Mental toughness: 13 things not to do!

Recent article on CNBC caught my eye.

Summarized from a book 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do

The premise: Recognizing unhealthy habits is the first step in creating positive change so you can move forward toward reaching your greatest potential.


Gender-neutralized, here’s the author’s list of 13 things to do if you want to build constructive mental toughness…


1. Don’t compare yourself to other people

Measuring your happiness, wealth and appearance against other people drains you of mental strength. The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.

2. Don’t insist on perfection

Although saying, “I’m a bit of a perfectionist” may feel like a badge of honor, true perfectionism will hold you back. Establish high expectations for yourself while also accepting that mistakes are part of the learning process.

3. Don’t see vulnerability as a weakness

It takes strength to put yourself out there and risk being hurt. Don’t be afraid to ask a question that might be embarrassing.

4. Don’t let self-doubt stop you from reaching your goals

Self-doubt is normal and you don’t have to let it stop you from pushing ahead. Your brain will doubt your competence but don’t believe everything you think.

5. Don’t overthink everything

Ruminating has been linked to depression and it can prevent you from taking positive action. Engage in problem-solving but don’t allow yourself to get caught into a cycle of thinking too much.

6. Don’t avoid tough challenges

Be willing to face your fears and step up to the plate. Challenge yourself to grow a little stronger every day and you’ll build confidence in your ability to do hard things.

7. Don’t fear breaking the rules

Don’t allow societal expectations, and rules to stifle your growth.

8. Don’t put others down to lift yourself up

Putting others down won’t land you at the top of the pecking order for long — you’ll only keep your position until someone puts you down. When you lift other people up and become a genuine cheerleader, you’ll be much more likely to succeed.

9. Don’t let others limit your potential

Don’t let rejection or harsh criticism stop you. You don’t need everyone else to believe in you as long as you believe in yourself.

10. Don’t blame yourself when something goes wrong

Acknowledge your behavior without blaming your character. Saying, “I made a bad choice” rather than, “I am a bad person,” is key to helping you learn from your missteps.

11. Don’t stay silent

Speak up when something makes you uncomfortable. Staying silent can drain you of mental strength.

12. Don’t feel bad about reinventing yourself

Whether you make a complete career shift at age 30, or you redesign your life at age 60, it’s important to engage in personal growth and pursue your dreams.

13. Don’t downplay your success

Don’t worry so much about looking arrogant that you refuse to give yourself credit for your hard work and your skills.

Practice giving a simple, “Thank you,” when you’re complimented.


Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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