13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don't Do: Own Your Power, Channel Your Confidence, and Find Your Authentic Voice for a Life of Meaning and Joy

13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don't Do: Own Your Power, Channel Your Confidence, and Find Your Authentic Voice for a Life of Meaning and Joy

by Amy Morin

13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don't Do: Own Your Power, Channel Your Confidence, and Find Your Authentic Voice for a Life of Meaning and Joy is a book that provides guidance on how to become mentally strong and resilient. It is based on the author's own experiences of dealing with the sudden death of her mother and the husband. The book offers advice on how to cope with grief, how to set new goals, and how to find love again. It is a great resource for anyone who is dealing with loss or looking to become mentally strong.

Summary Notes

Focus on What You Can Do, Not What You Can't

Self-pity is a powerful and damaging emotion that can be incredibly hard to break free from. It has a significant impact on our thoughts and behaviors, hindering our ability to live a fulfilling life. There are various ways self-pity can hold us back.

Firstly, self-pity is a waste of time and mental energy. When we constantly feel sorry for ourselves, we invest valuable resources into dwelling on our circumstances without making any productive changes. It keeps us stuck in a loop of negative thoughts without offering any solutions or progress.

Secondly, self-pity tends to snowball into a cascade of negative emotions. Once we allow self-pity to take hold, it opens the floodgates for other negative feelings like frustration, resentment, and hopelessness. This amplifies our overall negativity and makes it even harder to break free from the grip of self-pity!

Another danger of self-pity is that it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we constantly wallow in self-pity, it affects our mindset and performance. We tend to underperform and make more mistakes, leading to increased problems and failures. This reinforces our feelings of self-pity and perpetuates a cycle of negativity and disappointment.

Moreover, self-pity prevents us from effectively dealing with other important emotions such as grief, sadness, and anger. Instead of addressing and processing these emotions in a healthy manner, self-pity keeps us focused on why things should be different, preventing us from accepting the reality of our situation and hindering our progress in healing and moving forward.

Self-pity also has a way of blinding us to the good aspects of our lives. Even if we experience multiple positive things in a day, self-pity causes us to fixate only on the negative. By constantly feeling sorry for ourselves, we miss out on the joys and blessings that surround us.

Ultimately, self-pity can have a negative impact on our relationships. People are generally not drawn to individuals who constantly complain about how terrible their life is. A victim mentality is not an attractive quality, and continually expressing self-pity can wear on others, straining our connections and making it difficult to maintain healthy relationships.

However, the good news is that we have the power to break free from self-pity's grip. Even if we can't change our circumstances, we can change your attitude.

Instead of dwelling on what's wrong, we can focus on what we can still achieve in life and practice gratitude. This means taking a moment to appreciate the kindness and goodness around us and looking at the little things that bring us joy. Look for the little things that bring you joy. It's all about shifting our perspective from "I deserve better" to "I have more than I deserve."

Actions to take

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Cara was a 28-year-old nurse who had everything she wanted, but still felt unsatisfied. She believed her friends were more content than her and felt guilty for not being content with her life. Through therapy, Cara learned to reframe her thoughts and accept that her friends may be happier than her at times.

Amy Morin, a psychotherapist, explains that comparing oneself to others can be damaging to one's self-esteem. It can lead to feelings of envy, insecurity, and insignificance. It can also make one feel like life is a competition and that they are not progressing as fast as they should be.

Social media has made it easier than ever to compare oneself to others. Companies often use images of beautiful women to convince women to buy their products, making it seem like these women are happier, healthier, and wealthier. Renee Engeln, a psychology professor at Northwestern University, calls this “beauty sickness”. It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison trap. There’s cultural pressure to be better. Most of us look around to see how other people are doing. Looking to other people gives us information about ourselves. However, comparing oneself to others won’t motivate one to do better, but will instead drag one down and hold one back.

Actions to take

Retain Power with Healthy Boundaries

Lauren was really worried about her mother-in-law causing problems in her marriage. She would talk to her friends about it, and while their support was helpful, she realized that she needed something more. She needed to learn how to set boundaries.

Setting boundaries means deciding what is and isn't okay for you in terms of how others treat you, both emotionally and physically. It's about protecting yourself and your own power. When you don't set boundaries, you end up giving away your power to other people, which can lead to all sorts of issues.

