13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do Summary


The book in 3 sentences:

  • Embrace Control Over Reaction: Mentally strong people understand the power of their response to life’s challenges. They focus on what they can control—such as their attitude, actions, and emotions—rather than expending energy on external circumstances beyond their control.
  • Cultivate Resilience Through Learning: Instead of fearing failure or change, mentally strong individuals see them as opportunities to grow. They learn from their mistakes, embrace change as a catalyst for growth, and persist through failures with a perspective geared towards long-term success.
  • Maintain a Balanced Perspective: This involves not dwelling on the past, not resenting others’ success, and not fearing alone time. Mentally strong people practice gratitude, focus on their progress, and understand that success is a personal journey, recognizing that immediate results are not the measure of true achievement.


In the evolving landscape of personal development literature, Amy Morin’s book, “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” stands out as a beacon for those seeking to fortify their mental resilience. Morin, a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and psychology instructor, distills years of experience into a guide that challenges readers to cultivate mental strength through the conscious avoidance of certain behaviors. This blog post delves into the core principles of her work, offering a comprehensive overview and actionable advice to help you build a stronger, more resilient mindset.

The premise of Morin’s book is simple yet profound: mental strength isn’t just about what we do; it’s equally about what we don’t do. By identifying and eliminating common pitfalls that sap our mental strength, we can unlock our potential for personal and professional growth. Whether you’re navigating life’s challenges or striving for excellence in your career, understanding and applying these principles can be transformative.

Let’s explore the 13 critical behaviors to avoid, as outlined by Morin, and discover how steering clear of these habits can lead us to a healthier, more empowered state of mind.

1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves

Feeling sorry for oneself is a natural reaction to adversity, but dwelling in self-pity is a trap that mentally strong people avoid. Morin emphasizes that indulging in self-pity not only wastes time but also drains energy and motivation, making it harder to face life’s challenges. Instead, mentally strong individuals practice gratitude, focusing on what they have rather than what they lack. This shift in perspective encourages a proactive attitude towards life’s hurdles, fostering resilience and a positive outlook.

To combat self-pity, Morin suggests practical steps such as maintaining a gratitude journal and actively seeking silver linings in difficult situations. By acknowledging and appreciating the good in our lives, we can keep self-pity at bay and embrace a more empowered stance towards the challenges we face.

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power

Giving away one’s power means allowing others to dictate one’s feelings and actions. Mentally strong people understand the importance of taking responsibility for their reactions and emotions. Morin argues that when we let external circumstances or individuals control how we feel, we surrender our power and diminish our ability to navigate life effectively.

To retain personal power, it’s crucial to establish healthy boundaries and practice assertiveness. This involves expressing your needs and opinions confidently while respecting others’. Mentally strong individuals also recognize the power of choice in their responses to challenging situations. By consciously choosing how to react, they maintain control over their emotional state and decision-making, leading to more fulfilling and autonomous lives.

3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change

Change is often uncomfortable, but it’s also a catalyst for growth and improvement. Mentally strong people embrace change rather than resist it, recognizing that adaptability is key to overcoming obstacles and achieving goals. Morin highlights the value of staying open to new experiences and the opportunities they bring.

Developing a positive attitude towards change involves acknowledging the benefits of adaptability and preparing oneself for the inevitable shifts in life. This can mean seeking out new challenges, learning new skills, or simply adopting a more flexible mindset. By viewing change as an opportunity rather than a threat, mentally strong individuals can navigate life’s uncertainties with confidence and grace.

4. They Don’t Focus on Things They Can’t Control

Focusing on uncontrollable aspects of life is a common source of stress and frustration. Mentally strong people concentrate their efforts on areas where they can make a difference, allowing them to use their energy more efficiently. Morin suggests identifying what is within our control and taking action on those fronts while learning to let go of the rest.

This mindset shift requires practice and mindfulness. Techniques such as meditation, journaling, and cognitive restructuring can help individuals distinguish between controllable and uncontrollable factors. By directing attention and effort towards what they can influence, mentally strong people can achieve more impactful and satisfying outcomes.

5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone

The desire to be liked by everyone is a natural human inclination, but it can lead to compromising one’s values and priorities. Mentally strong people understand that it’s impossible to please everyone and that attempting to do so can be exhausting and unproductive. Morin encourages readers to prioritize their well-being and values over the approval of others.

Balancing kindness and assertiveness is key to managing relationships effectively without falling into the trap of people-pleasing. This involves saying “no” when necessary, setting clear boundaries, and being authentic in one’s interactions. By focusing on self-respect and mutual respect in relationships, mentally strong individuals can maintain healthy connections without sacrificing their own needs and happiness.

6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks

Taking risks is often associated with fear and uncertainty, but avoiding risk altogether can lead to missed opportunities and stagnation. Mentally strong people are adept at evaluating risks and benefits, allowing them to make informed decisions that can lead to growth and success. Morin advises a balanced approach to risk-taking, emphasizing the importance of research, planning, and weighing potential outcomes.

