Books: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin

This is one of those common sense books. You know, where you read it and it doesn't tell you anything you wouldn't already know if you just thought about it for a moment. But Morin has thought about it for you, and organized the information into neat checklists and examples, so that's nice.

Here's the 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 focus 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

For details on these, read the book. But I will call out one thing that struck me. There's a chapter on not giving away your power, but then in the chapter on not focusing on what you can't control there is a header that reads: "Giving Up Control Will Make You Stronger." And yes, I see the difference, but for a second it does feel a bit like conflicting information.

In truth, mentally strong people have enough faith in themselves and their personal power to give up trying to control things they can't. They know how to let go. (Really strong ones even know how to delegate the things they could do themselves because they have learned to pick their battles and prioritize.)

I'll admit, it makes one cringe a bit to read the checklists and realize something like "expecting immediate results" is an issue for you. (Yeah, okay, I'm impatient!) But for people ready and willing to look at themselves in the mirror and admit their flaws, this is a handy book. And it's kind of nice when you can look at a chapter and know that's definitely one area where you're all good. Too, by figuring out how many boxes you tick on any of the lists, you can get a sense of how much or how little a problem affects you. I "scored" relatively low on a number of these, but higher on two or three, so I know to focus my efforts there.

As I said, it's all pretty common sense, but what Morin offers is suggestions of how to rectify these problems should they be ones you struggle with. Along with identifying your problem areas, each chapter offers bullet points on ways to change yourself for the better. Think of it as a book that allows you to self-diagnose and, to an extent, also provides a cure.

**Of course a book should never stand in for professional help if and when needed.**

The reason I picked up this book was because I needed to figure out why I kept losing my motivation and feeling defeated. 13 Things helped me zero in on a couple areas and gave me new ways to think about things so that I don't feel like a failure. Well . . . Okay, change doesn't happen overnight. It takes work to change the way you think and feel. Like building a muscle. Right now I have to actively remind myself to turn my thoughts around, but eventually it will become habit (I hope). And I have this book to thank for giving me those tools.

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