Saying things like, “I’m not scared of anything,” or, “I didn’t want that promotion anyway,” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re mentally strong. In fact, there’s a good chance you might just be acting tough. While acting tough may meet your needs in the short term by artificially boosting your ego or by getting other people to back off, it’s not a good long-term strategy.
It’s hard to be mentally tough, especially when you feel stuck. The ability to break the mold and take a bold new direction requires that extra grit, daring, and spunk that only the mentally toughest people have. It’s fascinating how mentally tough people set themselves apart from the crowd. Where others see impenetrable barriers, they see challenges to overcome.
When Thomas Edison’s factory burned to the ground in 1914, destroying one-of-a-kind prototypes and causing $23 million in damage, Edison’s response was simple:
“Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start fresh again.”
Edison’s reaction is the epitome of mental toughness—seeing opportunity and taking action when things look bleak.
There are habits you can develop to improve your mental toughness. In fact, the hallmarks of mentally tough people are actually strategies that you can begin using today.
1. They’re Emotionally Intelligent
2. They’re Confident
3. They Neutralize Toxic People
4. They Embrace Change
5. They Say No
6. They Know That Fear Is the No. 1 Source of Regret
7. They Embrace Failure…
8. …Yet, They Don’t Dwell on Mistakes
9. They Won’t Let Anyone Limit Their Joy…
10. …And They Don’t Limit the Joy of Others
11. They Exercise
12. They Get Enough Sleep
13. They Don’t Wait for an Apology to Forgive
14. They’re Relentlessly Positive
15. They’re Grateful
Mental toughness is not an innate quality bestowed upon a select few. It can be achieved and enjoyed. Invest in building mental strength, so the way you feel on the inside matches how others see you on the outside. As your mental strength increases, your desire to act tough decreases.