For example, if you rely on others to regulate your feelings, you become dependent on them for validation and emotional stability. And if you let other people define your self-worth, you start to lose sight of who you really are.

Not setting boundaries can also make you avoid dealing with the real problems in your relationships. Instead of addressing the issues head-on, you just let things slide and become a victim of your circumstances. And when you don't have boundaries, you become too sensitive to criticisms because you haven't developed that resilience to handle it.

It can also derail your own goals and aspirations. You end up putting everyone else's needs before your own, and you forget about what you want to achieve. This can lead to resentment and dissatisfaction in the long run.

Conversely, when you set healthy boundaries, you hold onto your personal power. You become less vulnerable to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. By clearly communicating what you will and won't accept, you protect your emotional well-being.

Actions to take

Embrace Change for Growth

Change is something we all go through in life, and it can come in different forms like changing habits, behaviors, or even how we feel. However, many people are afraid to make changes that could actually make their lives better. They think it's too risky or uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, change is a natural part of life and also in business. It can be seen as a challenge or an opportunity, and it can happen in big ways or small steps. Sometimes it's planned, and other times it comes out of the blue. You can resist it or embrace it.

The Transtheoretical Model of Change is a theory that suggests that people go through different stages when making a change. Each stage signifies a different level of readiness and commitment towards implementing change.

First, there's the pre-contemplation stage. This is when people don't even think they need to change anything. It hasn't crossed their minds yet.

Then comes the contemplation stage. Here, people start to think about the pros and cons of making a change. They're weighing their options and considering if it's worth it.

After that, we have the preparation stage. This is where people get ready to make the change. They make a plan and figure out what steps they need to take to make it happen.

Next up is the action stage. This is where the real change takes place. People start implementing the new behaviors or habits they want to adopt.

And finally, there's the maintenance stage. Many people tend to overlook this stage, but this is essential. It's all about planning ahead to make sure you can stick with the changes you've made and avoid going back to old habits.

Understanding these stages and being prepared to navigate them is vital for successful change. By approaching change with awareness and a well-defined plan, we can reap the benefits of the change we're trying to make.

Actions to take

Focus on What You Can Control

It's tempting to want to have everything under control. It gives us this comforting sense of safety and certainty. But in reality, It is simply impossible to make everything in our lives align perfectly with our expectations and desires.

Trying to control everything can lead to a number of problems. First off, it cranks up our anxiety levels. Constantly needing everything to go exactly as we want it can leave us in a perpetual state of worry and stress. Plus, it eats up so much of our time and energy that could be better spent elsewhere. It becomes this never-ending, exhausting pursuit that doesn't leave much room for other important things in life.

Moreover, excessive control can damage relationships. When we insist on controlling others, it sends a message that we do not trust or respect them. It strains the connection and hinders open communication. It can also lead us to judge people harshly. We develop unrealistic expectations of how they should behave or what they should do, and when they don't meet these expectations, we often criticize or condemn them.

Another consequence of excessive control is self-blame. When things inevitably go awry, we tend to blame ourselves for not having complete control over the situation. This can be detrimental to our self-esteem and wellbeing.

Finding the right balance of control involves recognizing the impact of our actions on our chances of success. It also means acknowledging the influence of external factors, such as luck or timing. Striking this balance requires us to examine our beliefs about what we truly have control over and what we do not. It's important to reflect on occasions when we have invested excessive energy into people or circumstances that were beyond our control. By acknowledging and accepting the limitations of our control, we can begin to let go of them.

Instead of fixating on uncontrollable elements, we should focus on the things we can control. This includes our own thoughts, actions, and reactions to situations. When it comes to dealing with people, it is more productive to shift our focus towards influencing them rather than trying to exert full control over them. We can inspire and guide others, but we cannot force them to conform to our desires.

By learning to let go of the details we cannot control, we free up valuable time and energy. This allows us to direct our efforts towards the aspects of life where we can make a difference. As a result, we become more efficient, effective, and capable of achieving remarkable accomplishments.

