Over the years I’ve been told by many people that I’m a strong individual, not physically strong but mentally strong. So naturally I wanted to figure out why I am this strong. And what made me this way or if I was born just this way.
To figure out the one secret, all you have to do is evaluate someone who you believe has went through hardship and came out the other side swinging.
What Is Mental Strength?
Mental strength is the ability of an individual to effectively deal with challenges, pressure, and stress while still performing at their best regardless of the circumstances. You can take this definition and use it for any thing you face. Having mental strength doesn’t mean that you have become cold to the world but that you are still kind to everyone you meet despite having gone through the worst.
Having mental strength is being calm while others are shaking.
Mental strength could be that you grew up in a racist town and you still to treat everyone kindly despite being discriminated against. Mental strength could be that you went through a break up and you didn’t turn to substances or pleasure to cope with the pain. It could even be that when you feel physical pain you are able to sit with it and not run and scream.
The One Secret To Having Mental Strength
The secret to mental and inner strength is voluntary discomfort. What this means is that you volunteer your discomfort. Recently I was so curious to why I just suddenly stopped feeling anxious in situation that would give people a lot of anxiety. It doesn’t matter how often you get yelled at, you will still feel something in your body. I work with the public, so you can imagine the kind of people who I deal with. I remember this one time this lady was yelling at me and naturally I evaluate how my body is feeling in the moment and to my surprise I was calm. I literally felt nothing. When a lot of people would break down and lose it when being yelled at.
All because I volunteer my discomfort everyday, that it made me be able to sit with the storm and just be calm. Our brain is build for us to avoid pain and discomfort, so naturally we avoid situations that can potentially make us experience discomfort and pain. That’s why so many people are introverted and would rather stay inside all day. This is ruining your life I promise.
Many years ago, during the peak of my anxiety that developed in Agoraphobia, where I was feared to go outside, I realized that this desire to feel comfortable was making me worse everyday. So I decided from that point on that I would run towards situations that make me uncomfortable and anxious. Anytime I feel the discomfort setting in and the anxiety setting in, I tell myself that this is the time for growth, sit with it.
Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Being comfortable while in an uncomfortable situation is the result of voluntary discomfort. Another term is ISS(induced state of suffering) and that means that you are putting yourself into a state of suffering. Simply going to the gym and working out is a form of ISS. That’s why people who workout tend to be less anxious. Also another thing that I use to put myself into an induced state of suffering is by taking cold showers. As soon as you turn that cold shower on, your mind immediately tells you to run from pain by telling you to turn the water off or warm. But when you sit with the pain of the cold water you begin to adjust to it and the suffering goes away.
Those who sweat more outside of war, bleed less during war.
Now when situations come into your life that are out of your control, you are able to handle it with calmness. Eventually things will involuntarily come into your life that will make you uncomfortable and if you practice making yourself uncomfortable by talking to strangers, taking cold showers, sitting with pain, and even working out, you won’t be affected by the situation that is out of your control.
Our Mind’s Emergency Brake
Like we discussed in the beginning of this article, your mind is designed to avoid pain and discomfort. So throughout the day there are things that could potentially make you uncomfortable and your mind pulls the E-brake causing you to avoid the situation altogether. But when you don’t pull the E-brake and go in the unknown of potential pain and discomfort, you become stronger from it. Now when something happens that is out of your control, you are able to be calm and handle you were in a comfortable situation.
That is the exact secret to having mental strength and to be able to face anything life throws at you with calmness. Simply by voluntary making yourself uncomfortable. If you feel discomfort by your own hand then feeling discomfort from something external is nothing.
Thanks for reading 🙂
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