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How to Be Strong Minded

Four Parts:Building ConfidenceGaining Emotional ResilienceLearning WillpowerDefining Your Purpose

A strong mind is persistent, determined and decisive. It is a characteristic of successful people, high-level athletes and leaders. If you want to gain mental strength to help you face challenges and propel you toward your goals, you can build these qualities and be strong-minded.

Part 1
Building Confidence

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    Do a SWOT analysis. This is the act of listing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is hard to build confidence if you are not aware of your strengths and weaknesses. [1]
    • Divide a piece of paper into 4 areas. Focus on your strengths and weaknesses, coming up with no less than 10 strengths.
    • Opportunities and threats can be mental, vocational or lifestyle in nature. They are often the result of strengths and weaknesses interacting with your environment. You will learn how to manage threats and opportunities in the next section.
    • This is an important part of self-discovery. Consider it a building block to tackling your goals by understanding how you work best.
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    Engage in rational positive thinking. Strategize how you can use your strengths to achieve new opportunities. Envisioning a positive result can help you to see yourself completing something and build confidence in your abilities.
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    Break down your week, month and year into small goals. You gain confidence by improving self-efficacy and self-esteem. As you reach interim goals, you will see how valuable you are. Be constantly learning.
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    Don’t compare yourself to others. Strong-minded people are confident and resilient no matter how other people are performing. If you are going to compare, it should be against goals you have made and achieved in the past, to show how you’ve grown.
    • Although strong-minded people are often in competitive fields, such as sales, athletics, politics and academics, they win by being able to move past competitive pressures.

Part 2
Gaining Emotional Resilience

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    Gain awareness of your feelings. Get into the habit of asking yourself how you feel about something. Your immediate reaction may not be indicative of your feelings.
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    Accept feelings. Recognize them and move on, so that you can look problem solving. If you bury the feelings, it will be harder to face problems with a strong mind.
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    Keep perspective in troublesome situations. When bad things happen, the mind may consider it “the worst” situation. However, by viewing it as a just a small step to achieving goals, you can avoid blowing things out of proportion.
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    Understand that mistakes and change are necessary in life. They will set you on a path that may be even better. Aim to fix situations sooner, rather than later.
    • Avoid perfectionism. A strong-minded person should not aim to cut out all mistakes, but rather, to move past them with purpose.
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    Be an optimist. Classify “problems” as “opportunities.” View each situation as a way to make a positive change.
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    Become action-oriented. Take a problem-solving approach to life, attempting to move forward, rather than being static. You must have the courage to move forward. [2]
    • In some cases, courage is simply not allowing yourself to run away from a problem.

Part 3
Learning Willpower

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    Look at your weaknesses in your SWOT exercise. Decide if they are from a lack of willpower. If you listed laziness, procrastination or harmful habits, you can address them by learning self-discipline and willpower.
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    Start a sport. Sports training at an early age is a good way to teach self-discipline. Sign up for an event or league that forces you to train several times per week. [3]
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    Develop healthy habits. The act of doing something each day, despite the fact that it is not as fun as a bad habit, can help you associate willpower with reward. The following are some small, good habits to start.
    • Take the stairs, instead of the elevator, each day. As you follow this habit, you can find your laziness has less of a hold on you.
    • Do the dishes immediately after dinner, or during your preparation time. Dishes are easier to do when the food hasn’t dried on the surface. Many problems are also easier to fix right away, than waiting for them to develop.
    • Go for a healthy breakfast, rather than a sugary doughnut, cereal or cake. The decisions you make at the beginning of the day set the tone for all the decisions you make later on. [4]
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    Cut out a bad habit. After you know how to start a good habit, you can tackle bigger willpower challenges more confidently. Try cutting out 1 problem that requires a lot of willpower, such as smoking, sugar-addiction, TV or Internet overuse or eating fast food.
    • Give yourself a reasonable time period to accomplish your task. For example, a period between 1 and 3 months.
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    Do the things you dislike first. Make a to-do list and try to eliminate the things you dread first. This exercise in self-discipline may result in a stronger mind and a more enjoyable day.

Part 4
Defining Your Purpose

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    Set long-term goals. After gaining confidence, emotional resilience and willpower, you need to find a set of goals that you are determined to achieve. [5]
    • Some sources think that life-long goals are the key to strong-mindedness. If you set reasonable goals for retirement, work, family relationships, health and spiritual fitness, you may find yourself more decisive and steadfast throughout your life.
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    Break the long-term goals down into short-term goals. Set weekly, monthly and yearly goals.
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    Make sure your goals are “human goals.” If it is impossible for 1 person to achieve these goals, they are not reasonable. A goal must be rational or you will not believe you can achieve it.
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    Consider moral and spiritual goals, as well as concrete goals. Set tenants by which you can live your life. You will gain further confidence in your decision-making if you can stick to a “code.”


  • Beware that strong-mindedness and hard-headedness are often seen as qualities that go hand in hand. Embracing mistakes and accepting that you can be wrong are good ways to avoid being difficult and inflexible.

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Categories: Assertiveness & Self Esteem