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Mental strength test can be revealing
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Forsyth County News

Do you consider yourself to be mentally strong?

I’ve never thought much about it, but recently read an interesting article and wanted to share it.

The author of the Forbes article, titled “Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid,” is written by Cheryl Conner and contains a list compiled by Amy Morin, a licensed clinical social worker.

There are 13 things Morin says that mentally strong people don’t do. See how you fare.

• Waste time feeling sorry for themselves. I suppose that’s fairly obvious.

 Mentally strong people — and I would say most of them are leaders — don’t blame others for their problems. They take responsibility for their lives and don’t sit around throwing “pity parties.”

• Give away their power. Morin stresses that mentally strong people don’t allow others to make them feel bad about themselves.

This made me think about “mean girls” in middle and high school. I well remember how many times I “coached” our two daughters about not letting those mean girls make them feel inferior.

• Shy away from change. Reading this one, I felt my mental strength begin to crack a bit. Instead of resisiting change, Morin said mentally strong people tend to not only embrace it, but seek it.

While I accept change (when it happens, what else can you really do), I wouldn’t say I look for it. Reading about this made me think perhaps this is something I need to work on. Maybe.

• Waste energy on things they can’t control. This is an important one. I have always struggled with worry, which does zap your energy. At this point, my mental strength is looking a little shaky.

• Worry about pleasing others. Morin says that while mentally strong people are respectful of others, they’re not afraid to “speak up” and voice their opinions.

I may not have “doormat” tattooed on my forehead, but I will admit confrontation is not something I enjoy.

Part of that is probably because I am Southern. We like everybody to get along and think we can solve most problems with a slice of cake and some sweet tea. We know how to smile even while delivering bad news. We can even soften bad news in many cases.

• Fear taking calculated risks. I’ve never bought a lottery ticket. I don’t gamble. Risk terrifies me. My mental strength feels pretty challenged at this point.

• Dwell on the past. I don’t think I dwell on it, per se, but I sure love to walk down memory lane.

My favorite thing to watch is old home movies. I love seeing our children laughing or crying, and hearing their sweet little voices. I also love reading my old journals.

I didn’t think I was a past dweller, but am guessing Ms. Morin would beg to differ. Well, she wouldn’t “beg,” since I’m sure she is super mentally strong.

• Make the same mistakes over and over. I try to learn from my mistakes. I try not to make them again. I know all about the definition of insanity.

I’m not always successful, but I don’t give up on myself. Doesn’t that count as mental strength?

• Resent other people’s success. Whew, here’s one I can promise I don’t do. I love to see friends and family members succeed. I love when people achieve their dreams and goals.

• Give up after failure. I have failed at enough things in life to understand wanting to give up. Rejection, no matter who you are, never feels good. Mentally strong people just keep trying.

• Fear time alone. I love being alone. Yes, I love people too, but even as a child, I loved spending time by myself.

• Feel the world owes them anything. Mentally strong people don’t suffer from entitlement issues. I’m afraid our society as a whole is not very mentally strong. Too many people in our country do feel the world owes them quite a bit.

• Expect immediate results. According to Morin, mentally strong people know success takes time.

I think the list is interesting. It certainly made me think about my own mental strength.

It looks like I don’t do about half of these things. If it were a test, I’m pretty sure that means I failed.

Well, I’m not going to dwell on the past and give up. Instead, I’m going to go be alone and strategize ways to improve my mental strength.

To all of you, Happy New Year!


Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at