As we discussed in parts one and two, mental strength is the ability to stay in control of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. Control is an important aspect of reaching our fullest potential and meeting our goals regardless of whatever challenges life throws at us. While these concepts are fun to discuss, it does little to help us develop this strength. If you haven't already read mental strength part 1 & 2.
Being insightful and intune with oneself requires a base level of mental strength. To do that, you ask the question “Who am I as a person? And who do I want to be?” and to seriously crave the answer. Find the strength to question the meaning of your internal and external experiences and try to honestly find answers about yourself in that process.
This higher level of thinking is what develops mental strength. I’ve observed that people who are mentally weak are people who don’t question themselves, and their actions are based purely on external factors. People who are so busy taking care of other people’s issues and trying to help so many other people that they neglect their own problems are a good example of this. The flipside of people are similar: they are so wrapped up in their emotions and thoughts that they lack the thought process to ask why they are feeling that way, and what root issues are driving these feelings.
Asking yourself these questions and finding the answers will lead you to develop your own personal morals and values. Once these are developed, other issues, problems, and situations that you find yourself in will have a clear answer and you can find a way to stay grounded in yourself.
Taking this a step further, our mental fortitude can aid us physically. I believe through the principles of discipline we can cultivate more mental strength and turn your thoughts into reality, regardless of how far fetched they seem.
I was speaking with a green beret a few years back, trading stories of our experience in combat - his on the battlefield and mine in the ring. I was amazed with the mental and physical stability he carried during what must be the most stressful situation there is: war. As we were discussing the principle of mental strength, he broke it down beautifully in one sentence. “You can’t just sit here and tell yourself that you are a mentally tough person, You have to do something that is mentally tough to become that person.”
To think of or believe in something and then to physically bring it to fruition trains our minds to overcome obstacles and be in touch with reality. I find weak-minded individuals tend to set a goal or have a belief only to abandon it as soon as the going gets tough. In order for your mental strength to be practical and lead to real internal change, we must work towards our belief and become determined to make it a reality regardless of the current situation that surrounds us. This goes back to my first point in mental strength Part One.
Not that everyone needs to experience war or a cage fight as a physical practice to develop mental strength; it could be as simple as sticking to a morning routine or committing to a fitness program long term. It’s no secret that all of the most successful people in the world have a morning & fitness routine. As you push yourself to do the things you believe you can, this practice becomes stronger over time. Ultimately it will bring you the strength to influence the external world around you.
All of this can start with just a belief or the awareness of our current mental state, and possessing morals and values to live by and keep us grounded. Putting these ideas into action will help you get what you want out of life and become the person you truly want to be.
This is what will develop your mental strength.