Mental strength takes a long time to develop.

It is the daily practice of pushing yourself to grow stronger, maintaining realistic optimism, and setting healthy boundaries. Mentally strong people don’t do things like waste time feeling sorry for themselves or give away their power to other people.

How do you know where you fall on the spectrum? We asked psychotherapist Amy Morin, the author of “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.”

Morin shared the following 21 signs you’re mentally stronger than average, which we’ve listed here in her words:

1. You balance emotions with logic.

Mentally strong people understand how their emotions can influence their thinking. In an effort to make the best decisions possible, they balance their emotions with logic.  

2. You choose productive behavior.

While it may be tempting to make excuses, complain about other people, and avoid difficult circumstances, mentally strong people refuse to waste time on unproductive activities.

3. You feel confident in your ability to adapt to change.

Mentally strong people know that although change is uncomfortable, it’s tolerable. They focus their energy on adapting to change, rather than resisting it.

4. You face the fears that hold you back.

While mentally strong people don’t need to conquer fears because they have something to prove to others, they do strive to face the fears that hold them back.

5. You learn from your mistakes.

Mentally strong people don’t hide or excuse their mistakes. Instead, they learn from them.

6. You balance self-acceptance with self-improvement.

Mentally strong people accept themselves for who they are, while simultaneously recognizing their need for personal development.


7. You genuinely celebrate other people’s success.

Mentally strong people cooperate — rather than compete — with those around them. They don’t feel as though other people’s success somehow diminishes their own achievements.  Be happy when others succeed.

8. You are comfortable living according to your values.

Mentally strong people make decisions with relative ease because they understand their priorities and they live according to their values.

9. You focus on sharpening your skills, rather than showing them off.

While some people seek validation from others, mentally strong people are less concerned about gaining recognition. Instead, they’re intrinsically motivated to become better.

10. You live an authentic life.

Mentally strong people are true to themselves. Their words are in line with their behavior.

11. You view life’s hardships as opportunities for growth.

While hardship causes some people to grow bitter, mentally strong people let adversity make them better.

12. Your self-worth depends on who you are, not what you achieve.

Mentally strong people feel good about themselves, whether they win or lose.

Jim Rogash/Stringer/Getty ImagesRemember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

13. You practice delayed gratification.

Mentally strong people view their goals as a marathon, not a sprint. They’re willing to tolerate short-term pain when it can provide long-term gain.

14. You bounce back from failure.

Mentally strong people don’t view failure as the end of the road. Instead, they use their failed attempts as opportunities to gain knowledge that will increase their chances of success in the future.

15. You’re a realistic optimist.

Mentally strong people are able to look for the silver lining and think on the bright side, but they don’t allow their optimistic tendencies to blind them to reality.

16. You accept personal responsibility for your choices.

Mentally strong people don’t needlessly beat themselves up, but they do accept complete responsibility for their actions.

17. You express gratitude.

Rather than exclaim they need more, mentally strong people acknowledge they have more than they need.

18. You focus on what you can control.

Mentally strong people are effective and productive in life because they devote their resources to the things they can control.

19. You engage in active problem-solving.

Mentally strong people don’t dwell on the problem — instead, they create solutions.

20. You’re open to learning more from all that surrounds you.

Mentally strong people are constantly learning from their circumstances and the people they encounter every day.

21. You work on your weaknesses, rather than masking them.

While many people work hard to disguise their vulnerabilities, mentally strong people invest their energy into improving their shortcomings.