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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 Hardcover – December 23, 2014
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"Her book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do details exactly the sort of destructive thinking you should cut out of your life if you want to radically increase your resilience. If you're looking to kick some bad mental habits and toughen yourself up, it's a great source of ideas to get you started." -Inc.
"Writing with intelligence and clarity, Morin presents concrete strategies to help readers shift from negativity to positivity. Her advice is crisp, precise and actionable." -Success
"Great thoughts from Amy Morin, LCSW in her new book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do. I recommend it." -John Maxwell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
"Each chapter delves further into the header, and provides positive and forward-thinking tactics on how to fix your flaw in logic. This is a fantastic book for anyone seeking a reality check." -Entrepreneur
"Morin's list of don'ts are applicable in every day life, not just during personal tragedy. Being aware of them can give an individual the power to withstand daily disappointments, setbacks and obstacles." -The Washington Post
From the Back Cover
The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Your Mental Strength
Everyone knows that regular exercise and weight training lead to physical strength. But how do we strengthen ourselves mentally for the truly tough times? And what should we do when we face these challenges? Or as psychotherapist Amy Morin asks, what should we avoid when we encounter adversity? Through her years counseling others and her own experiences navigating personal loss, Morin realized it is often the habits we cannot break that are holding us back from true success and happiness. Indulging in self-pity, agonizing over things beyond our control, obsessing over past events, resenting the achievements of others, or expecting immediate positive results holds us back. This list of things mentally strong people don't do resonated so much with readers that when it was picked up by Forbes.com it received ten million views.
Now, for the first time, Morin expands upon the thirteen things from her viral post and shares her tried-and-true practices for increasing mental strength. Morin writes with searing honesty, incorporating anecdotes from her work as a college psychology instructor and psychotherapist as well as personal stories about how she bolstered her own mental strength when tragedy threatened to consume her.
Increasing your mental strength can change your entire attitude. It takes practice and hard work, but with Morin's specific tips, exercises, and troubleshooting advice, it is possible to not only fortify your mental muscle but also drastically improve the quality of your life.
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Amy says she’s the only person in the psychology industry who is talking about mental strength on a global level, and I’m delighted that’s she’s bringing the weight of science to this topic (likening mental strength to something you can improve with practice and discipline just like physical health).
She encourages readers to adopt certain mental strength-building strategies by first looking at what mentally strong people don’t do.
Here’s the full list:
1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves
2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power.
3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change
4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control
5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone
6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks
7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past
8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over
9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success
10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure
11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time
12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything
13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results
I thought each of one of the above is important, but given my assignment I’m going to focus on thing they don’t do #6: They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks.
Amy says that all too often people stop themselves from taking a risk because it evokes a strong fear response. The problem is we don’t even investigate the thoughts and beliefs that triggered the fear response in the first place.
We simply decide not to think about it or its consequences at all. And without understanding the beliefs that created the fear, or the potential outcomes of taking a risk even when we do, we end up completely avoiding risky ideas or dreams altogether.
The bottom line is, most of us don’t really invest much time calculating which risks to take and which risks to avoid. Instead, we base our decisions on emotion or habit.
If it feels too scary, we avoid the risk.
But here’s where it gets interesting: Amy tells us if we’re excited about the possible benefits, we’re more likely to work through the challenges that the risk presents. So we really need to be willing to work with our fears in order to transform them.
What I know for sure is that everything we want is outside of our comfort zone.
To quote Amy Morin from 13 Things, “If we only take risks that make us the most comfortable, we’re likely missing out on some great opportunities. Taking calculated risks often mean the difference between living a mediocre life and living an extraordinary life.”
I found Amy’s book helpful in so many ways, and I highly encourage you to read 13 Things: she provides many, many helpful checklists, tools, tips and strategies for becoming mentally strong and living the life of your dreams.
In the chapter about taking calculated risks, she even provides a comprehensive list of questions to ask yourself to help create your own risk/benefit analysis.
If you have ever felt stuck or small in the past and want a new way of evaluating clear next steps for building your mental strength, you’ll love this book!
These thirteen habits don't just help you get through grief, they will help you develop mental strength. Here are some parts of 13 THINGS I thought were especially good:
♦ Developing mental strength requires three different steps: First thoughts, second behavior, third emotions.
♦ We have to balance our emotions with rational thinking: "We make our best decisions in life when we balance our emotions with rational thinking."
♦ One of the first chapters shows the problems with self-pity: "Feeling sorry for yourself is itself destructive. It leads to new problems and can have serious consequences." Instead of wallowing in pity, Amy suggests exchanging self pity for gratitude. The author cites a 2003 study in the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology," which shows that people who feel gratitude don't get sick as often as others.
♦ A big mistake is a sense of entitlement: "Get over yourself. Develop self awareness of your sense of entitlement.
♦ A big obstacle to mental strength is giving other people power over you: "Giving other people the power to control how you think, feel, and behave makes it impossible to be mentally strong."
♦ This book is filled with lots of practical suggestions. Here's one simple one: "When you receive criticism or feedback from others, wait a beat before responding. If you're upset or emotionally reactive, take the time to calm down."
♦ Learn from prior mistakes: "Establish behavior that will replace previous behavior. Instead of drinking alcohol to cope with stress, a person could identify alternative strategies, such as going for a walk or calling a friend." Looking at prior mistakes in a positive way helps you to learn so that you don't repeat them again.
Finally, in order to maintain mental strength, try coaching yourself. Follow these steps: First monitor your behavior, secondly regulate your emotions, thirdly think about your thoughts.
√ Wow! All in all, 13 THINGS is a practical, well-written book by someone who knows what she is talking about--both professionally as well as personally. I learned a lot of good, practical ideas. At the conclusion of the book the author provides references to support her various conclusions.
♫ A Review by Chris Lawson
Note: I do not know the author of this book, and no one requested I write this review.