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The Secret to Becoming Mentally Strong

The Secret to Becoming Mentally Strong

According to psychotherapist Amy Morin, everyone has the ability to build mental strength, but most people she says, don’t know how to. From personal experience, I can tell you that mental strength takes time and sometimes, a great deal of effort to develop. I had to challenge some old ideas I learned growing up and in a few cases, I had to get real about what I was getting from some of my familiar (but hella unhelpful) habits.

Some of these all too familiar habits of ours may seem inconsequential, but as Morin shares, they can be eating away at our mental strength and making us less effective.

Morin’s Talk is about three bad habits that hold us back. She shares how we can begin to rethink them and perceive life in a way that strengthens our mental muscles.

The Three Unhealthy Beliefs

Morin talks about three specific unhealthy beliefs and bad habits that make us less effective and rob us of our mental strength.

1. Unhealthy beliefs about ourselves

Those magnified self-pity where you feel put upon, and feel that you’re the only one who experiences crisis and hard times. This common unhealthy belief is one we’ve all heard (and you might even believe it yourself): People don’t change. While there is truth to that statement, it’s a false belief. The truth is that people change every day.

  • Millions have lost weight and kept it off.
  • Countless people have quit smoking for good (myself being one of them).
  • A lot of people have kicked the gossip habit and turned into leaders.
  • Meditation is growing in popularity and is helping to bring calm and more self-control to so many.
  • Reformed criminals have walked out of prison and there are recidivism programs seeing success rates in the 80% range!
  • Loads of workaholics have changed careers, reordered their priorities and are leading more rewarding lives.
  • There is a huge market for tiny homes now something that was once only for the frugal or poor.
  • Plenty of hoarders have tossed their excess “stuff” and never brought them back into their homes; some even turned to minimalism.

A healthier perspective

There isn’t anything that you want to do or change for which there isn’t a success model. Even when there isn’t an exact example, there are similarities you can draw from. When you remember that, even if you’re not ready to change or need help to start and follow-through, you have more hope and options.

2. Unhealthy beliefs about others

With this habit, we give away our power. When we’re thinking that others are causing us to feel bad or “triggering” us, we forget that we’re in control of our emotions. We forget that other people behave the way they do, independent of us.

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A healthier perspective

While you may not yet have the emotional maturity to stop yourself from feeling bad or insecure because of what someone says or does, and your little feelings will still be triggered, you do have control over how long you hold onto those feelings. Set a time limit of 5 minutes, an hour, a day tops! If you need someone to talk it through with to help you process your feelings, do that, but honor your time limit and let those feelings go promptly!

3. Unhealthy beliefs about the world

When we think that the world owes us something, we’re always wanting more and never satisfied with what we have.

A healthier perspective

Get into the gratitude habit. If you’re the “keep-it-real” type, you may balk at this advice. You may be thinking that gratitude is all about wearing rose-colored glasses and not being honest. Far from it! Practicing gratitude is one of the most honest things you can do. When you do, you’re acknowledging that the world owes you nothing and that everything you have is a gift. Yes, even the weave you paid for with the money you earned. It’s all a gift. Be grateful and unhealthy beliefs about the world will begin to shift.


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