It cannot be stressed enough, your mind is, has been, and always will be, stronger than your body. As such, your growth as a person needs to be concentrated on your mental strength equal to, and arguably more than, your physical strength. In an article titled, “5 Powerful Mental Exercises to Increase Your Mental Strength” (Forbes 2013) author, Amy Morin states, “Mental strength involves more than just willpower; it requires hard work and commitment. It’s about establishing healthy habits and choosing to devote your time and energy to self-improvement.”
So, how do you train your mental strength? I wish it were easy, then again, as the great Andrew Carnegie says, “anything in life worth having is worth working hard for.” In addition to the hard work and commitment mentioned in Morin’s post, my recommendation is to focus on experiences. My journey as a career firefighter, Air Force Veteran and 9/11 volunteer has reinforced in me that experiences are what truly shape your mental strength. Experiences that push you past your comfort zone, challenge your limits, and break new ground.
Critical exercises to use in building your mental strength:
1. Know who you are
Understanding your value, understanding your ability, and giving yourself permission to pursue your goals/passions.
2. Control the controllable
Life is full of uncertainty! Along the way, you will face different levels of challenges. When faced with a challenge, you will need to understand what you can change and what you need to adapt for. This will balance your approach and help maintain sanity.
3. Be positive and move forward from negative thoughts
Positive energy and thoughts are contagious and drive your adrenaline to move forward. Dark/tough moments are times to learn and develop your personality and tolerance. Be positive, be productive!
4. Reflect and Learn
We learn from our past to build us up, not define us. We need to reflect on the negative, along with the positive “things” that happen in our lives to add context to our goals/passions and believe in ourselves.
It is important to note, mental strength is not something that you are born with, you cannot buy it, and you cannot have it bestowed upon you. It is found, fostered, and fortified through the experiences you expose yourself to. Compare this to your physical workout routine. Are you able to go up in weight or reps without first putting in the hard word and commitment at the weight you are on now to prepare yourself for the experience of the new weight/rep.
Interested in growing your mental strength to help you achieve your goals and live life to its truest potential? If “yes”, then let’s get started. Tell yourself everyday “I can & I will!” Train your brain to see what can be.
To read the original article by Amy Morin, follow this link: