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The key points of '13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do' by Amy Morin

In her book '13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do,' Amy Morin discusses the key habits and behaviors that mentally strong individuals avoid in order to maintain their resilience and strength. By identifying these negative patterns, Morin provides valuable insights into the mindset of mentally strong people and offers practical advice for personal growth and development. Let's explore the key takeaways from Morin's powerful book:

Key Takeaways

  • Developing mental strength is about cultivating positive habits and avoiding self-destructive behaviors.

  • Embracing change and taking calculated risks are essential for personal growth and resilience.

  • Focusing on what can be controlled and letting go of what cannot leads to greater emotional strength and well-being.

  • Resilience is built by learning from mistakes and failures, rather than dwelling on them.

  • Mentally strong individuals prioritize self-care and solitude, recognizing the value of alone time for personal reflection and growth.

1. Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves

Mentally strong individuals understand that self-pity is a counterproductive behavior that leads to excessive dwelling on problems rather than seeking solutions. They recognize that life's challenges are opportunities for growth and choose to focus on what they can learn from the experience.

They take action instead of getting stuck in a cycle of regret and sorrow. By doing so, they conserve their emotional energy and remain resilient in the face of adversity.

  • Acknowledge feelings without becoming consumed by them

  • Seek constructive feedback to move forward

  • Replace self-pity with gratitude for lessons learned

By adopting this mindset, they avoid the trap of feeling sorry for themselves, which can lead to a victim mentality and a stagnant life.

2. Give Away Their Power

Mentally strong individuals understand the importance of maintaining their personal power. They do not allow others to control their actions or emotions. They set healthy boundaries and take responsibility for their life. By doing so, they empower themselves to respond rather than react to the challenges they face.

Control over one's life is a critical aspect of mental strength. When people give away their power, they become vulnerable to manipulation and can easily be swayed by others' opinions and desires. To avoid this, it's essential to:

  • Recognize and assert your own needs

  • Stay true to your values

  • Make decisions based on your own judgments

3. Shy Away from Change

Mentally strong individuals understand that change is inevitable and often necessary for growth. They embrace new challenges and adapt to new situations with a positive mindset, rather than clinging to the past or the familiar.

Change can be daunting, but it's also an opportunity to learn and improve. Mentally strong people use change as a catalyst to push their boundaries and expand their horizons.

For those looking to cultivate mental strength, consider these steps:

  • Acknowledge the fear of change but don't let it control you.

  • Identify the potential benefits of the new situation.

  • Take small steps towards adapting to the change.

  • Seek support from others who have successfully navigated similar changes.

4. Squander Energy on Things They Can't Control

Mentally strong individuals recognize the limits of their influence and focus their efforts where they can actually make a difference. They understand that pouring energy into uncontrollable factors is not only futile but also emotionally draining. Instead, they invest their time and resources into what they can control, such as their attitude, effort, and behavior.

Prioritization is key to this approach. By identifying what matters most, mentally strong people can allocate their energy more effectively. Consider the following list of controllable versus uncontrollable factors:

  • Controllable: Responses to events, personal goals, self-care

  • Uncontrollable: Weather, actions of others, traffic

5. Worry About Pleasing Everyone

Mentally strong individuals understand that it's impossible to please everyone. They recognize that trying to satisfy all can lead to a loss of self and a life driven by the preferences of others rather than their own values and aspirations. They prioritize their own goals and values over the approval of others.

Pleasing everyone is not only impractical but also detrimental to personal growth. Mentally strong people set healthy boundaries and are comfortable with the fact that some people may disagree with their choices.

  • They say no when necessary.

  • They are true to their values.

  • They make decisions based on what is best for them, not just to satisfy others.

6. Fear Taking Calculated Risks

Mentally strong people understand that risk-taking is a necessary part of success. They do not let fear hold them back from pursuing opportunities. Instead, they assess the potential risks and benefits, and make informed decisions. By embracing calculated risks, they open themselves up to new possibilities and learning experiences.

  • Evaluate the potential outcomes

  • Weigh the pros and cons

  • Make an informed decision

Cultivating a positive self-image and having faith are crucial when taking risks. It's important to surround oneself with supportive individuals who can bolster one's courage during uncertain times.

7. Dwell on the Past

Mentally strong individuals understand that the past is a place of reference, not residence. They acknowledge their history but do not let it define their present or future. They focus on the present and actively work towards a better tomorrow.

Reflection is essential, but there is a fine line between learning from the past and being trapped by it. Mentally strong people strike a balance by reflecting on past mistakes and successes to guide their current decisions without becoming mired in 'what ifs' and 'if onlys'.

  • Recognize past experiences

  • Learn from them

  • Move forward with new insights

8. Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

Mentally strong individuals recognize the importance of learning from their errors. They view mistakes as opportunities for growth rather than repeated failures. Adapting and evolving from each setback is crucial to personal development.

