If you display these 8 behaviors, you’re mentally stronger than you realize

It’s a tough world out there, isn’t it?

You face challenges every day that test your limits. You’re constantly pushing yourself, trying to prove that you’re strong. But do you feel strong?

Perhaps not.

You might feel like you’re barely holding on like you’re not as strong as people think you are.

But what if I told you, you’re stronger than you think?

The thing is that the signs aren’t always apparent.

Today, we delve into 8 behaviors that indicate you’re mentally stronger than you realize.

1) You’re adaptable

Remember a time when something unexpected happened in your life, and instead of feeling overwhelmed, you found a way to deal with it?

That’s adaptability, and it’s a strong sign of mental toughness.

Being adaptable means you understand that change is a part of life, and you’re willing to adjust your approach when needed.

However, this ability doesn’t mean you can just get through tough times.

No, instead it means you’re learning and growing from them.

Maybe it was a new city, a new job, or even a global pandemic… 

Honestly, it doesn’t matter.

Whether it’s a change at work, a personal setback, or an unexpected event, your capacity to adapt shows real strength.

And you know what’s the best part?

It’s a sign of mental strength.

2) You embrace change

I’ve learned through personal experiences that embracing change is more than just accepting it — it’s about seeing it as an opportunity for growth.

A few years ago, I was faced with a sudden career shift. Initially, it was daunting – leaving my comfort zone and venturing into something unknown.

But embracing this change became one of my most rewarding decisions.

Let me explain why.

This shift forced me to reevaluate my skills and aspirations. It pushed me to learn new things and meet new people, broadening my perspective significantly.

And guess what?

As I navigated this new path, I realized that change wasn’t just a hurdle — it was a doorway to new opportunities.

As a result, I developed resilience, a better understanding of my capabilities, and a newfound appreciation for adaptability.

Now I want you to think about it.

Have you ever been through a major life change and come out the other side stronger?

If so, I guess you’re exhibiting mental strength without even knowing it.

3) You practice gratitude

It’s easy to get caught up in the negatives of life, to focus on what’s going wrong or what we don’t have.

But did you know, the act of being thankful can actually rewire your brain?

It’s true.

Neuroscience has proven that practicing gratitude regularly can create new neural pathways, leading to increased mental strength.

How amazing is that?

The truth is that practicing gratitude doesn’t require grand gestures.

It’s often the small things – acknowledging a kind deed, appreciating a beautiful day, or being thankful for a good meal.

These acts of gratitude, however small they may seem, contribute significantly to our mental and emotional wellbeing.

They help us maintain a positive outlook even in the face of challenges.

I’ve experienced this firsthand. Taking time each day to reflect on the things I’m grateful for has transformed my outlook on life.

I know it’s a simple practice. But trust me — it’s incredibly powerful in building resilience, happiness, and, indeed, mental strength.

4) You handle criticism well

If you display these behaviors youre mentally stronger than you realize 1 If you display these 8 behaviors, you're mentally stronger than you realize

We’ve all been there.

A harsh word, a critical comment, it can feel like a punch to the gut, right?

But it’s not about the criticism itself, it’s about how we handle it.

Here’s the deal:

Being able to accept criticism, to take it in stride, and use it for growth, is a true sign of mental strength.

It shows a level of self-awareness and understanding that isn’t easy to come by.

In simple terms, it’s about separating the emotion from the message, seeing beyond the sting of the words to the potential for self-improvement.

But don’t get me wrong — handling criticism constructively doesn’t mean you need to brush off negative comments or ignore them.

Nothing like this.

Instead, it’s about actively listening, understanding the feedback, and then using it as a stepping stone to better oneself.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this approach is key to personal growth and demonstrates a robust mental fortitude.

5) You’re patient

Can I tell you a secret?

I’m not naturally a patient person.

I used to want everything to happen right away. But over time, I’ve realized that good things often take time.

But I have to be honest — this realization didn’t come easy.

It took moments of frustration and disappointment to truly understand the value of patience.

However, in those moments of waiting, of not immediately having what I wanted, that I learned the most.

