anything comes out when it’s done with a peaceful and a calm mind. So even in a crisis situation, you try your best to remain calm.

    Life is full of challenges that must be dealt with. The ability to deal with these challenges requires some degree of mental toughness. The types of stress in daily life can vary. Things happen, from missing a credit card payment to dealing with death in the family. Everyone also deals with problems in a different capacity.

    Some may question whether they have any mental toughness in them. Certain people have ice in their veins, while others are ready to run at a moment’s notice. If you feel you are someone who lacks being a mentally strong person, train yourself to be. Read about people whose actions you admire.

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    Study those that dealt with adversity and created change. Learn how to use that for positive change in your own life.

    Featured photo credit: Louish Pixel via flickr.com

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