13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Takeaways and Key Points Book Summary

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do is a guide to mastering your mental strength. The author, Amy Morin, incorporates anecdotes from her work as a psychotherapist as well as personal stories of how she had to bolster her own mental struggles.

Some of the key things mentally strong people don't do are:
- They don't blame themselves for other people's actions
- They don't dwell on their mistakes
- They don't give up after a failure
- They believe in themselves no matter what
- They take care of their body with healthy food and exercise
- They stay present in the moment instead of worrying about future or regretting past events
- They let go of toxic relationships to avoid being dragged down by negativity around them

Read on to find out more.

My key Takeaways from 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

Takeaway #1: Mentally strong people are able to shift from self-pity into gratitude.

Life undeniably has difficult times, and no person is immune to them. A mentally strong reaction to these hardships is to reject the notion of defeat and self-pity and to replace it with one of gratitude. The ability to do this is available to everyone. Research and psychological publications both disclose that a capacity for gratitude can better people’s physical health by improving their immune system, sleep, and exercise habits. Grateful individuals have also demonstrated better health and strength than those less grateful individuals.

Takeaway #2: Mentally strong people are able to forgive others.

Forgiveness is a conscious deliberate decision to forgive others for the wrongdoings directed towards them. Behavioral research findings have indicated that when unconditional forgiveness is achieved, subjects benefit from an increased life expectancy and reduced stress, as opposed to individuals that opt to forgive conditionally. Remaining incapable of forgiveness, combined with retaining feelings of resentment and anger, can detrimentally impact lifetime achievement. The ability to forgive and to not permit others to govern your thoughts and actions takes both effort and mental strength. Examples of mentally strong individuals that have worked hard to overcome negativity can be observed daily and by popular icons such as Oprah Winfrey and Madonna. These successful individuals chose to set free past transgressions through forgiveness, and in turn seized the power from those who harmed them, for themselves. This power shift can have massive positive effects on your psychological and physical state, as well as your life. Forgiveness gives you the power to succeed in a life you want and to not follow a predetermined blueprint of what others feel your life is worth.

Takeaway #3. Mental strength and perseverance can get you anywhere.

The ability to persevere, and overcome life’s biggest adversities through mental strength, is fundamental to achieve your personal goals. This is true, even if the circumstances that surround you appear insurmountable. There is a wealth of examples that show the power that personal resilience has on shaping a person’s life. The life story of Judge Greg Mathis is a case in point for how mental strength can propel you towards a better life path. As a young teen, he came into conflict with the law, and had a criminal record. Despite the challenges this posed for him, he was unwavering in his dedication to make a better life for himself. Through sheer will-power and mental fortitude, he overcame the barriers that his criminal record placed in front of him. He pursued a career in law, started a non-profit to help troubled youth; and eventually, he was elected by the city of Detroit to be a judge. Like Mathis, if you want to achieve your goals, you have to take control, and work every single day to get where you want to go, and live the life that you want to lead.

Takeaway #4. Mentally strong people don’t get distracted by what they can’t control.

You will have days where it feels like nothing is going right. But it’s important to not lose sight of the things that are within your control and those that aren't! Mentally strong people focus on what they can change and don't waste their time on the things they can`t. Furthermore, research shows this to be the type of mindset that leads to a happier life and better relationships with those around you.

Takeaway #5. Breaking the Habit of Being a People Pleaser

Many people don’t share their authentic emotions because they are afraid of hurting others and think it makes them weak. Being forthright and honest, while still being sensitive to others, is actually a sign of strength. For example, Angela was a people pleaser, especially when dating. When she met a young man, she would change herself to become someone that he liked. Further, she agreed with everything that he said to avoid confrontation. In the end, however, this practice always backfired because she wasn’t being herself. Another example: Moses Gingerich was raised in an Amish community. After becoming an adult, he questioned his commitment to the faith but was conflicted because of relationships. Eventually, he got the courage to walk away from his community. This bold decision led to a fulfilling life as a business owner and husband. Pleasing himself made his happiness soar.

Takeaway #6: Mentally strong people are not afraid of taking calculated risks.

Risk is a necessary part of life. A life without calculated risk can impede growth, hinder efforts to experience new situations and delay the discovery of individual capabilities. Mentally strong individuals analyze risk, by asking questions around what factors may trigger the risk, if timing can affect the risk, and if there is any way to minimize it. Fear and rejection are common risk factors that consistently keep people back in life. By analyzing risk, we think more rationally, are better prepared and can identify unjustified fears more easily, allowing the development of mental strength and risk-taking abilities.

Takeaway #7: Mentally strong people are able to come to terms with their past.

It’s no easy feat confronting a difficult past or unspeakable family history. Creating a new present and moving forward is not an easy or immediate process, and it calls for a mentally strong mindset. Accepting and forgiving your past, examining counterproductive attitudes, and giving yourself the green light to enjoy life again, are all strategies practiced by mentally strong individuals. By looking forward, past experiences can be used positively to improve your present life and the lives of those around you.

Takeaway #8: Mentally strong people are able to learn from their mistakes.

Repeating unhealthy habits is easy and a great deal of self-discipline is needed to stop this pattern of behavior. Mentally strong people consistently examine and learn from their mistakes, which enables them to change their behavior and avoid repeating similar mistakes in the future. You can apply this to your life by asking critical questions honestly and positively, such as, ‘’what did I do wrong?’’, ‘’what do I change next time?’’ and ‘’what can I do better?’’ To ensure you apply this information to your life, focus on how fantastic you will feel on completing your goal. Carry around and regularly peek at a list of reasons not to repeat your missteps and finally make it harder to repeat mistakes by restricting your options.