To become more comfortable with taking calculated risks, individuals can practice assessing situations analytically, seeking advice from trusted sources, and gradually stepping out of their comfort zones. This proactive approach to risk-taking enables mentally strong people to pursue their goals with confidence and resilience.

7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past

Living in the past can hinder one’s ability to move forward and embrace the present. Mentally strong people recognize the value of learning from past experiences without letting them dictate their future. Morin encourages readers to focus on the present and future, using the past as a source of insight rather than a place of residence.

Strategies for moving forward include setting clear goals, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in activities that promote personal growth. By concentrating on the here and now, mentally strong individuals can build a fulfilling life that reflects their current aspirations and values.

8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

Repeating the same mistakes is a pattern that can prevent personal and professional development. Mentally strong people are committed to learning from their errors and making conscious efforts to avoid repeating them. Morin emphasizes the role of self-reflection and accountability in breaking cycles of repeated mistakes.

Adopting a growth mindset, where challenges are seen as opportunities to learn, can be instrumental in overcoming this barrier. This involves analyzing mistakes, seeking feedback, and implementing changes based on lessons learned. By continuously improving and adapting, mentally strong individuals can achieve greater success and fulfillment.

9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success

Jealousy and resentment towards others’ achievements can lead to negativity and hinder one’s own progress. Mentally strong people celebrate the successes of others, viewing them as inspiration rather than threats. Morin highlights the importance of cultivating a mindset of abundance, where there’s room for everyone to succeed.

To overcome feelings of jealousy, individuals can focus on their own goals, recognize their unique path, and practice gratitude for their accomplishments. By supporting and uplifting others, mentally strong people foster a positive and collaborative environment that benefits everyone involved.

10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure

Failure is an inevitable part of life and a valuable learning experience. Mentally strong people do not let setbacks define them; instead, they use them as stepping stones to success. Morin advocates for resilience and perseverance, emphasizing that failure is not the opposite of success but a part of the journey towards it.

Building resilience involves maintaining a positive outlook, setting realistic expectations, and viewing challenges as opportunities for growth. By embracing failure as a natural component of achieving goals, mentally strong individuals can persist in the face of adversity and ultimately achieve their aspirations.

11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time

Alone time is often undervalued in our busy, connected world, but it’s essential for self-reflection, relaxation, and personal growth. Mentally strong people appreciate and seek out opportunities for solitude, using this time to recharge and gain clarity on their values and goals. Morin encourages readers to embrace alone time as a chance for introspection and self-care.

To make the most of alone time, individuals can engage in activities that nourish their minds and bodies, such as reading, meditating, or pursuing hobbies. By learning to enjoy and value solitude, mentally strong people can enhance their self-awareness and emotional well-being.

12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything

Entitlement is a mindset that can lead to disappointment and stagnation. Mentally strong people understand that success and happiness are not owed but earned through hard work and perseverance. Morin urges readers to adopt a perspective of self-reliance and gratitude, appreciating what they have and working diligently for what they want.

Practicing gratitude, setting achievable goals, and taking proactive steps towards them can help individuals overcome a sense of entitlement. By recognizing the value of effort and resilience, mentally strong people can achieve a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that is truly earned.

13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results

In a world of instant gratification, patience is a virtue that is often overlooked. Mentally strong people are patient and understand that meaningful achievements take time and persistence. Morin emphasizes the importance of setting realistic goals, celebrating small victories, and staying committed to long-term objectives.

Developing patience involves managing expectations, focusing on progress rather than perfection, and appreciating the journey towards achieving goals. By adopting a patient and persistent approach, mentally strong individuals can build a foundation for lasting success and happiness.


Amy Morin’s “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” offers invaluable insights into the habits and mindsets that can either propel us forward or hold us back in life. By understanding and avoiding these common pitfalls, we can cultivate mental strength and resilience that will serve us in all aspects of life.

Implementing these practices is a journey, not a destination. It requires self-awareness, dedication, and a willingness to grow. As we strive to avoid these 13 behaviors, we’ll find ourselves becoming more empowered, confident, and capable of handling whatever life throws our way.

Building mental strength is an ongoing process that can dramatically improve our quality of life. It enables us to face challenges with grace, make the most of our opportunities, and lead a life that is true to our values and aspirations. Let this be your invitation to embark on a path of personal development and mental fortitude. By committing to these principles, you can unlock your potential and achieve a level of resilience and satisfaction that enriches every aspect of your life.

Embarking on this journey towards mental strength is not just about avoiding certain behaviors; it’s about embracing a mindset that fosters growth, resilience, and a deep sense of fulfillment. As you apply these lessons to your life, remember that every step forward, no matter how small, is a step towards a stronger, more resilient you.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do Summary
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do Summary