13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Summary Review & Takeaways

This is a summary review of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do containing key details about the book.

What is 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do About?

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do teaches us that increasing our mental strength can change our entire attitude. It takes practice and hard work, but with the author's specific tips, exercises, and troubleshooting advice, it is possible to not only fortify our mental muscles but also drastically improve the quality of our life.

Who is the Author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do?

Amy Morin is a licensed clinical social worker, college psychology instructor, and psychotherapist. She's also the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast.

What are 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.

Book details

  • Print length: 272 Pages
  • Audiobook: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Genre: Self Help, Nonfiction, Psychology

What are the chapters in 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do?

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

What are good 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

What do critics say?

Here's what one of the prominent reviewers had to say about the book: "Kick bad mental habits and toughen yourself up." — Inc.

* The summary points above have been concluded from the book and other public sources. The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any published quotes, chapters, or takeaways

Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. 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 journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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