“Change what you can, manage what you can’t.” – Raymond McCauley
Life’s filled with ups and downs. The world and the people in it would treat you sometimes in ways you consider unfair. In situations like this – what sets people who succeed in life and those who don’t is the ability to control their responses and reactions.
You either learn to change what you can and manage what you can’t. – This is what you might refer to as building your “Mental Muscles”
Just like you’d hit the gym to build up physical strength – It is up to you to build your mental strength as it forms a critical part to how you react to life’s aforementioned ups and downs.
To be mentally strong, you need to have healthy habits. You need to learn how to control and manage your emotions, thoughts and behaviours in ways that sets you up for success
This is why we are arming you with 7 “Dont’s” to build your Mental Strength
1. Don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself: It’s true. Things could be better – much better for you. Maybe your dreams should have become a reality, maybe that new job or promotion should have kicked in for you, maybe you should have a job, be married, be richer, fatter, thinner – there’s something that’s always eluding us now that we think can make our lives better. Maybe you could have been treated better by your boss, your wife, that stranger – the world, a whole lot of things could be going your way but if they are not. Feeling sorry for your circumstances would not change a thing and only cause you more mental stress. Look for a way to take responsibility and find a way forward. Understanding that life isn’t always easy or fair to anyone.
2. Don’t give away your power: Building up from point number one is this. When you stop feeling sorry for yourself or how people treat you or how unfair the world is to you, you’re on the right path to not giving your power away. Don’t give others the power to control you. Saying things like “my boss makes me feel bad” is giving your power away. You should understand you have a choice on how to feel or respond no matter how you are being treated. This is how you learn to control your emotions and deal with different people you’d come across.
3. Don’t run away from change: Comfort is a good thing. It’s addictive. It’s safe.. But you know what it is not – Guaranteed. Change on the other hand… just like Iron man is “Inevitable” Mentally strong people are not afraid of change because they know change is a chance for something positive. Understand that change is inevitable and they believe in their abilities to adapt.
4. Don’t worry about things you can’t control: Imagine it takes you 10 minutes to get to work and you’re stuck in traffic because a trailer fell in front or something “Nigerian” happened on your route and now, you have no choice but spend the next 1hour crawling through traffic. You’d be frustrated – who wouldn’t. But how would you react?
You can choose to be angry and scream obscenities but we both know that nothing you do can change the situation in front of you – You’d just end up spent and angrier when you get to work. Or you can find something productive and calming to do while stuck in traffic.
Sometimes you have to recognize that the only thing you can control is your attitude about things.
5. Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone: “A man without enemies is a man without qualities – Think. Even Jesus had enemies” – V.
No matter how “good” you are – there’s a whole lot of people who don’t like you and that’s fine. If everyone likes you on the other hand – Are you really being yourself? Mentally strong people know that they can’t please everyone all the time and never try to. They’re not afraid to speak up when it’s necessary. This doesn’t mean be a jerk – Strive to be kind and fair, but learn to handle other people being upset if you don’t make them happy.
6. Don’t give up after the first challenge: To be mentally strong, you should learn not to view failure as a reason to give up.
Learn to use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. A mentally strong person is someone willing to keep trying until they get it right.
7. Don’t expect immediate results: Whether it’s working on improving your health or starting a new business, or losing weight, or learning a new language – A mentally strong habit is obeying one of nature’s most important laws – “You reap after you’ve sown” When a farmer plants a seed, he knows it would take time before it grows and before harvest comes around. It’s a law of nature. Even with hybrid fertilisers – there is a “waiting” period before any harvest. Don’t expect immediate results. Instead, Apply your skills and time to the best of your ability in anything you are doing while understanding that real change takes time.
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