Whether you think you can, or think you can’t—you’re right.
– Henry Ford
How to overcome your fears
It’s easy to be happy when everything is going well in our lives. But there will always come a point when our mental strength is tested. Whether it’s job stress, a rocky relationship, or drama with a friend or family member– we are faced with two choices: be the victim of our circumstances or fight to move past it.
The good news is that developing mental resilience is something you can learn. Yes, it will take practice at first. But just as you train your body to stay in shape, you can strengthen your mental muscles.
Here are five habits that mentally strong people practice daily:
1. They acknowledge, rather than avoid, their emotions.
This means being able to transform your negative emotions into something productive and positive.
Mentally strong people befriend their anxiety. Anxiety is really nothing more than fear, and if you allow yourself to look deeply into your fear, you may identify something that – if you can change it – will make your life easier and make you happier.
2. They fully accept the here and now.
Worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, whatever it may be – it’s important to avoid getting pulled in to these concerns and understand they are simply thoughts. They only have as much power as you give them. The ability to be embrace the present is a key component of mental strength.
As Eckhart Tolle once said, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.”
3. They are comfortable saying no.
Saying no is probably the biggest problem I see among people I know. The problem with being a people pleaser is that you are putting everyone else’s needs before your own. I’m not advocating selfishness, but there is a line between giving and over-giving.
Research indicates that the harder it is for someone to say no increases that person’s likelihood of experiencing greater stress, feelings of burnout and depression.
4. They let go of toxic people.
People grow and relationships change – this is all part of life. Some friendships and relationships are meant to end, so you can create space for something better.
That being said, there are some relationships in life, mainly coworkers and family members, that you just have to put up with. In these circumstances, there is no easy way to cut ties, so ultimately you have to find a way to cope. By learning to disengage and establish appropriate boundaries, you’ll be happier in the long run.
5. They adapt and embrace change.
Change can be scary. Fear of the unknown prevents many of us from taking risks at work, in love and in our everyday lives.
A wise friend of mine once said that fear is the number one source of regret. I remember this any time I’m afraid to try something new or take that leap of faith.
Mentally strong people get excited about the challenges and embrace the adversity that comes their way. All successful people face challenges on their way to the top. They come to a turning point when they can choose to either allow the challenge to hold them back or use it as a springboard to jumpstart their journey to change.
So what’s it going to be? Cling to the fear or have the courage to step away from it?