10 Habits to Build the Mental Strength You Need to Get Out of Debt
“To be mentally strong is to become aware of your thoughts and emotions and work with them to consciously choose your actions."
We all have great days and difficult days. Some people celebrate the great days with sheer and absolute enthusiasm while others stay more subdued. Then there are the hard days. Some people come through the hard ones with their attitude intact, ready to move on to the next thing while others spend an inordinate amount of time trying to re-center. Some of that is a consequence of natural disposition but a lot of it is a matter of mental strength.
In the article The Best Brain Possible by Debbie Hampton, they say, “To be mentally strong is to become aware of your thoughts and emotions and work with them to consciously choose your actions, which is what mindfulness is all about. It’s about responding rather than reacting. It’s not about saying, ‘I can’t help the way I feel’ or ‘This is just the way I am.’”
Create new mental habits to get out of debt
While some people may be born more mentally resilient than others, mental strength, like any other strength can be built on and expanded. You need mental strength to do what it takes to live below your means and get out of debt efficiently. By consistently choosing to bounce back and not dwell on the negatives you can create new mental habits. That doesn’t mean every once in a while, it means paying attention to every thought that runs through your head. Then deciding whether or not it is a thought or reaction you could consciously choose if your intention was to be a more centered, in charge type person.
Here are 10 things you can do to build mental strength
1. Reflect on your progress
People who are mentally weak, dwell on the negatives and don’t give themselves credit for what they’ve already accomplished. Mentally strong people do the opposite. They keep the positives front and center and choose to consider the negatives as learning experiences.
2. Think productively
Instead of thinking about all the reasons why something isn’t working or you are not getting ahead as fast as you might want to, think about concrete things you can do on a regular basis to keep things moving forward.
3. Pay attention to the underlying thoughts
As we said earlier, everyone has a baseline of satisfaction where they naturally land. However just because you are not generally an overly optimistic person by nature that doesn’t mean you have to be satisfied with being dissatisfied. Watch your emotions, notice when you are leaning toward pessimism and make a conscious decision to see and acknowledge the positives in your situation.
4. Learn to enjoy quiet time
Many people will do anything they can to avoid being alone and quiet. In order to become mentally strong, you need to learn to make friends with yourself and quiet times. It is during those times that you can really reflect on what brings you peace and joy.
5. Accept that failure is inevitable
If you live your life afraid of failure, you will live your life afraid of living and of trying. Everyone fails. Failing actually builds mental strength. Because when you fail and get up again to fight another fight you prove to yourself that failure isn’t the end of the road. It is simply a stop on the road.
6. Celebrate the successes of others
Small minded people are jealous of other people’s success. As if there is only so much success to go around. In actual fact success and happiness are as abundant as sunshine. Mentally strong people celebrate success where they see it because they realize the success of one adds to the success of all.
7. Learn from your mistakes
It is said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. A mentally strong person learns from failure and mistakes and takes steps to change and improve. A mentally stubborn person persists in doing the same thing over and over, hoping that eventually things will turn in his or her favor.
8. Don’t blame others
It’s easy to blame circumstances or others or the weather or bad luck when things don’t go our way and maybe some of those things might be true, but what good does casting blame do? None. It causes is to dwell on the negatives instead of trying again or trying differently. Regardless of the reason why something didn’t go as planned, mentally strong people don’t waste time or energy blaming. They acknowledge what happened and move on.
9. Stay present
The past and the future are both vast expanses of time that can suck away a person’s thoughts and energy. Mentally strong people will visit the past to learn from it or reflect on the positives, but they don’t dwell there. Visits are short and to the point. The future is like the mermaid siren call that crashed a thousand ships. Mentally strong people realize that if they spend all their time dreaming about the future or wishing for it they will never do what needs doing to get there. They plan for the future then get to work on ways they can get there.
10. Embrace change
So much of life is habit or routine. It’s easy that way. We don’t have to think about what we’re going or what we’re going to so. Besides, change can be scary. However always traveling in the worn ruts of time keeps us traveling to the same destinations (both mental and physical). Mentally strong people make a point of getting out of their comfort zones to experience new things and new perspectives. Like failing, embracing change helps people discover what they’re made of. It reminds us of just how resilient and wonderful we can be.