This list was compiled in direct response to an article posted last month on the Forbes website. Brian Rouley likes to look at things from the positive point of view. Turning around the “13 Things They (Mentally Strong People) Avoid” made this work possible. Thanks to Cheryl Conner for posting the work by Amy Morin, as it inspired this author to do his own reflective discourse. With gratitude to all who push us to succeed, here are 13 things you may already be doing, or might consider doing, to develop the mental strength it takes to become, or continue to be, successful.
1. Take the time to learn the lesson. You know what you did and why you did it. Find the place where things went wrong and do your best to analyze your motives, the thinking that led you to take that approach. Discover the error, find a way to correct it and be grateful for the new knowledge. If you never fail, you might not be trying hard enough!
2. Manage your power and apply it with discretion. Knowing you are in control of your actions and emotions is one of the many strengths you bring to “the game.” After careful consideration, your response will likely demonstrate your superiority in trying circumstances. Be stoic, be analytical, and then act with confidence.
3. Embrace change. New challenges require growth. That growth will certainly become your new strength.
4. Decide in advance how you will respond to adversity. Things you cannot control can be seen as opportunities, if you have preconditioned yourself to that response. Stuck in traffic; use that time to ponder some topic that requires careful consideration. Lost luggage? This is an opportunity to demonstrate your resourcefulness. Do what makes sense and you’ll feel better.
5. Be kind and fair in every circumstance. It is almost always the best course. When you have to speak up, even if what you say may not make everyone happy, be sure to say what is true. You are entitled to your observations and the opinions you’ve formed as a result. State your true feelings and you’ll never have to worry about who is (or is not) pleased by your counsel.
6. Weigh the risks and benefits to your actions. Taking calculated risks is what strong people do. Realize that almost any action, even if it turns out to be wrong, is better than indecision and inaction. If you’ve considered carefully, you have already made room for adjustments.
7. Look to the future. With all the benefit of lessons learned (see #1, above), you are well equipped to invest your energy in the present. Doing this, without suffering the pain of past failures, will enable you to make better plans for a brighter future.
8. Introspection is very useful. You must be willing to review the lessons of past failures, if you are to apply them to future endeavors. When you have the opportunity to take a different approach to solving a past problem, reflect on what did not work and do something else. That is sane logic.
9. Celebrate the success of your peers and learn from them. They did the work, they took the calculated risks, and no doubt they learned from their failures, too. Emulate, take examples if you can and apply them to your future plans. Doing this is the very meaning of not having to “reinvent the wheel!”
10. Fail as often as necessary to achieve success. Each failure has valuable lessons you’ll use to add to your learning and experience. Many stories are written about the failures of Edison and Lincoln. Write your own story with corrections you make in situations like these. You only fail if you give up completely and we all know you are too strong to accept that fate.
11. Use your alone time for productive things, like writing. You owe it to yourself to make yourself happy. Do the things you enjoy doing that don’t involve others – relax, be lazy or be productive. If it makes you happy, prepare for the time you will soon spend with others. Quiet time might also be your opportunity for simple things like meditation, music, whatever it is that allows you to recover from the noise and stress of a workaday world.
12. You make your own way in this world. Everything you have, all you have to gain, is a result of the work you do and the preparation and training you’ve done to achieve success.
13. Genuine changes take time. You know there are no “get rich quick schemes” and you are willing to persevere with small steps to achieve the ultimate success. All of the planning you’ve done, all of the lessons learned, and all of your experience, has prepared you for the “slow and steady wins the race” approach to the result you seek. You have the staying power and the patience to see things through to the desired end, or through the continuation of your success, for that matter!