Being mentally strong means knowing what you want and when you want it. It means not letting anything stand in the way of achieving your goals. Being mentally strong means overcoming the things that might keep other people down. Being mentally strong takes courage to swim upstream when everyone else is going with the flow. Having mental strength takes strength.

Mentally strong people are powerful. They understand that life isn’t fair, but persevere anyway. For some, mental strength comes naturally; they know no other way. For others, it’s something that has to be worked at – an art that has to be honed. Below are 13 things mentally strong people do and don’t do, whether naturally or practiced, to remain focused, goal oriented and to maintain their mental strength through all of life’s ups and downs.

1. Mentally Strong People Hold the Power

No one should have control over you or your emotions, and mentally strong people know this. You’ll never hear them say things like, “My friend makes me feel bad,” because they know they are in control of their own emotions and no one can make them feel bad unless they want to. When you are in control of yourself and your emotions, you choose how to respond to negative situations.

2. Mentally Strong People Never Feel Sorry for Themselves

Mentally strong people don’t have time to sit around feeling sorry for themselves. They know it’s a waste of time, and that in order to succeed, they need to take responsibility for their actions in life. They understand life isn’t always fair or easy, so they suck it up and keep on moving forward.

3. Mentally Strong People Embrace Change

Many people say they hate change. Change is hard and inevitable in most cases, but someone who is mentally strong accepts that and welcomes positive change with open arms. Mentally strong people are flexible and believe they are capable of adapting to new situations.

embrace change

4. Mentally Strong People Don’t Worry about the Things They Can’t Change

There’s a quote by Reinhold Niebuhr that goes, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  In case you don’t already know, Mr. Niebuhr was an exceptionally strong person who used his natural mental strength to lead a highly successful life as a theologian, among other things. He knew exactly what he was talking about here.

Mentally strong people don’t waste time complaining about traffic jams or lost luggage because they know these are things they can’t control. Instead, they focus on the things they can control, and they realize that sometimes, the only thing you can control in certain situations is your own attitude.

5. Mentally Strong People Know They Can’t Please Everyone

Being a mentally strong person means you may disappoint people at times. Mentally strong people realize that they can’t please everyone all the time and have no problem saying “no” if need be. They aren’t afraid to speak up and speak their mind, either. Although they want to be fair and kind, mentally strong people can handle it if someone gets upset because they didn’t make them happy.

6. Mentally Strong People Take Calculated Risks

Not all risk taking is the same, and mentally strong people know the difference between foolish or reckless risk-taking and calculated risk-taking. They weigh the pros and cons of the situation, and they fully understand the potential consequences before making any big decisions. Taking calculated risks is not something that scares a mentally strong person.

7. Mentally Strong People Don’t Dwell in the Past

Spending time thinking about the past and wishing things could have been different is not something mentally strong people waste time doing. They acknowledge their role in past situations and are able to say what they have learned from them. A mentally strong person does not waste time reliving old glory days. Instead, he lives for today and plans for tomorrow.

8. Mentally Strong People Learn from their Mistakes

A mentally strong person takes responsibility for his own actions and learns from mistakes he’s made in the past. Because of this, a mentally strong person does not repeat past mistakes and is able to make better choices in the future.

9. Mentally Strong People are not Jealous of Other People’s Successes

Mentally strong people are confident enough to be able to enjoy and appreciate other people’s successes. They can celebrate them and are not jealous if someone surpasses them in life. Rather than feel cheated, a mentally strong person realizes that hard work results in success and is willing to work hard for his own successes in life.

10. Mentally Strong People Refuse to Give Up

Failure for a mentally strong person is not a reason to give up. Instead, they view it as an opportunity to grow and get better, so they are willing to keep plugging along until they get it right.

11. Mentally Strong People Don’t Mind Being Alone

Mentally strong people enjoy their own company and view alone time as time to decompress and be productive. Being alone does not scare someone who is mentally strong, as he does not depend on others for entertainment or companionship. Mentally strong people can be happy on their own.

happy alone

12. Mentally Strong People Don’t Feel As If They are Owed Anything

Mentally strong people do not feel a sense of entitlement for anything. They don’t feel society owes them anything, nor do family members or friends. They know they are capable of taking care of themselves, and do not have the mentality that others should take care of them.

13. Mentally Strong People Don’t Expect Instant Results

Whether it’s starting a new business or losing weight, mentally strong people realize results take time. They apply the time it takes and the skills they have as best they can and work toward the goals they desire, all the wile knowing that real results take time.

Motivational Quotes to help you stay Mentally Strong

Sometimes, despite using the skills above, you might get stuck in a rut or feel beat down emotionally. When this happens, sometimes all it takes is a few words of encouragement to get you back on the right path again. Here are some of our favorite motivational quotes to help you stay mentally strong:

  • Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory. – Bill Russell
  • In terms of instilling the values of mental toughness and work ethic, discipline is the gift that keeps on giving. – William Baldwin
  • Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. – Unknown
  • You know that little voice in the back of your mind, telling you to stop? Well, you can train that little voice. I trained mine to shut up. – Unknown
  • Me personally, I believe it’s only pain if you acknowledge it. If someone sees it as pain, I like to describe it as something that is unusual, out of place, or uncomfortable. You have to be all about being comfortable in uncomfortable situations. In the end, there’s work that has to be done. You don’t really have the time for self-pity. – Unknown
  • When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • A man can be beaten in two ways: if he gives up or he dies. – Richard Machowic
  • Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go. – William Feather
  • Adversity causes some men to break, and others to break records. – Unknown
  • Expect problems and eat them for breakfast. – Alfred A. Montapert
  • I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom. – General George S. Patton
  • Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward. – Victor Kiam
  • Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought  to a focus. – Alexander Graham Bell
  • Who dares, wins. – British SAS
  • Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. – Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Strength is the product of struggles. – Unknown
  • Today I will do the things that other people won’t, so tomorrow I can do the things that other people can’t. – Unknown

Not everyone is born mentally strong. Some people have to work at having mental strength. If you’re the latter, the 13 skills plus the motivational quotes above can help you become the mentally strong person you desire to be. We believe there’s a mentally strong person inside all of us, so take the time to explore your strong side and set that person free.

Do you have a story you’d like to share about your mental strength? Maybe you know someone whose own mental strength helped him overcome the odds. Let us know in the comments below.