If physical strength can be measured by one’s ability to overcome gravity and displace a mass, such as lifting a delicious slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Supreme cake from the box to your mouth (or lifting weights). Then emotional strength is the ability to overcome adversity and displace negative feelings. It’s the ability to be resilient in the face of adversity.
We might characterize a physically healthy person based on how their abs ripple in the breeze or their 1-rep max doing bench press or cake lifts. We can identify emotionally strong people when they flex their emotional abs and show how they respond under duress.
While we all face unique challenges and circumstances in our lives, there are many qualities that are shared by the emotionally strong people who seem to have an uncanny ability to remain calm, happy, and positive even when the world around them is in chaos.
I’ve compiled a list of 17 things emotionally strong people don’t do – which helps them stay positive, stay in control, recover from setbacks and get great things done.
How To Use This List:
There are 17 items on this list – that’s a lot of stuff to work on. Becoming emotionally stronger – more resilient – isn’t going to happen overnight. My recommendation is to pick the one item that will create the biggest positive impact in your life and dedicate the next 30 days to making a habit of it.
These habits are interconnected, like a web, and by strengthening one “node” of this web we’ll be strengthening all the others – and focusing on one thing will be more effective than trying to learn/improve 17 new skills at once.
That being said, here’s the list:
How to be emotionally strong
1. They don’t feel sorry for themselves
Emotionally strong people don’t expect life to be fair, easy, or to turn out as they expect. And when it doesn’t, they don’t throw a pity party and invite all their LiveJournal friends. Instead, they take responsibility for where they are and for taking the most positive step they can in any situation.
2. They don’t lay blame
Emotionally strong people don’t blame others for negative events or their negative feelings, even if they are justified in doing so. Instead, they take responsibility for their responses to adversity, allowing them to recover quickly and renew their positive endeavors.
3. They don’t afraid to ask for help.
You have to be aware that you cannot do everything alone, think that the reward will be the same when you reach your goal even if you have needed help. The emotional support of the people around you will be of great help in progress.
4. They don’t expect instant gratification
Emotionally strong people have a long term outlook on their projects and life. They don’t expect to have any push-button answers show up on their doorstep. This prepares them for the necessary work that it’ll take to achieve their goals.
5. They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control
Long lines, traffic jams, lousy service at the cafe – emotionally strong people shrug it all off as a part of life. After all, they can’t control it. Much better to invest their energy in the things they can influence.
6. They don’t worry about pleasing everyone
Trying to please everyone shows a lack of commitment to one’s own values. Emotionally strong people know what’s important to them, and are able to focus on those things instead of the voices of critics.
7. They don’t let fear stop them
Emotionally strong people are able to recognize fear and still choose how to act. Instead of letting fear diminish themselves and their efforts, they use it as a signal to guide them to further growth and development.
8. They don’t mull over their mistakes
An emotionally strong person is good at letting their mistakes go, allowing themselves the freedom to try new things as well as recover quickly when things go awry. And they always set things right if and when these mistakes harm others.
9. They don’t repeat failures indefinitely
Sometime things in life are not going to work out the way we would like. Emotionally strong people are able to recognize the difference between a tough spot worth pushing through, and a futile endeavor. Instead of repeating their failures over and over, they’ll move on to more effective uses of their energy.
10. They don’t resent other people’s success
Many people feel jealous or resentful when another person achieves something great as if this diminishes them in some way. Emotionally strong people are able to celebrate the success of others, which enriches us all and may pave the path for their own, future successes.
11. They don’t quit after the 1st attempt
Emotionally strong people know that success rarely happens on the first attempt. That first failure is also the first practical lesson, which we can learn from and then improve upon. Persistence through these failures sets emotionally strong people apart.
12. They don’t fear stillness
Many people can’t stand free or unoccupied time, resorting to their phones or any other available distraction to keep themselves entertained. Mentally strong people don’t fear quiet and stillness, as it gives them space to relax, reflect, and recharge for their next activity.
13. They don’t feel entitled
Emotionally strong people don’t feel like the world owes them anything. They are willing to work hard for the things they want without resentment or complaint, whether or not their results seem fair. And they feel gratitude whenever a little extra help comes their way.
14. They don’t settle for a mediocre life
Emotionally strong people do not settle for mediocrity. They strive to achieve greatness. They take the authority of their life and always work to make their life better.
15. They don’t avoid change
The world around us is dynamic, always changing. Emotionally strong people don’t try to resist this change, but to flow with it, evolving along with the world around them and not becoming too attached to present comforts.
16. They are not afraid to go slower
Sometimes you need to take distance and slow down when you have been trying too hard. Being motivated is great, but not if it is at the cost of your health and well-being. Have time to reflect and relax.
17. They don’t take themselves too seriously
In a world bent on increasing productivity and output, emotionally strong people know how to relax and enjoy themselves. They know that happiness is largely a choice, and they make it every chance they get.
For instance, I write this super-serious, almost grim blog about happiness. But I intersperse this with an uplifting section about cake. It helps me stay upbeat and energized (taking things light-heartedly, not the cake).
So relax, pick the 1 point you most want to work on, and enjoy the process of improving your emotional strength over the next month.