The 15 Thoughts Mentally Strong People Avoid (and What They Tell Themselves Instead)

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Kayla Heisler1.16k
April 21, 2024 at 8:20AM UTC

Mental strength takes time to build, and becoming a mentally strong person doesn’t just happen overnight. Encountering setbacks and still pushing through helps people increase their mental strength. Part of achieving success involves recognizing thought patterns that get you off course and derail the path to victory. Here are 15 thoughts that mentally strong people avoid:

1. “If I ask for help, everyone will think I’m weak.”

Mentally strong people know that people rarely accomplish everything alone. They ask for assistance when they need it to avoid getting too overwhelmed.

2. “I’ll deal with that tomorrow.”

People often put things off because they don’t want to have to confront unpleasant feelings that can be associated with completing certain tasks. Confronting these feelings and getting the job done is a sign of mental strength.

3. “I’m not as good as ___.”

Comparing yourself to others can be toxic. Dwelling on your own perceived insufficiencies compared to others often does more harm than good. 

4. “I’m just not good enough.”

Defeatist thinking patterns cause can lead to inaction. Part of being resilient means pushing through unpleasant outcomes and keep working toward your goals. 

5. “If I fail at this, my life is over.”

A big part of being mentally strong is striving to keep things in perspective. Remember that one misstep doesn’t mean everything is wrong.

6. “If it’s meant to happen, it will happen.”

If you sit back and wait for the things you want in life to appear out of nowhere, you’re more likely than not to end up disappointed. Being proactive and working toward what you want is a must for the mentally though.

7. “Nothing good happens to me, so why even try?”

Don’t let a few setbacks keep you from getting back up. When those with mental strength are knocked down, they shake it off and keep striving.

8. “Some people just have all the luck.”

Because part of mental strength involves practicing gratitude, those who possess it are happy when those around them are successful. Being envious of others breeds negativity and uses up energy that could be used toward achieving goals of your own.

9. “If it hasn’t happened yet, it probably never will.”

Reaching a goal often takes longer than expected. Instead of throwing in the towel when obstacles appear, the mentally strong keep faith in themselves and keep working hard.

10. “Since ___ rejected me, everyone else will.”

The mentally strong don’t let one “no”  squash their vision. Rejection is a part of life, and though facing it may sting, it’s important not to take it to heart.

11. “If it doesn’t work out this time, I give up.”

Instead of experiencing failure as an end, mentally strong people experience it as an opportunity to grow. Giving someone else the power to take your dream from you is a sign of mental weakness.

12. “Once I get___, I’ll finally be happy.”

Believing that reaching a certain milestone or attaining a certain material possession will lead to happiness is a recipe for constant dissatisfaction.

13. “It’s important that everyone likes me.”

It’s true — you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Trying to make everyone like you is an energy drain, and the mentally strong understand this. 

14. “They hurt me, so I hope someone hurts them.”

Wishing bad things onto others is a major waste of mental energy. The mentally strong accept and move on instead of letting negative people take up space in their minds.

15. “It’s better to stay comfortable than take a risk and be let down.”

Because rejection and disappointment are painful experiences, settling for less than you want can be tempting, but the mentally strong know that amazing things live on the other side of that discomfort.


Kayla Heisler is an essayist and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. She is an MFA candidate at Columbia University, and her work appears in New York's Best Emerging Poets 2017 anthology. 

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