- Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker, mental strength coach, and international bestselling author.
- She explains that sometimes our own thoughts can hold us back, especially if we tend to dwell on negative events, insecurities, and self-doubt.
- Morin says it's important to confront thoughts like "I'm not good enough" or "I'm too damaged," and replace them with self-empathy by instead saying "I am worth it" or "I'm a survivor."
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Many of the things you tell yourself aren't true. And there's a good chance you've bought into some unhealthy beliefs over the years.
In the therapy world, we call these "cognitive distortions." We all have them. Learning to recognize these lies we tell ourselves and replace them with healthier, more realistic statements is key to building mental strength.
But letting go of beliefs you cling to and reframing your unhealthy thoughts isn't always easy.
Your brain will do everything it can to keep you inside your comfort zone. It will underestimate you. It will fill your head with self-doubt. And it will try to convince you that you don't belong.
Believing all these lies will drain you of the mental strength you need to feel and do your best.
So the choice is yours. Do you want your brain to be your best asset or your worst enemy?
Here are seven lies to stop telling yourself right now if you want to become mentally stronger:
1. "I'm not good enough"
Everyone believes this lie at one time or another. Whether you think you're not smart enough, attractive enough, or ambitious enough, believing you don't measure up can wreak havoc on your self-worth and performance.
If you're convinced you're not good enough, chances are you won't try. You won't put in the effort and work needed to create your dream life.
2. "Other people will hold me back"
Other people may tell you that you can't succeed. They might not pick you for a promotion. They may even try to stand in your way when you tell them about your dreams.
But convincing yourself that other people will prevent you from reaching goals will only hold you back. If you believe you can't trust anyone or think everyone is out to get you, you won't develop the support team needed to thrive. Your relationships will suffer, and your decisions will be negatively affected.
3. "I can't stand it"
Quitting your job because you think you can't tolerate one more second of being in the office means you've convinced yourself that you can't handle being uncomfortable.
A subtle shift from thinking "I can't stand this " to "I'm choosing not to do this " can make all the difference in the world. Empower yourself to make good decisions based on the fact that you want something better for yourself, not because you lack the skills and confidence to handle discomfort.
4. "My mental health issues keep me from being strong"
Some of the strongest people I've ever met were battling depression and anxiety.
Mental health is a lot like physical health. You can choose to do exercises that make you strong even when dealing with a health condition. Becoming stronger is all about the choices you make on a daily basis. So remind yourself that no matter what you're battling, you can choose to do something to build mental strength today.
5. "I don't have the willpower"
Everyone has willpower. It's up to you to create an environment that helps you preserve it. (Don't keep ice cream in the freezer if it sabotages your diet every night.)
Telling yourself that you lack willpower will give you an excuse to give in to temptation. Ultimately, it can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
6. "I'm too damaged"
Believing that your emotional wounds have left you too damaged to succeed gives those old hurts power over your present and future.
Your scars can be proof that you're a survivor rather than a victim. If you're struggling to work through something that happened to you, seek professional help. A therapist can help you heal old wounds and turn your struggles into superpowers.
7. "I'm too different"
You'll never reach your greatest potential if you waste all your energy trying to fit in. Standing out from the crowd can be a good thing.
The truth is you probably aren't as different as you think. But there are plenty of ways to capitalize on your differences in a way that helps you become your best.
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