13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do Book Summary - 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do Book explained in key points
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13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do summary

Amy Morin

Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success

4.6 (4058 ratings)
40 mins

Brief summary

"13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do" by Amy Morin offers a blueprint to develop mental strength which includes identifying and avoiding the self-limiting beliefs and behaviours that hold us back in life.

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    13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do
    Summary of 13 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 13

    Mentally strong people replace self-pity with gratitude.

    One day, Amy Morin witnessed a minor accident: two cars in a supermarket parking lot were backing up and bumped into each other. Morin watched the two drivers get out of the car and she couldn’t help noticing something. Even though those drivers just experienced the same accident, their reactions couldn’t have been more different. The first driver got out and looked almost relieved. How lucky he was that no one was seriously hurt! How miraculous that this hadn’t led to a serious injury! The second driver, however, felt rather unlucky: Oh great, he moaned. Just exactly what he needed! Why does this BS always happen to him

    So, what’s the point? Well, the second driver is a perfect example of the first behavior that mentally strong people don’t do: he is pitying himself. He is sulking, dwelling in his misfortune, throwing a pity party. People who pity themselves tend to think their problems are much worse. They complain that life is not fair and when you ask them how their day went, they will readily hand you a list of all the things that went wrong. 

    But as common as it is, it’s also a problem. Because feeling sorry for yourself can be quite self-destructive. You're not only wasting your time; you’re also training your mind to focus on the negatives. Which will make you more miserable, and this in turn will make you focus even more on the downsides. Meanwhile, all the good luck and positive experiences pass by unnoticed.

    So, yes, self-pity is destructive. But how can you stop? Well, the most effective antidote is gratitude. If you’re stuck in a mindset of “Bad things are always happening to me,” just stop for a second. Sit down and write a list of the good things that have happened to you. To make it more regular, you can also keep a gratitude journal. All you have to do is write down at least one thing you are grateful for per day. Also, it helps to say it out loud – tell the people around you what life has gifted you. 

    Sooner or later, you might find yourself in the mindset of the first driver. Instead of complaining about a minor accident, you’ll actually feel thankful that nothing worse has happened. Which brings you one step closer to becoming a mentally strong person.

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    What is 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do about?

    13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do (2014) explains how to develop great mental strength by taking control of your emotions, thoughts, and actions. With useful tips, inspiring examples, and practical solutions, this book will help you overcome your fears and start living life to the fullest.

    Best quote from 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

    Retaining your power is about being confident in who you are and the choices you make, despite the people around you and the circumstances youre in.

    —Amy Morin
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    Who should read 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do?

    • People struggling in the face of their own failures and peers’ success
    • Parents who can’t calmly communicate with their children
    • Anyone who needs extra encouragement to live out their dreams

    About the Author

    Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, is a regular columnist for Forbes, where she writes about business and psychology. She is also the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. 

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