How do you picture a mentally strong person? Is it a person who has a strong voice and seems to be worldly knowledgeable? Or is it the person who holds medals and trophies and seems to be a winner in everything?
Perhaps you cannot identify yourself as a mentally strong person because you don’t have what they do. You are just a regular person, or at least that’s how you see yourself.
Being recognized does not instantly confirm you to be a mentally strong person. Likewise, the absence of external validation does not make you weak-minded either.
You may be surprised to find out that you already do have the characteristics of a mentally strong person. See if you can identify with any of the following.
You Are Humble
It is easy and tempting to boast about abilities and achievements. Sometimes, we feel the need for recognition from others for our efforts. But, isn’t it a great feeling when someone acknowledges or praises your efforts without your announcing them? When you don’t even have to do it yourself as somebody else will carry your torch for you.
It is even better again when you don’t need vindication from others. When you know that what you do is meaningful, and more importantly, that you are a worthwhile person, this is mental strength. You do not need to flaunt your competence. From this mind space, you naturally recognize and acknowledge the people who helped you achieve your success.
Being humble also involves admitting your mistakes and accepting the consequences. You know that doing so does not make you less of a person. On the contrary, facing the consequences of your shortcomings proves you a strong-minded person and gives you the opportunity to make up for what you did. You defend yourself but do not blame others in order to cover up your shortcomings.
You Are Forgiving of Yourself and Others
If admitting mistakes is a sign of mental strength, so is forgiving one’s self. You accept that you have your limitations and that even the most prepared and most capable can still fall short of their own expectations. Despite any setbacks, you have the courage to stand up again. You do not define yourself by your perceived failures.
In the same manner, a mentally strong person also knows how to forgive others. You move past your pain and disappointment and understand others’ shortcomings. As you forgive yourself and others, you look forward and not backward, forging on towards your goals.
You Accept Challenges
A mentally strong person takes setbacks, not as a nuisance but a challenge. They drive you to push harder and to try other possibilities rather than dwell on the obstacle. You fight past your limitations and are willing to try even if there are risks involved.
For you, to try means a chance to win, and not trying at all is an acceptance of failure. You know that you miss every shot you don’t take. You prefer to face a competitive opponent rather than face a weak one because of what you will gain from it.
While you are a fighter, you also know when to give up. Despite not reaching your goal, at least in the form you envisaged, you are still satisfied because you know you did your best. You do not harbor bitterness over losses.
You Remain True to Your Ideals and Values
The integrity of a mentally strong person is always intact. Despite your passion to win, you do not compromise in exchange for an unmerited gain. You play fair rather than resort to deceitful schemes for a quick advantage. As you stand on your principles and the truth you believe in, you are willing to wait and to suffer if needed.
You Do Not Let Your Emotions Control You
A strong-minded person does not let their emotions rule them. As such, you endeavor to think rationally and try not to lose your temper. You feel bad about misfortune, but do not resent the incident nor hold grudges against the person who may have caused you pain. Despite the pressure and discomfort, you maintain your composure.
The Strong Person That You are
Being mentally strong does not require you to be a superhero or that you need to know everything, be all-capable, or be infallible. It is fine to have your share of “I cannot” and “I did not” moments.
You may have committed mistakes but you are ready to correct those and have forgiven yourself. You have made allowances to other’s shortcomings. The obstacle may be high but you are working to get past or through it. You did not bend the rules and have tried to think straight even if you are hard-pressed.
That’s what makes you a mentally strong person.