Takeaway #9: Mentally strong people are able to shift from jealousy into collaboration

Resentment and envy of others’ achievements are common human traits. Psychological studies have shown that in addition to resenting other’s successes, people take added pleasure in experiencing a successful person’s misfortunes than those less fortunate. Furthermore, participants in the psychological study experienced greater gratification observing successful people suffering, than viewing others, some even misfortune, receiving good fortune. Exchanging envy, anger, and resentfulness with support and collaboration can only give rise to more success. By working with people instead of resenting their success you harness their power, and support and motivate one another, which in turn attracts success and opportunity.

Takeaway #10: Mentally strong people don’t give up easily, and are able to embrace failure.

Success is often thought of as being instantaneous. Contrary to this belief, success comes after consistent repetitive failures, perseverance, and hard work. By identifying failure as an opportunity to learn and grow instead of a reason to give up, mentally strong individuals have the power to succeed. Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb, is a perfect example of a mentally strong individual. Edison suffered multiple failures and chose to persistently learn from these opportunities, before becoming a great inventor. Countless world-class athletes and musicians have also surpassed those previously identified with natural talent, through consistent practice after repeated failures. A self-compassionate mindset is a vital practice of mentally strong people. Perceiving failure as a way to success rather than considering it as shameful or unfair, can free you to overcome your fear of failure and can open endless new pathways to success.

Takeaway #11: Mentally strong people are resilient and comfortable being alone.

Being present with one’s thoughts is not a priority for many people. Most individuals deliberately remain distracted by external activities to avoid spending time alone. Mentally strong individuals do not fear but thrive on these moments of quiet reflection for inspiration and rejuvenation. This can be applied to your life by taking the time to reflect and jot down your life goals, uncovering any negative emotions that need confrontation, and identifying new dreams and goals for the future. Meditation is another powerful tool recognized by professionals and the mentally strong. Not only has research established that meditation positively alters the structure of the brain affecting cognition and emotional regulation but can also positively improve physical ailments and improve resilience.

Takeaway #12: Mentaly strong people concentrate on giving rather than taking.

Entitlement directs focus on what you believe is owed to you and not on the effort required to attain it. Mentally strong individuals focus on giving instead of expecting to receive unmerited success and fortune. Twenty-year-old Sarah Robinson is a perfect example of a mentally strong individual. Whilst suffering from a brain tumor she opted to assist others opposed to believing that due to her ailment, the world owed her something. By founding an overnight treatment center, stressed patients living further afield were able to receive treatment.

Takeaway #13: Mentally strong people recognize that achievements take time.

Studies have shown that 25 percent of people abandon their New Years’ resolutions after 15 weeks and some have indicated after only 1 week. Unrealistic and unachievable goals and expectations are the root cause of goals being abandoned. Mentally strong individuals recognize that progress is not always immediately noticeable and can sometimes look the opposite to progress. To avoid disappointment and to set realistic resolutions one must accept that change is hard, specifically when altering bad habits. Provide yourself with a comfortable, realistic timeline to achieve your goals while recognizing that this achievement will not revolutionize your life.



On average, 90% of what we read is forgotten within the first hours after reading... Which is why it’s so important to apply what you read.

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13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do Chapters

What is Mental Strength?
Chapter 1 - They Don't Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves
Chapter 2 - They Don't Give Away Their Power
Chapter 3 - They Don't Shy Away from Change
Chapter 4 - They Don't Focus on Things They Cant Control
Chapter 5 - They Don't Worry About Pleasing Everyone
Chapter 6 - They Don't Fear Taking Calculated Risks
Chapter 7 - They Don't Dwell on the Past
Chapter 8 - They Don't Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over
Chapter 9 - They Don't Resent Other People's Success
Chapter 10 - They Don't Give Up After the First Failure
Chapter 11 - They Don't Fear Alone Time
Chapter 12 - They Don't Feel the World Owes Them Anything
Chapter 13 - They Don't Expect Immediate Results
Conclusion: Maintaining Mental Strength

* Key Sources: Amazon, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do: Summary Review


Best Quotes from 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

“Developing mental strength isn’t about having to be the best at everything. It also isn’t about earning the most money or achieving the biggest accomplishments. Instead, developing mental strength means knowing that you’ll be okay no matter what happens.

"Retaining your power is about being confident in who you are and the choices you make, despite the people around you and the circumstances you’re in"

"We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present."

"When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness."

"When you learn to let go of the details you can’t control, the amount of time and energy you’ll be able to devote to the things you can control will give you the ability to accomplish incredible feats."

"Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies"

― Amy Morin, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success

About The Author

Amy Morin is a licensed clinical social worker, instructor at Northeastern University, and psychotherapist. Amy is a regular contributor to Verywell, CNBC, Forbes, Inc., and Psychology Today. She gave one of the most viewed TEDx talks of all time and was named the “self-help guru of the moment” by The Guardian.

About The Book

Genres: Self Help, Nonfiction, Psychology

Synopsis Summary: Master your mental strength—revolutionary new strategies that work for everyone from homemakers to soldiers and teachers to CEOs.

Editorial Review: Amy Morin's book will help you break the cycle of non-achievement and help you start living the life you've dreamed of. There are 13 critical ways to improve your mental strength, conquer your fears, and be the powerhouse you know you can be. (-Business Insider)


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Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.


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Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

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