Just a few weeks ago here on Inc.com we published advice from psychotherapist Amy Morin laying out bad habits you need to break if you want to achieve incredible mental strength. But what if you read the list and were inspired to give your brain a workout, axing unhelpful thought patterns from your life and boosting your resilience? Certainly, you’d want to be able to gauge how you were doing.
Are you average when it comes to mental strength or has putting in some effort made you more resilient than most? In a follow-up piece on Business Insider, Morin offers a huge list of 21 tells that indicate your efforts are bearing fruit and that you’re now more mentally strong than most folks.
You can check out the complete list for a really deep dive, or read on for a taster of 10 signs of mental strength to watch out for if you’re looking to monitor your progress and celebrate your newfound resilience.
1. You balance emotion and logic
You can’t make good decisions without some emotion, but you can’t make good decisions with too much emotion either. The truly resilient strike the right balance. “Mentally strong people understand how their emotions can influence their thinking. In an effort to make the best decisions possible, they balance their emotions with logic,” Morin says.
2. You feel confident you can adapt to change
Change is a constant. That reality doesn’t stress out the truly mentally strong. “Mentally strong people know that although change is uncomfortable, it’s tolerable. They focus their energy on adapting to change, rather than resisting it,” claims Morin.
3. You face your fears
Everyone has fears and not every one of them needs to be conquered, but the very resilient among us “strive to face the fears that hold them back,” Morin says.
4. You learn from your mistakes.
Don’t justify them. Don’t hide from them. Learn from them. That’s what mentally strong people do.
5. You balance self-acceptance with self-improvement
This is tough to get right, but according to Morin, “mentally strong people accept themselves for who they are, while simultaneously recognizing their need for personal development.”
6. You celebrate others’ success
If you truly feel strong, there’s nothing to fear when others do well–in fact, there’s a great reason to celebrate. The truly mentally strong “don’t feel as though other people’s success somehow diminishes their own achievements,” Morin says. So if you sense your feelings of envy are diminishing, take it as a good sign that your resilience is improving.
7. You live according to your values
“Mentally strong people make decisions with relative ease because they understand their priorities and they live according to their values,” notes Morin.
8. You don’t need to achieve to feel good about yourself
It’s natural to feel good when you succeed and bad when you fail, but the mentally strong don’t let the ups and downs of life interfere with their essential self-image. “Mentally strong people feel good about themselves, whether they win or lose,” Morin insists. Next time life deals you a blow, then, notice how deeply it affects you. If you can shrug it off more easily without feeling too bad about yourself, congratulations! You’ve likely achieved a high measure of mental strength.
9. You express gratitude
It’s easy to look around and see all the things you lack, but the mentally strong choose to focus their attention on the things they do have–and feel grateful for them. Do you?
10. You don’t try to hide your weaknesses
Not only does trying to mask your weaknesses waste your energy, it also makes you less likely to put in the work necessary to improve these areas. “While many people work hard to disguise their vulnerabilities, mentally strong people invest their energy into improving their shortcomings,” Morin says.
How many of these 10 behaviors do you exhibit?