1. Mental strength is a cultivated trait, not an inherent one.
There are some characteristics that we’re born with and then there are those that are developed: emotional depth, mental strength, self-respect, and so on. As sensitive children maneuver through the emotional minefield of their adolescence, they learn that their experience is created by how they think, and how they think is an adjustable construction, not an unchangeable, inherent trait. The first step is understanding that you’re in control – and the younger you realize this, the better.
2. Mental strength is built from emotional haywire.
There’s no need or reason to truly understand the inner-workings of your psyche unless you’re forced to dig deep within it for some reason. There is often a bit of desperation involved when it comes to truly developing some mental resilience, but no mud no lotus, as they say.
3. Emotionally sensitive kids cultivate an independent desire to succeed in the long-run, in a way they cannot in the short-term.
The thing about emotional kids is that they epitomize uncoolness. Popular kids socially capitalize on their need to numb their own emotions, and render “not caring” the coolest thing possible. When you don’t fit in as a matter of your general disposition, you eventually realize that there is more to life than being a hollow, socially conditioned robot, and you strive for something more. This is why kids who are less cool in school succeed much more as adults, but more on that next.
4. They didn’t get stuck in the rut of pseudo-maturity that their former “cool” peers did.
The New York Times recently reported on this, a study published in the journal of child development, that essentially proves how kids who engage in psuedo-mature behavior are stunted ultimately, as their purpose in life becomes to maintain their status, rather than actually evolve beyond it. Essentially: if you peak when you’re young, you’ll do what you can to maintain it, rather than evolve beyond it, to something better.
5. Everyone is an “emotionally sensitive” child – people who are mentally strong embraced it, and learned to use it to their benefit.
Speaking of the “cool kids” and bullies: they were emotionally sensitive children, too. The difference is that their coping mechanism was to reject that part of themselves, which is why they’ll seldom identify as “sensitive,” and why they built a façade of carelessness around them. But the kids who can recognize their emotions learn to work with them, and ultimately teach themselves how to wield them for their own empowerment.
6. Mentally strong adults have empathy for others, which is built from the empathy they feel for their young selves.
A core component of mental strength is being able to recognize and accept other people’s emotions and experiences, and an even more important component is being able to accept your own. Mentally strong adults are connected to their emotional selves, and can feel compassionately for the way they used to be. This usually develops as a desire to help others, as they see lost or emotionally disturbed people as projections of themselves.
7. They come to understand that their emotional experience is a result of their mental strength.
Essentially, the solution to their existential pit of emotional uncertainty was to re-create their personal dogma, evaluate their mindset, learn, research, understand. This ultimately leads to questioning your upbringing and unconscious conditioning, which subsequently creates genuine change and personal development. If the foundation of mental strength is genuine belief, then the kids who are never forced to question and reevaluate how they think and why never develop it.
8. They understand that nothing but your own mind can free you, and save you, from your own suffering.
The first thing that’s true about mentally strong adults is that they care enough about themselves to want to change their lives. They are not waiting for something else to save them from themselves. They understand that they are not a product of their lives but their lives are a product of themselves, and the only true mystery is why it takes us so long to fully accept responsibility for that, and then create the change we so desperately desire.