This article originally appeared here on February 11, 2019.
Cultural pressures, societal expectations and the subtle differences in the ways girls are raised are just a few of the factors that encourage women to engage in unhealthy habits that rob them of mental strength.
Recognizing your unhealthy habits is the first step in creating positive change. When you give up the things that are holding are holding you back, your good habits become much more effective.
Here are the 13 things mentally strong women don’t do:
1. They don’t compare themselves to other people.
Comparing yourself to other people is like comparing apples and oranges. You won’t gain anything by measuring your happiness, wealth, and appearance against other people. The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.
2. They don’t insist on perfection.
There’s a cruel ironic twist to perfectionism; it causes you to perform worse. The fear of not being good enough and the pressure to not make a mistake will backfire. Establish high expectations for yourself but don’t set the bar impossibly high.
3. They don’t see vulnerability as a weakness.
Although asking for help or admitting you’re struggling are sometimes viewed as weaknesses, vulnerability is actually a strength. After all, it takes courage to put yourself in a position where you risk being hurt. But being vulnerable is key to forming meaningful relationships.
4. They don’t let self-doubt stop them from reaching their goals.
Self-doubt is normal but you don’t have to let it stop you from reaching your goals. Your brain will doubt your competence but don’t believe everything you think. Self-doubt can actually fuel your efforts, but you have to be willing to forge ahead even when you aren’t completely confident.
5. They don’t overthink everything.
Overthinking isn’t the same as problem-solving. Overthinking involves rehashing things that already happened or catastrophizing the future. Problem-solving is about looking for solutions. Commit to problem-solving and productive action, not dwelling on your problems.
6. They don’t avoid tough challenges.
Whether it’s a new opportunity at work or it’s an uncomfortable conversation you need to have with a friend, avoiding tough challenges will keep you stuck. Challenge yourself to grow a little stronger every day and you’ll build the confidence you need to tackle tough challenges head-on.
7. They don’t fear breaking the rules.
Girls are encouraged to be polite and well-mannered. But, it’s often the rule breakers who change the world. Whether it’s an unwritten rule about gender norms, or an official rule that’s holding you back, breaking a few rules could be key to helping you break free of the things that are holding you back.
8. They don’t put others down to lift themselves up.
It may be tempting to try and move up the social pecking order by putting others down. But no one truly gets ahead by pointing out other people’s flaws. Genuine cheerleaders attract the support and positivity that’s necessary to succeed.
9. They don’t allow others to limit their potential.
Whether someone told you that you’d never amount to anything or you got turned down for a promotion, don’t let rejection and harsh criticism stop you. Learn how to believe in yourself and you’ll be less affected by other people’s opinions
10. They don’t blame themselves when something goes wrong.
While it’s important to accept responsibility for your behavior, toxic self-blame will backfire. Saying, “I made a bad choice,” rather than, “I’m a bad person,” is the key to doing better in the future.
11. They don’t stay silent.
From business meetings to social events, studies show women don’t get as much airtime as men. And it’s not likely that men are going to talk less any time soon. So it’s important to speak up and find your authentic voice so you can be heard.
12. They don’t feel bad about reinventing themselves.
As you mature, your personality and values will shift and it’s important to adjust your life accordingly. Whether you shift careers at age 40, or you redesign your life at 60, reinventing yourself reflects your personal growth.
13. They don’t fear owning their success.
Many women find compliments make them cringe. They struggle to hear nice things about their work because they don’t feel worthy of their success. But it’s OK to own your success. Acknowledging your effort doesn’t make you arrogant.
Build your mental muscle
Everyone has the ability to build more mental muscle. The best way to grow stronger is to identify the counterproductive bad habits that are holding you back. Then you can work smarter, not just harder.
When you get rid of those unproductive habits, your healthy habits—like practicing gratitude and spending time with supportive people—will become much more effective.Amy Morin is a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do. Amy MorinContributorAmy Morin is a psychotherapist and the international bestselling author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do and 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do. Her…Read More