If you want to lift heavy things physically, you need to increase your physical strength. Strong, big muscles go a long way in helping you to be able to carry more. Well, the same can be said for your mental muscles. If you struggle with tackling big challenges and overcoming more obstacles, you need to increase your mental strength.
Just like going to the gym to work out your body - your mind needs a good workout too. Here are some exercises to help you to develop your mental strength and help you achieve anything.
Reframe Negative Thoughts
If you suffer from negative thoughts and self-doubt, it can help to reframe and replace them with more realistic thoughts. While everyone has bad days that can lead to negative thoughts, by searching for the positive and realistic scenarios you can eliminate damaging negative thoughts, and equip yourself better for any bad days.
Make Realistic Goals
Create realistic goals, instead of aiming high and dreaming big - which can be more likely to lead to disappointment. Smaller, achievable goals make you more motivated to move forward and give you confidence in your ability to be successful. This can also help you to work out what goals are and are not challenging you enough - and which might be too challenging!
Set Up Your Day for Success
If you change your environment to fit your goals and needs, it can be easier to stay mentally strong and makes your life a little easier. Put your gym clothes out before you go to bed so they’re there in the morning if you want to work out more. Get rid of junk food if you want to eat healthy. Small things will help you to conserve your mental energy and help to set yourself up for success.
Do Something Hard Everyday
You don’t get stronger by accident. Challenge yourself on purpose, and try something new that’s just outside of your boundaries - it’s important to be aware of your own boundaries and what is going to be challenging for you. Try making a small step everyday, like doing something like enrolling in a new class, or speaking up when you feel shy. Push yourself a little bit everyday.
Be Okay with Feeling Uncomfortable
Feelings of discomfort can lead people to look for unhealthy shortcuts and can lead people to common emotional crutches that can be unhealthy, like binge-eating, watching too much TV or leaning on alcohol. These crutches can lead to bigger longer-term problems. Next time you feel discomfort and catch yourself leaning towards quick fixes - think about the bigger picture. Managing uncomfortable emotions can really help you to gain the confidence you need to reach your goals.
Balance Your Emotions and Logic
If you act on logic 100% of the time, you’ll probably not really have much fun, pleasure, or even love! But on the flip side, if you base everything on emotions, you might spend all your money on frivolous things, and miss out on savings and investments. The best decisions come from a balance of logic and emotion. Check-in with yourself before decisions, and make sure you are balancing emotions with logic - being overly excited, angry, or anxious can lead you to make an emotional decision - so try to make some pros and cons and consider the logical side of things before you make a choice.
Fulfill Your Purpose
It’s hard to stay motivated unless you’re in tune with your overall purpose. Think about your mission statement and what you want to accomplish in life. When you find yourself struggling or faltering, take the time to remind yourself why it is important that you keep going. Focus on your day-to-day goals, but also make sure that you’re giving yourself goals that align with your greater purpose in the long run.
Don’t Take Any Excuses
From yourself, that is. When you fall short of your goals and objectives, don’t make excuses for yourself - try to look for an explanation and then find ways to help yourself to do better next time. Take on responsibility for any shortcomings and don’t place blame. Try to learn from your mistakes to avoid repeating them.
Being strong mentally can help you be productive, but if you’re not feeling it, it can be hard to stay motivated. The ten-minute rule is the great way to get past feeling unmotivated. Try doing something for just 10 minutes. If you’re still feeling like you don’t want to do it after 10 minutes, then you can give yourself a break. However, more often than not - once you try for just ten minutes you’ll find it’s not that hard anyway. Getting started is always the worst part.
Remember, you won’t develop mental strength overnight - just like you won’t get big muscles overnight. It takes time to get stronger and become better at all these techniques. But by being consistent, you can build up your mental strength, and have the resilience and power to meet your goals - living a more fulfilled, happier life!
By Amy Cavill
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