Now I’m sure about one thing:

Patience is a silent strength, often overlooked, yet incredibly powerful.

It shows that you can understand that life’s processes can’t always be hurried.

Whether it’s waiting for the right opportunity, the growth of a relationship, or personal development, patience plays a crucial role.

It’s a quiet form of resilience. 

6) You learn from mistakes

Let’s face it:

We’re all human, and making mistakes is a part of life.

What separates the mentally strong from the rest is how they handle these mistakes — their approach to these errors and slip-ups.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you made a wrong decision, and instead of beating yourself up, you took it as a lesson?

Or perhaps you stumbled, yet instead of dwelling on it, you asked, “What can I learn from this?”

Well, that’s the essence of mental strength.

It’s not about never failing or making mistakes — it’s about what you do after those mistakes occur.

Because whether we like it or not, we’ll undoubtedly make mistakes.

But as they say, if you never try you’ll never know, right?

It’s the ability to look at a mishap and see it not as a dead end, but as a detour on the path to success.

The thing about mentally strong people is that they understand this. They know that mistakes are not just unavoidable, but they’re also invaluable.

The result?

They provide us with unique learning opportunities that we simply can’t get from constant success.

Trust me, it’s through errors and setbacks that we often gain the deepest insights into ourselves and the world around us.

7) You don’t seek validation

How many times have you caught yourself checking for likes on a social media post or waiting eagerly for someone’s approval of your work? 

Admit it. Because it’s a common human desire to seek validation from others.

However, the real strength lies in not needing that external approval to feel accomplished or happy.

I know this may seem a bit counterintuitive, but here’s the truth:

Mental strength often manifests in the quiet confidence of being okay with not always being acknowledged or praised.


Well, when you stop relying on others to affirm your value, you start to find it within yourself.

This doesn’t mean you become indifferent to others’ opinions or feedback. Instead, it’s about finding a balance where your self-worth isn’t solely dependent on them.

Mentally strong people derive their sense of satisfaction from their own achievements and inner fulfillment.

They are comfortable with who they are and what they do, irrespective of applause or accolades.

Most importantly, this independence from external validation not only frees you from the constant need for approval but also allows you to live life on your own terms.

8) You practice self-care

Okay, I’m sure this one may sound trivial to you.

But did you know that one of the most powerful ways to build mental strength is by taking care of your physical health?

Believe it or not, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can do wonders for your mental resilience.

And I’m not saying this only because I’ve read some studies about this fact.

I’m saying it because I’ve experienced it firsthand.

Like many, I used to underestimate the impact of a healthy lifestyle on my mental state.

But once I started prioritizing exercise, focusing on a more nutritious diet, and ensuring I got enough sleep, I noticed a significant shift in my mental strength.

Everything has changed in my life.

It’s fascinating how interconnected our physical and mental well-being are, right?

The purpose of engaging in physical activities isn’t just staying fit or looking good. It’s about releasing endorphins, reducing stress, and boosting our overall mood.

Similarly, a balanced diet fuels not just our body but our brain too, affecting our mood and energy levels. And let’s not forget the power of good sleep.

In essence, self-care is a multi-dimensional approach. It’s about treating our bodies well to keep our minds strong. 

Is your mental strength hidden in plain sight?

Reflecting on the behaviors we’ve discussed, it’s clear that mental strength often manifests in subtle but significant ways.

To wrap up, let’s take a moment to consider some key takeaways:

  • Embrace change: Life is full of unexpected turns. Being adaptable and embracing these changes is a cornerstone of mental resilience.
  • Practice gratitude: A simple ‘thank you’ to life’s experiences, good or bad, can shift your perspective and strengthen your mental fortitude.
  • Learn from mistakes: Viewing mistakes as lessons rather than failures is a powerful way to build mental toughness.
  • Self-sare is crucial: Never underestimate the power of taking care of your physical health for mental well-being.

And in the end, if you’re showing any of these behaviors, give yourself some credit. Why?

Because you’re likely more mentally strong than you realize. 

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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