Actions to take

Accepting You Can't Please Everyone Makes You Stronger

People-pleasing behavior can be deeply rooted in childhood experiences. Some of us grow up feeling the need to constantly do good deeds or go out of our way to please others just to get some attention. Maybe it's because we had parents who were always bickering, and we thought that by being the "good kid," we could avoid the conflict. It's like we wanted to feel needed and important by meeting everyone else's expectations.

While we may think of people-pleasing as a selfless act, it is actually not. Sure, it might give us a temporary sense of validation, but in the long run, it can actually damage our relationships and well-being because we're neglecting our own needs.

Many spiritual teachings and guidance emphasize the importance of living authentically according to our values, even if it means displeasing some people. Such teachings encourage us to be courageous enough to embrace our true selves, regardless of the approval or disapproval we may encounter.

When we let go of the need to please everyone, several positive outcomes can arise. First of all, our self-confidence skyrockets because we're no longer seeking validation from others. We become more assertive, set boundaries, and make decisions that truly reflect our desires and values.

Not only that, but we also free up so much time and energy that would have been spent on trying to please others. Imagine what we can do with all that newfound freedom! We can focus on our own goals, passions, and even taking care of ourselves.

Reducing the focus on pleasing everyone also leads to a decrease in stress levels. Constantly striving to meet everyone's expectations is exhausting. When we start embracing who we really are and putting ourselves first, we can let go of that anxiety and pressure that come with it.

What's more, our relationships will start to improve when we stop people-pleasing. By being authentic and true to ourselves, we build genuine connections with others based on trust and honesty. Sure, some people might not like it when we start making choices that don't please them, but the ones who truly value us will respect our autonomy and support our personal growth.

Lastly, standing up for our values and not worrying about pleasing others actually builds our willpower and resilience. It takes guts to prioritize our own beliefs over the opinions of others. But once we do it, we become stronger and more resilient. We can face challenges head-on and stay true to ourselves even when things get tough.

Actions to take

Taking Calculated Risks for Success

Taking risks can help one reach their full potential, but many people are afraid to do so because they don't know how to calculate the risk accurately. To increase their ability to calculate risk, they can practice and become more comfortable with taking risks. Often, when people think of taking a risk, they imagine the worst-case scenario and choose not to take the chance. However, taking calculated risks can lead to an extraordinary life.

Actions to take

Reflect and Move Forward

It is common for people to become stuck in the past due to unresolved guilt, shame, and anger. They may believe that if they remain in a state of unhappiness, they will eventually be able to forgive themselves. However, this can prevent them from being able to appreciate the present and plan for the future. It is important to recognize when one is stuck in the past and take the necessary steps to heal their emotions so they can move forward. This includes reflecting on the past to learn from it, actively processing grief, viewing negative events objectively, and finding ways to make peace with the past.

Actions to take

Discipline without Yelling

Yelling at children is not an effective way to discipline them and can lead to power struggles. It is important to recognize when one is getting angry and to take away privileges without arguing.

Kristy was a parent who found herself resorting to yelling at her children. She had to gain confidence in her parenting abilities before she could stop repeating the same mistakes. Mistakes can be seen as an opportunity to improve oneself when given the opportunity. Developing a written plan increases the likelihood of following through with it.

Milton Hershey was a successful businessman who learned from his mistakes. Amy Morin suggests that when viewing mistakes not as something negative but instead as an opportunity to improve oneself, one will be able to devote time and energy into making sure they don’t repeat them.

Actions to take

Don't Resent Other People's Success

Dan was a seemingly successful man with a nice house and a good job. However, he was secretly struggling with debt and was keeping it from his wife. He felt the need to keep up with his neighbors, even if it meant going into more debt. Eventually, Dan realized that his family was more important than possessions and changed his behavior to focus on his own goals and values.

Resentment of others’ success can be caused by irrational thinking, a sense of injustice, or wanting conflicting lifestyles. It can also be a result of not knowing what one truly wants. People may think they have everything they ever wanted, but still feel unhappy because they are living according to someone else’s definition of success instead of their own.

