6 Common Myths About Mental Strength!

5 minutes

Rita and Pia were discussing the recent success story of their boss. Rita was full of admiration for her boss, appreciating her courage, risk taking and holding her composure during the crisis. She then summarized to say, “I am sure she must be mentally very strong”. To this Pia retorted, “I don’t think so. The other day I saw her crying, as such she looks too frail to be called a strong person”.


Well, this conversation set the ball rolling in my head as to what actually is mental strength. In the context, we also hear of experts saying, “Cricket is 80% mental game”, or a doctor commenting, “It’s the patient’s willpower that may help the most now”. 

I think, many of us know what it means to be mentally strong and the importance of it, yet in our day to day life we are unable to imbibe the essence of what it takes to be mentally strong. The main reason, of course, being many misconceptions surrounding it.

Amy Morin, a psychotherapist, says that believing these myths can prevent you from developing the mental strength you need to reach your greatest potential. So, let’s take a look at some of the roadblocks and notions associated with this mental game.

1. Physical toughness is mental toughness

A body builder would have used a lot of mental strength to beget great muscular strength but may lack the grit to face other challenges in his life, whereas, some people who may not appear physically strong may actually be quite tough in handling and overcoming stressful circumstances as we saw in the above example.

Source: quotefancy.com

2. Higher the IQ, higher the mental strength!

Relating most of the human abilities to IQ is the most clichéd approach. Statistics have shown that IQ measures fail to account for variance in performance and success which further has been directly linked to mental strength. IQ can give an indication of general mental ability but simply having high IQ doesn’t guarantee for psychological well-being and adaptation.

Source: timeshighereducation.com

3. Mentally strong – the snobs that they are!

They know it all! They don’t admit failure! It hurts them to ask for help! Well, it’s not that mentally strong have all the answers, they have a purpose for going forward that drives them to look for opportunity within challenges. They not only admit to their failures but have learnt the art of handling failures that give them the confidence in deciding what they can and can’t do. Asking for help and feedback is again a sign of a secure person who knows his limitations and wants to grow- and that’s what mentally strong do.

Source: tumblr.com

4. Mentally strong – rose coloured glasses that they wear!

Being optimistic is a huge motivator but being positive all the times without weighing the pros and cons of a situation may not sound practical and could prove detrimental. A mentally strong person deals with challenges, one’s expectations, considers what is feasible, what is not, by taking a positive approach that is grounded in reality.

Source: quotefancy.com

5. Mentally strong – you are born like that!

The general notion is that mental strength is innate. Yes, some aspects of it could be genetically determined in the form of personality traits and preference to any mental illness like mood disorders. Having said that, the good news is, it can be learnt like any other skill. Training yourself with the right attitude can help you reach the altitude.

Source: lifehack.org

6. Hold on! hold on! to feelings a galore – and you will be strong!

Haven’t we heard of these adages, ‘ Real men don’t cry’, ‘don’t cry – be strong’. Is crying too often considered a sign of weakness? There are many who pride themselves in ignoring pain. Are these really the signs of being strong? I am sure most of us would say ‘NO’. Then what is it? In fact, being aware of your feelings, understanding them and appropriate way of dealing with them is definitely a sign of mental strength. The key being, let your behaviour rule the emotions rather than emotions ruling your behaviour.

Source: tumblr.com

In the end, it is for each one of us to see what Mental Strength means to us. It could be a state of mind-character in action or having a great attitude – giving your best, regardless of the circumstances.

And more importantly, how we would like to take it forward keeping in mind that sometimes the chains holding us back in life are more mental than physical and the biggest wall you’ve got to climb is the one built in your mind.

Fail, fail, fail again, but you can’t give up. And what takes for that is the MENTAL STRENGTH.

Also Read:

13 Things Mentally Strong People Do Differently

Seema Bindal

Seema is your special friend at YourDOST who can handled issues related to stress, anxiety, depression, disability, relationships, study skills, and anger. She is a Ph.D in Biochemistry from University of Delhi and has worked with the Indian Institute of Sciences (Bangalore) for couple of years. It was her strong desire to understand and help self and others that led her to begin this interesting journey in the field of Counselling. Since last 6 years, she has been expanding on the skill sets, working on field to add to her practical experience. She has Diploma in Counselling Skills (Banjara Academy, Bangalore) and Certification in Counselling Children and Teenagers (Prerana Academy, Bangalore). She is currently pursuing Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy (KUVEMPU). She has attended CBT and Life Skills (Adolescents) training from NIMHANS.