Thursday, December 19, 2013

To Improve Mental Strength, Here’s What Not To Do

Being a leader, or even just a do-er, requires stamina and mental strength; the ability to blow-off the personal element of criticism while applying it into your work constructively, ignoring the noise, and identifying your weaknesses so you can become stronger is all part of it.

Ann Morin, a psychotherapist and college psychology instructor, provided LifeHack.org with 13 attributes deficient in the mentally strong. It’s a great list for reflecting on our own mental limitations and finding areas where we can develop. While you can read the full list here, here are some of my thoughts on a couple of her points.

The mentally strong…
  • Don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. Fail fast, fix fast, learn fast.

  • Don’t give away their power. This isn’t about relinquishing responsibilities, but about not letting someone or something disempower you mentally. If someone gives you some criticism, learn, fix, don’t sulk.

  • Don’t shy away from change. Change will happen whether you like it or not, so relish it, welcome it, be a vanguard or laggard.

  • Don’t waste time on things they can’t control. You’ll waste more time getting over someone stealing your park than you will finding a new one. D.H. Lawrence said, " If you can change it, change it. If you can’t, don’t worry about it.” Shit happens. The world is chaotic and random. Luck, bad or good, is a real deal.

  • Don’t worry about pleasing others. Don’t go out of your way to hurt someone’s feelings, but don’t shy away from giving constructive criticism either. Respect them, and don’t make it personal. Focus on the issue… play the ball not the man.

  • Don’t fear taking calculated risks. Embrace failure. Learn from it and Pin it. Experience of failure will only make for a stronger success.

  • Don’t fear alone time. Grasmere is one of my favorite places. It’s quiet and unassuming I retreat there whenever I’m feeling under pressure. Alone time is great for calming yourself, resetting your energies, and figuring out the next challenge.

  • Don’t resent the success of others. Be happy for them. The world is big enough for lots of winners. Celebrate with them. You’ll be happier.

  • Don’t think the world owes you anything. Because it doesn’t. We owe the world and the communities we live in. Grow through your own merits and help others along the way. It’s a wonderful world.

  • Don’t expect immediate results. The mentally strong don’t expect things to happen as fast as it does in their mind. The reward is often the journey.