WATCH: The Secret To Becoming Mentally Strong | Amy Morin [TEDx VIDEO]

Everyone has the ability to build mental strength, but most people don’t know how. We spend a lot of time talking about physical strength and physical health, but much less time on mental strength and mental health. We can choose to perform exercises that will help us learn to regulate our thoughts, manage our emotions, and behave productively despite our circumstances – the 3 basic factors of mental strength (see below). No matter what your goals are, building mental strength is the key to reaching your greatest potential.

There are 3 kinds of destructive beliefs that make us less effective and rob us of our mental strength:

  1. Unhealthy beliefs about ourselves. We can tend to feel sorry for ourselves. Self-pity keeps us stuck and focused on the problem instead of creating a solution.
  2. Unhealthy beliefs about others. We think other people control us and we give away our power. When you say, “I have to work late,” you give away your power. Or, when you say: “so-and-so drives me crazy.” Once again, you give away your power. You are in control of your thoughts.
  3. Unhealthy beliefs about the world. We tend to think that the world owes us something. Expecting a cosmic reward will only lead to disappointment.

You need to give up these beliefs because some day you may need all of the mental strength you can muster.


When you are going through tough times, one or two bad habits can hold you back.

If you want to be mentally strong, you need good habits like practicing gratitude. But, you also have to give up bad habits, like resenting somebody else’s success. No matter how often that happens, it will hold you back.

You need to counter your unhealthy beliefs with healthier ones. Let yourself fully feel your emotions, then move on.

Don’t compare yourself to other people. The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.

We want the world to be fair. We believe that if we do enough good deeds, then good things will happen to us. Or if we tough out enough bad times, we will get some sort of reward. But, ultimately, you have to accept that life isn’t fair. Your world is what you make it. Before you can change your world, you have to believe that you can change it.


What bad mental habits are holding you back? What unhealthy beliefs are keeping you from being as mentally strong as you could be? And, what’s one small step you could take today?

About Amy Morin

Amy Morin is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist. Since 2002, she has been counseling children, teens, and adults. She also works as an adjunct psychology instructor.   Amy’s expertise in mental strength has attracted international attention. Her bestselling book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do (based on her viral article of the same name – read it HERE) has been translated into more than 20 languages.

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