Actions to take

Don't Give Up After the First Failure

Failing is a normal part of life, and it can be hard to stay motivated after experiencing a setback. Fear of failure, guilt, learned behavior, and a fixed mindset can all contribute to someone giving up after their first failure. It is important to remember that failure can be a learning experience and can help us grow. Famous people such as Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, and Rob, a pilot in the 1960s, all kept going despite their failures and eventually achieved success. To become successful, it is important to accept failure, be open to learning, and practice self-compassion, as suggested by Amy Morin.

Actions to take

Embrace Change and Welcome New Ideas

Change is an unavoidable part of life, and it is essential to be open to new ideas and accept change in order to stay competitive. A great example of this is the story of a small business owner who was struggling to keep up with the changing market. Initially, he was stuck in his old ways and was not open to new ideas. However, when he finally opened his mind to new possibilities, he was able to turn his business around and become successful. The theory of change management states that organizations must be able to adapt to the changing environment in order to remain competitive. This means that organizations must be open to new ideas and be willing to embrace change in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Actions to take

Taking Time to Be Alone: Process Thoughts and Reduce Stress

In today's society, being alone has been given a negative connotation and people often feel guilty if they're not being productive. Technology also means that it's easy to avoid being alone with one's thoughts. However, being alone doesn't always lead to loneliness and can have many benefits, such as increased productivity, empathy, and better grades.

Vanessa was having trouble sleeping and her doctor suggested counseling instead of medication. She was a successful real estate agent and enjoyed her active lifestyle, but never took time to be alone. When she tried it as an experiment, she found it helped her fall asleep faster. Being alone can spark creativity and has been linked to increased happiness, life satisfaction, and improved stress management. Solitude offers restoration and provides an opportunity to recharge. Studies suggest that solitary skills are just as important for health and well-being as social skills.

Actions to take

Respect and Support Your Coworkers

Lucas was thrilled to start his first job after getting his MBA, but his coworkers weren't as enthusiastic. He made suggestions to increase profitability and tried to help his coworkers, but they weren't receptive. When he asked for a promotion, his supervisor told him to "tone it down" instead. After speaking with Human Resources, Lucas realized his attitude was rubbing people the wrong way and he reframed his thoughts to recognize the value of long-term employees. He created a list of behaviors his employer would want to see from the best employees.

Sarah Robinson was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 24. Despite her own struggles, she was determined to help other cancer patients who had to drive a great distance to get treatment and some were even sleeping in their vehicles at the Walmart parking lot. She worked tirelessly to make her dream of creating a hospitality house close to the treatment center a reality, even as her health deteriorated. She passed away at the age of 26, but her family and friends are still working to make her dream come true.

People who feel a sense of entitlement often lack self-awareness. Life isn't meant to be fair and no one is more deserving of good fortune than anyone else. Wilma Rudolph was born prematurely and had to wear a leg brace until she was nine. With the help of physical therapy, she was able to walk normally by the age of twelve and discovered her love and talent for running. She earned a spot on the 1956 Olympic team and won the bronze medal in the 4 x 100 relay. In the 1960 Olympics, Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics Game. She retired from competition at the age of twenty-two and her legacy lives on, showing that no matter the situation, one can choose how to respond.

Actions to take

Patience, Persistence and Perspiration: An Unbeatable Combination for Success

Marcy was feeling unhappy with her life, but couldn't pinpoint why. She had tried self-help books and therapy, but neither had been life-changing. She thought medication might help, but knew it wouldn't be a quick fix. She decided to give therapy another try, but soon realised that she was expecting immediate results from everything she tried.

Amy Morin pointed out that patience is essential for success. It is important to understand that results take time and effort, and that one should not give up if they don't see immediate results. Patience is necessary to reach one's full potential. We live in a fast-paced world where we expect immediate results, but success is rarely instant. We expect immediate results because we lack patience, overestimate our abilities, and underestimate how long change takes. Unrealistic expectations can lead to failure.

Pierre Lemieux, an Olympic athlete, was mentally strong enough to live according to his values and do what he felt was right, even if it meant he wouldn’t be able to reach his original goal. Morin noted that developing mental strength isn’t about having to be the best at everything or achieving the biggest accomplishments. It’s about being prepared for whatever life throws your way and living according to your values. When one becomes mentally strong, they will be their best self, have the courage to do what’s right, and develop a true comfort with who they are and what they are capable of achieving.

Actions to take

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