Reflection and analysis are vital steps in avoiding the repetition of past mistakes. By understanding what went wrong and why, one can make informed decisions moving forward. Here's a simple process to follow:

  • Identify the mistake

  • Understand the factors that contributed to it

  • Learn the lesson it teaches

  • Apply the lesson to future actions

By not making the same mistakes over and over, individuals demonstrate their ability to grow and improve continuously. This resilience is a hallmark of mental strength.

9. Resent Other People's Success

Mentally strong individuals understand that success is not a zero-sum game. They celebrate the achievements of others instead of letting envy or resentment take hold. Their own path to success is seen as separate and not hindered by someone else's victories.

  • Recognize the accomplishments of peers.

  • Use others' successes as motivation.

  • Maintain a focus on personal goals and growth.

By fostering a sense of community and shared triumph, mentally strong people build networks of support that can aid in their own journey. They avoid the trap of comparison, which can be a major stumbling block on the road to personal achievement.

10. Give Up After Failure

Mentally strong individuals understand that failure is not the end of the road, but a stepping stone to success. They embrace setbacks as learning opportunities and persist in their efforts. Resilience is key, as it allows them to bounce back and approach their goals with renewed vigor.

  • Acknowledge the setback and its impact

  • Analyze what went wrong and why

  • Learn from the experience and adjust strategies

  • Re-engage with the goal with a clear plan of action

Mentally strong people do not let failure define them. They use it as a catalyst for growth, ensuring that each misstep is a lesson that paves the way to eventual success. The determination to move forward despite obstacles is what distinguishes the successful from those who are halted by fear of failure.

11. Fear Alone Time

Mentally strong individuals understand the value of solitude. They use alone time to reflect, plan, and be productive without the need for constant social interaction. Alone time is not something to fear, but an opportunity to grow.

Solitude can be a powerful tool for personal development. It allows for deep thinking and the cultivation of new ideas. Here are a few benefits of embracing alone time:

  • It fosters self-discovery and deeper understanding of one's desires and goals.

  • It provides a break from the noise of everyday life, enabling clearer thinking.

  • It encourages independence and self-sufficiency.

12. Feel the World Owes Them Anything

Mentally strong individuals recognize that the world doesn't owe them anything. They understand that their circumstances are often the result of their own choices and actions. They take responsibility for their lives and do not expect favors or opportunities to be handed to them.

Gratitude is a common trait among those who don't feel entitled. Instead of feeling bitter for what they don't have, they appreciate what they do have. This mindset fosters a positive attitude and resilience in the face of challenges.

  • Embrace personal accountability

  • Cultivate a sense of gratitude

  • Reject entitlement

13. Expect Immediate Results

Mentally strong individuals understand that success and achievement are the results of consistent effort over time. They recognize the value of patience and the importance of setting realistic expectations. Success is a journey, not a sprint, and it often requires perseverance through challenges and setbacks.

Patience is not just about waiting; it's about maintaining a positive attitude and staying committed to your goals, even when progress seems slow. Mentally strong people do not get discouraged by the time it takes to reach their objectives. Instead, they celebrate small victories along the way and understand that each step forward is a part of the growth process.

  • Recognize the value of long-term goals

  • Stay committed despite slow progress

  • Celebrate small victories

  • Understand that growth is incremental


In conclusion, '13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do' by Amy Morin provides valuable insights into the habits and behaviors that contribute to mental strength. By understanding what not to do, individuals can cultivate resilience, perseverance, and emotional well-being. This book serves as a practical guide for anyone seeking to enhance their mental toughness and lead a more fulfilling life. Embracing the principles outlined in this book can empower individuals to overcome challenges and thrive in the face of adversity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to waste time feeling sorry for oneself?

Wasting time feeling sorry for oneself means dwelling on self-pity and allowing negative emotions to consume one's thoughts and actions.

How can mentally strong people avoid giving away their power?

Mentally strong people avoid giving away their power by taking responsibility for their actions and choices, and by not allowing others to control their emotions or decisions.

Why is it important to embrace change?

Embracing change is important because it fosters growth, adaptability, and resilience. Mentally strong people understand that change is inevitable and use it as an opportunity for personal and professional development.

What are some strategies for avoiding wasting energy on things that can't be controlled?

Mentally strong people focus on what they can control, such as their attitudes, efforts, and responses, rather than expending energy on uncontrollable external factors. They practice acceptance and adaptability in the face of uncertainty.

How can one overcome the fear of taking calculated risks?

Overcoming the fear of taking calculated risks involves assessing the potential benefits and consequences, gathering relevant information, and making informed decisions. Mentally strong people understand that taking risks is essential for growth and success.

Why is it important for mentally strong people to embrace alone time?

Embracing alone time allows mentally strong people to reflect, recharge, and gain clarity. It provides an opportunity for self-discovery, introspection, and personal growth.

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