Just like people aren't born with physical strength, no one is blessed with incredible mental strength at birth. Instead, mental strength is developed over time by individuals who choose to make personal development a priority.
In addition to avoiding the things that could hold them back, mentally strong people create healthy habits that assist them in growing stronger. Here are eight things mentally strong people do every day to strengthen their mental muscles:
1. They Use their Mental Energy Wisely
It's easy to get distracted throughout the day by a variety of unimportant and unproductive tasks. Mentally strong people choose to use their time and energy carefully. They devote their efforts to the things that matter most so they can accomplish their goals.
2. They Reframe Their Negative Thoughts
Everyone has negative thoughts sometimes, but mentally strong people don't let those thoughts hold them back or drag them down. Instead, they respond to their pessimistic predictions and harsh criticisms with a more productive inner dialogue. They stay motivated to do their best by talking to themselves like a trusted friend or a helpful coach.
3. They Work Toward Established Goals
Mentally strong people establish clear personal and professional goals that give them meaning and purpose. They forgo immediate gratification by keeping their long-term goals in mind. They view obstacles as challenges, rather than roadblocks to their success.
4. They Reflect on Their Progress
Mentally strong people reflect on their progress toward their goals every day. They set aside time to examine what they're doing well, and they humbly acknowledge areas that need improvement. They hold themselves accountable for mistakes and they constantly strive to grow better.
5. They Tolerate Discomfort for a Greater Purpose
While some people go to great lengths to avoid any type of distress, others endure pain simply to prove they're tough. Mentally strong people, however, tolerate discomfort when it serves a greater purpose. Whether they're exercising when they feel tired, or they're delivering a speech when they feel terrified, they use their pain to become better.
6. They Practice Gratitude
You can't be at your best if you're insisting you deserve better. Mentally strong people acknowledge they already have everything they need. They recognize their good fortune and express gratitude for all things big and small.
7. They Balance Emotions with Logic
Mentally strong people know their feelings play a major role in their perceptions and their behavior. They pay close attention to the ways their emotions could influence their judgement. They carefully balance their emotions with logic so they can make the best possible decisions.
8. They Live According to their Values
Although it may be tempting to measure your self-worth by comparing yourself to your competition, mentally strong people don't fall prey to such distractions. They focus on living according to their values and doing their best, despite their circumstances. At the end of the day they don't ask themselves, "Did I beat everyone else?" Instead, they ask, "Did I stay true to my values?"
Amy Morin is a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, a bestselling book that is being translated into more than 20 languages.
This post originally appeared on Inc.