Developing Mental Strength
We are living in the most prosperous time in human history. Yet we are witnessing increasing levels of weakness, self-pity and depression among us. People get offended easily over the smallest things. Everyone live in their own world of denial. They look into the mirror and all they can see are flaws. Negative self-talk insidiously chips away at their self-esteem. So many may look like they have it all together on the outside, but they struggle within themselves. Some maintain a consistent victim identity which caused them to see life through dark-tinted glasses.
Sure life can be difficult. This is a great truth that unless we truly see it as it is, we cannot transcend it. Anyone could fell victim to life’s cruelties. People have been so conditioned that the moment they are challenged, they crumble. The moment things get hard, they declare defeat. They run in search of a prescription, not to fix the issue but to suppress the underlying problem.
NO ONE OWES YOU
It's easy to get angry at the world for your failures, but the truth is no one is entitled to anything. Some people experience more happiness or success than others. But that’s just how life is. It doesn't mean you're owed anything if you were dealt a bad hand. Comparing yourself to others will only set you up for disappointment if you don't receive what you think you're owed.
The weaker you become, the more life can freely thrash you and defeat you at every turn. You get stuck and are reduced by your misfortune. Bitterness and resentment follow closely behind and eventually, you throw in the towel because you perceived there is no possible way out.
Many people harbor resentment because they feel powerless to change their own lives. While some rebound from hardship and grow stronger from their struggles, others cling to their weakness as a default because they don’t believe they can be strong.
Mental strength is really important because you either win or lose in your mind.
– Wladimir Klitschko
WHAT IS WRONG?
I love making excuses. The truth is that it is so much easier to blame others for the problems in my life. I fake about not caring for what I wanted and putting blinders on to the reality of human nature. By painting a narrative of life that suits my insecurities, it becomes a self-fulfilled prophecy. Until one fated afternoon, while wallowing in self-pity, I caught myself doing that, and thought, “What is wrong with me!” I saw what was happening and the actions I took changed my life.
If you believe anything around you could be a threat to your safety or justify an act of aggression, you’re not going to function well in the world. Your brain and your body will constantly be on high alert even though the risks perceived are not real. Even if you are actually weak, remaining weak is never a good thing. Deep down, you don’t want to be weak. If you believe you have the power to exert control over your own life, you would charge out and claim all the things you currently do not have.
BUILD YOUR RESILIENCE
Everyone experience twists and turns because life does not come with a roadmap. Some however choose to consciously or unconsciously remain in that pain. Others decide to move on. To increase your capacity for resilience, you need to grow through difficulties, and keep going when things seem impossible. It feels safe to have everything under control. The downside of trying to be in control of everything is likely a response to anxiety.
To have mental strength means to be aware of our emotions and thoughts. We learn how to work with them to choose our actions that will lead to a positive outcome. Mental strength is determined by the choices we made every day. Stronger people refrain from certain bad habits that could rob them of mental strength. They don't feel sorry for themselves because it is self-destructive. Indulging in self-pity hinders you from living a full life. It consumes your energy, creates negative emotions, and hurt your relationships. These bad habits counteract your good habits and you stay stuck in life.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?
One argument may ruin your entire week. This shouldn’t be. Quit focusing on the event. Find out why you feel the way you do, and what you can do to strengthen it. What are your core beliefs? How did those beliefs affect your perspective? Unhealthy beliefs lead to unhealthy habits. For example, if you believe the world is such a terrible place and that you can’t possibly succeed, then you're bound to feel sorry for yourself. Or if you believe everyone is out to get you, you'll give other people power over your life.
Strong minds suffer without complaining; weak minds complain without suffering.
– Lettie Cowman