- Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker, mental strength coach, and international bestselling author.
- She says she works to help people be confident in making their own choices and career decisions, even if coworkers or family members disapprove.
- Morin says mentally strong people let go of people who don’t support them, establish personal and professional boundaries, and ignore unsolicited advice.
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One of my coaching clients recently decided to give up his high paying corporate job so he could live in an RV and start a blog.
While his new lifestyle might not sound too outrageous to many modern-day entrepreneurs, his colleagues and loved ones were shocked by his radical lifestyle shift. Their criticism caught him off guard, and caused him to second guess his decision.
He reached out to me, a mental strength coach, because he was concerned they might be right — was he experiencing some sort of life crisis?
Fortunately, he wasn’t having a midlife crisis. He was redesigning his life to be more in line with his values. And if he was comfortable with his choices, it was OK if his friends and family disapproved.
Our sessions involved helping him see that he could be a kind and caring person without being a people-pleaser. He could choose his career and live life on his own terms without caring if everyone approved — and that made him mentally strong, not unkind.
Here are 10 habits of mentally strong professionals who aren’t concerned with what other people think:
1. They let go of people who aren’t interested in them
Whether they were ghosted after a third date or their old roommate stops returning their calls, you won’t catch a mentally strong person begging anyone to stay in their lives. They don’t compromise their values in an attempt to be liked nor do they wish anyone harm if they choose to leave.
2. They express their emotions in healthy ways
Mentally strong people are willing to say things that might not sound cool, like, “I’m nervous about this,” or “I’m sad that this is ending.” Even when their feelings aren’t shared by those around them, they’re willing to express their emotions in a healthy way.
3. They respectfully share their opinions
They don’t agree with others just to keep the peace. Instead, mentally strong people are willing to share their opinions, but they do so in a respectful way. They’re open-minded enough to respect people who don’t share their opinions and bold enough to speak their truth.
4. They use empowering language
You won’t hear a mentally strong person apologize for taking up space or beg for a chance to speak. But you will hear them use empowering language that exudes confidence in themselves. So rather than say, “I’m so sorry I won’t be able to make it,” they’re more likely to say, “Thank you for the invitation but I am not able to attend.”
5. They establish healthy boundaries
Mentally strong people know it’s up to them to set the rules on how they want to be treated. When people violate those rules — whether it’s a friend who doesn’t pay them back or it’s a coworker who is patronizing — they speak up and protect their boundaries.
6. They show all sides of themselves
While they don’t necessarily talk to their boss the exact same way as they speak to their old college buddies, mentally strong people don’t change who they are just to make other people feel more comfortable.
They’re comfortable in their own skin and aren’t afraid to show that they’re multi-dimensional people who can appreciate many different things in life.
7. They experiment
They don’t confine themselves to certain labels in life — like “artistic” or “shy.” They’re not afraid to experiment with new things, explore new career paths, and meet new people. They know they can grow, change, and become whomever they choose to be over time.
8. They use empowering language
Mentally strong people apologize when they’ve hurt someone. But they don’t apologize for being human and they don’t insist they’re sorry just to prevent someone from getting upset.
They’re much more likely to say things like, “I appreciate your patience,” rather than, “I’m so sorry it took me four hours to reply to your email.” They give themselves permission to be imperfect and use language that empowers them to feel worthy.
9. They ignore unsolicited advice
Mentally strong people don’t waste their time arguing with trolls on social media or worrying about criticism from people who don’t know them. They turn to their trusted advisors in life when they need guidance, and tune out the unsolicited advice that comes their way.
10. They own their success
While it can feel uncomfortable to hear compliments, mentally strong people are willing to accept them. Rather than minimize positive feedback by saying, “Oh, it was nothing,” they own their success. They acknowledge their hard work and effort, and aren’t afraid to talk about their skills and talents.