When life throws you a curveball, how do you react? Do you get knocked over and take a while to recover or do you jump up fighting relatively unfazed? We all respond differently to different situations, but a specific group among us appear to be excellent when facing challenges.
Their mental strength to not let an event overcome them is remarkable and may even make us envious. But when we dissect these mentally strong individuals, what characteristics set them apart? And how can we obtain these particular skills?
Accepting life’s unpredictability
People who are not as mentally strong as they would like often don’t like when plans change quickly, otherwise, experiencing life’s unpredictability.
Those that do have significant mental strength don’t get phased by this or dwell on it for long, but immediately seek out the solution or think ahead about how they can make a difference to the situation.
Ways to work on this characteristic: One way of doing this is recognising the fear of life’s unpredictability by taking chances. Some people choose skydiving, others prefer to swim with sharks, while others are literally prepared to risk their life’s worth on a single spin of the roulette wheel, like the infamous Ashley Revell, who gambled $135,300 on red on a single spin of the roulette wheel with a 51.4% chance of losing his money – only to pull it off and walk away with $270,600.
Whilst all the activities are designed to be as safe as they can be, with the exception of roulette, where the only method of control is to rely on roulette betting strategies like Martingale and D’Alembert, the sheer lack of outcome control is a surefire way to challenge the unpredictability of life head-on.
Commitment and passion
Some of us are driven for career success, family success or by a passion. While many of us can have a passion, it is the mentally strong people that usually commit themselves to these hobbies and tasks more than others. Through commitment, they can reduce the latter aspect of unpredictability because they gain more control over outcomes.
Interestingly, a study has found that we can be overly passionate about our pets.
Ways to work on this characteristic: One way of improving your commitment to a cause – any cause whether it be personal, professional or charitable – is to make a plan of action. Sit down and write out your plan of attack and keep it in view every day. You should also start setting goals if you do not already do so.
Soft skills are usually the meat and drink of mentally healthy people, but emotional intelligence is of exceptional importance. This characteristic often gets overlooked, and people focus on these people’s confidence or bravery. But understanding how to interact with others effectively is one skill that breeds confidence and the other significant traits within these people.
Ways to work on this characteristic: Get out of your comfort zone and start talking to people you do not know. Whether it be in bars, at work or in public. You may also want to read guides and books on emotional intelligence and soft skills. The bonus benefit is that these skills will make you more employable as well!
If you’re not mentally strong already, don’t sweat it. Mental strength is a continual skill – and you have time to develop yours.
Image credit: Freepik
Peter Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.
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