6 Bad Habits Holding Back Your Mental Strength

Updated: Jun 9

Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, mental strength coach, and the international bestselling author of "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," "13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do," and "13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don't Do."

Amy sat down with Business Insider to share her insight on the world of mental health, specifically what it takes to develop mental strength.

During her time as a therapist, she noticed that the main reason why most people aren’t as mentally strong as they can be is because they fail to set themselves up for success.

“You need to create a lifestyle that assists in reaching your goals. You must also eliminate the obstacles that are draining your mental strength and sabotaging your efforts.”

Below are six reasons you aren’t mentally strong as you should be, according to Morin.

You aren’t setting limits on energy vampires

Negative energy is draining but it can be tough to surround yourself with positive people at all times, especially when you have a family member you don’t want to cut out of your life. This doesn’t mean you can’t set limits like declining an invitation to an event, excusing yourself from unproductive banter or simply saying “no” to certain requests. Create healthy boundaries that ensure you are focusing your energy on the people and things you value most.

You believe your brain more than you should.

If you want to grow stronger, you have to accept that you are more capable and competent than your brain sometimes gives you credit for. Basically, get out of your comfort zone. While failing feels bad, you're resilient enough to handle the discomfort.

You avoid things that scare you

Doing things that scare you a little helps you grow stronger. If you are never scared, you aren’t growing to your full potential. Plus, once you’ve done something that scares you, like a virtual pitch or virtual open house tour, you’ll have no problem doing it a hundred more times.

You don’t pay attention to your emotions.

Feelings cloud judgement and can negatively affect the decisions your making. Invest a few minutes into thinking about how you're feeling. Just naming your emotions can help you gain insight into how your feelings affect the way you think and the action you're likely to take. Labeling your feelings can also help take a bit of the sting out.

You’re too busy.

As agents, we know that you are constantly working. But a full calendar also leaves little room for reflection, personal development, and mental strength training. Try and practice mindfulness so that you become more effective in every aspect of life.

You aren’t intentional about your media consumption.

Everything from the news you watch, to the people you follow on social media, affects your mental fitness.

Research consistently shows that news stories increase our anxiety. Allowing yourself to be bombarded by the news all day long can cause you to focus on catastrophic events.

Studies also show that our mood tends to plummet after spending just a few minutes on social media. We tend to compare ourselves to other people and assume they live better lives than we do.

Being more intentional about your media consumption can help you stay strong. In fact, you can even use media to help you build mental muscle. Follow inspirational people on social media, use apps that help you stick to healthier habits, and take online courses that help you develop a healthier mindset.