mentally strong

By Taylor Stauffer

Really, it’s a bit of a misnomer to refer to ‘mentally strong leaders’.

Most leaders, by definition, are mentally strong. But like the chicken and the egg argument, which came first? The leadership or the strength?

Most successful leaders started out with many of these strong traits in their back pockets, but their time in leadership roles has honed them so that they have become a real part of their personality.

1. Embrace change and challenges

A mentally strong person will not shy away from change or challenges in life and in business. In fact, they will invariably see adversity as an opportunity, not a negative. There is a willingness to act outside of their comfort zone, for a greater result.

2. Take (calculated) risks

Risk for the sake of it is not on the agenda for a mentally strong person, but a calculated risk that could result in a valuable result is something they will engage in. That’s because, at its foundation, a calculated risk is evaluated based on logic, not gut.

3. Willingness to fail

Intertwined with the willingness to take a risk is the willingness to fail. One comes with the other! Mentally strong people maintain a constant state of relative optimism. That is, while they’re not mired in negative thoughts of failure, but they aren’t blindly optimistic either. Instead, they live in a happy medium where they prefer to see the positive but are open to reality.

4. Celebrate others

As with any personality that leans towards a good dose of self-confidence, the mentally strong person will always and happily celebrate the successes of others. That’s because they understand the merit that comes with achieving things and a core belief that none of us succeed alone.

5. Think wisely

Time is a finite thing when you consider our mortality. Mentally strong people tend to be able to think ‘bigger picture’, remove the extraneous details that don’t matter or aren’t worth worrying about and keep focused. This is the best use of their time and energy.

6. Maintain core beliefs

Even in the face of opposition, a mentally strong person will stay true to their core beliefs. Not in a stubborn way: they are always open to being disproved by others and will modify their beliefs if convinced. But they will also not sway in their beliefs because of peer pressure or some vague nod to popularity. They’re comfortable in their way of thinking and will defend it, if necessary.

7. Focus on that which you can control

Too many of us spend a lot of time fussing about things that we can do nothing about. Mentally strong people take stock of whatever they are dealing with and make cogent plans for managing the issue, rather than worrying about it.

8. Learn from, and make peace with, the past

Whenever a past decision turns out to not have the positive results expected, a mentally strong person won’t dwell on the result. Instead, they’ll review it, take responsibility for it, see what can be learned from the experience and move on. Viewing failure as an opportunity to learn and grow is in their nature.

9. Spend time alone

There’s a great line in the 1995 movie Sabrina. Fanny Ardant, playing an editor at Vogue France, says to the young and impressionable Sabrina, “You seem embarrassed by loneliness, by being alone. But it’s only a place to start.” It’s so true!

Whether to get a handle on their thoughts, work through a problem or simply relax, mentally strong people are comfortable spending time alone; indeed, they look forward to it.

10. Practice gratitude and kindness

Being grateful and kind are choices that we make. We can choose to be those things vis-a-vis other people and situations. A mentally strong person will practice gratitude and embody kindness whenever they can because they know that these two attitudes can help keep any problem they might have in proper perspective.

An effective way to be mindful and remain grounded in gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal. This ‘secret ingredient’ to happy, productive lives is one that mentally strong people are aware of and embrace.


About LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) Monday Morning Minute is crafted to provide decision-makers with important information about the economy, investments and corporate retirement plans in a format that allows a reader to consume the information in less than 60 seconds. As an independent, objective investment adviser, LRPC has access to many sources of research and shares the best and most relevant information with its readers each week.

About Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based independent, objective Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) providing investment advisory, fiduciary compliance, employee education, provider management and plan design services to employer retirement plan sponsors. The firm specializes in Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) strategies for retirement plans and is a pioneer in the field. LRPC currently has contracts in place to provide consulting services on nearly a half billion dollars in plan assets. For more information, please contact Robert C. Lawton at (414) 828-4015 or or visit the firm’s website at Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser.

Important Disclosures

This information was developed as a general guide to educate plan sponsors and is not intended as authoritative guidance, tax, legal or investment advice. Each plan has unique requirements and you should consult your attorney or tax adviser for guidance on your specific situation. In no way does Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC assure that, by using the information provided, a plan sponsor will be in compliance with ERISA regulations. Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. The statements in this publication are the opinions and beliefs of the commentator expressed when the commentary was made and are not intended to represent that person’s opinions and beliefs at any other time. The commentary does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC and should not be construed as recommendations or investment advice. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC offers no tax, legal or accounting advice and any advice contained herein is not specific to any individual, entity or retirement plan, but rather general in nature and, therefore, should not be relied upon for specific investment situations. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser and accepts clients outside of Wisconsin based upon applicable state registration regulations and the “de minimus” exception.