15 Things Mentally Strong People Do When The Going Gets Tough

By Reniel


Last Updated: July 27, 2021

Life comes with inevitable change – sometimes it’s easy and nice, other times it is hard and painful. But whether we consider them good or bad is all up to us. True, some of these ups and downs may be stressful and add pressure to our lives, but it is always up to us to face them. 

And considering that a lot of our response (to these hurdles) is based on how mentally prepared we are, the quality of being “mentally strong” ceases to be another fancy word or cool thing to have, but a crucial survival tool.

Not only are mentally strong people able to jump on opportunities and make the best of them, but they are also able to take the problems, obstacles, pressure life throws at them and turn them into lessons and opportunities to grow from.       

It all seems like a superpower when you talk about it this way. One is even tempted to wonder if these people are super-humans, or made of different stuff than the rest of us. But the truth is that mentally strong people aren’t very much different from the rest of us. You can become mentally strong. You just need to know what they do – especially when the going gets tough – then train yourself to do those things.

Below are 15 things mentally strong people do when the going gets tough:


How To Go Through Tough Times By Being Mentally Strong

Life serves everyone lemons; below is how mentally strong people turn those into lemonades

1. They detach themselves from the situation: When unfortunate events occur, they do not allow themselves to spiral into self-pity and depression. They don’t waste time wallowing and wondering why the whole universe has decided to conspire against them. They simply realize that it is an event that has happened, and all that is left to do is to respond in a helpful way.

2. They Motivate Themselves: By letting go of self-limiting beliefs and beckoning on their inner strength, they give themselves the strength to face their adversities. They give themselves pep talks and encourage themselves to keep going.

3. They Accept The Challenge: They don’t go looking for problems but are always ready to face one when it arises. They don’t try to hide from it or even complain, but simply take it as part of life.

4. They Focus On The Things They Can Control: Rather than worrying about the 99 things they have no control over, they focus on the 1 thing they have control over, and do their best at resolving that 1.

5. They Persevere: They say, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Mentally strong people are able to stick to their goals through hell and high waters, and retain enough endurance to weather the storm when they find themselves in helpless situations.

6. They Quit: Mentally strong people choose their struggles wisely. They may decide to quit a certain course of action if they realize that it is not worth the effort, or would cost them something greater. Mentally strong people have the courage to admit when they are wrong, chasing an inordinate ambition, or have simply missed the opportunity; and they throw in the towel without feeling bad about it.

7. They Practice Self-care: No matter the happenstance, they realize that they need to be in good mental, physical, spiritual, and psychological states to tackle the challenges. Hence, mentally strong people practice self-care (especially) when they are going through difficult times.

8. They Shuffle Their Priorities: In the face of difficulty, mentally strong people make time to prioritize activities. They decide what goals are worth chasing, and this enables them to use their energy wisely. They don’t allow the heat of the moment or upsurge of pressure to overwhelm them into taking unproductive or regressive actions.

9. They Set-up Their Environment For Success: Though counterintuitive, mentally tough people don’t always use their willpower to overcome challenges. For instance, a mentally tough person might decide to unfollow inciting social media pages, hide the cookie jar, or keep their phones in the other room in order to control their impulses. This doesn’t mean that they are weak, but that they are wise to conserve their willpower (which is finite).

10. They Help Other People: Rather than obsessing about themselves, mentally strong people seek to alleviate the suffering of those around them; and this has the effect of helping them rise above their pains and suffering – giving them the strength and courage to persevere and do something about the situation. This also helps keep the spirit of everyone high, and keep them solution-oriented, rather than letting the feeling of helplessness and despair take over.

13. They Count Their Blessings: Rather than complaining and whining, they practice gratitude, and this helps them see life from a clearer perspective; Which then enables them to draw strength from the past and also look forward in hope, with enthusiasm, and confidence.

14. They Reflect On The Past: They take out time to consider the past – in order to learn the necessary lessons, and grow from the mistakes and pains.

15. They Seek Help and Support: When things get tough, they do not hesitate to reach out for help.  

16. They Cry: They properly process their emotions. Rather than denying their emotions, or bottling them up – which is unhealthy – mentally strong people express their emotions; they cry and rejoice according to the events that occurred. 

17. They Remain Flexible: Perhaps the most important quality of mentally strong people is their ability to adapt to changing times and situations. They don’t force themselves to feel certain ways, or deny reality altogether, but are able to move from one emotional, situational, and environmental state to another without loss of hope, or direction.     


In summary, being mentally strong is not the solution to every or any problem per se, but rather an optimal state for attacking, or at least enduring difficulties.    


25 comments on “15 Things Mentally Strong People Do When The Going Gets Tough”

  1. I resonate with everything said. Feel the aniexty briefly in acknowledging the problem. Jump into whatever action to make the shift, and adjust to flow in a much more positive attitude.

  2. This is some awesome information. I am going through a challenge and by reading this it really helped me to stay focus. Thank you so very much

  3. its amazing how the most profound of advise is channeled to those who need it the most in our hour of need...Thank you so much

  4. These are attributes that make up a good entrepreneur and I believe they can be developed if one chose to. Very factual traits of mentally strong people. I have chosen to improve my weak areas.

  5. This information is so vital to life especially during these uncertain times we are living in.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. Yes. A great article and I needed it now. When things get tough, the tough get going. Thank you so much.

  7. Boy did this hit home with me. Exactly what I needed to read this morning to help me keep moving my feet even when I don't want to!

  8. Haha... I think am a mentally strong person by how I look at thing and the way DM puts it.

    Am surely all the above. When I look at number 10, it surely rhymes well with me. I love building people up. At work they call me a people builder. I hate tearing people down. No. This is love in ACTION.

  9. Thanks, this article helped me to figure out how to deal with a family problem - what I can and can’t do, and to remove myself so as not to spiral into depression.

  10. Awesome article. Helps me evaluate how I have felt with issues in the past; what insights I have gained from past experiences that has helped me get this far; … above all learn how to be proactive in dealing with inevitable situations, events, problems and happenings of the future.
    Very relevant information. Thanks.

    1. That's great to hear Imma, it's not always easy to go back to your past, but facing old issues can really help us to move forward. Thank you for the feedback!

  11. This needs to be the syllabus for 10th, 11th and 12th grade curriculum for California public schools.

    1. Wow thanks Diana! Sometimes the things we think we should learn are not necessarily the things that will help us down the road.

  12. Great Article. There seems to me to be quite an overlap between this list and the Stoic Principles. Who knew we could learn from the past...

    1. OOoh interesting, thanks Troy, we may need to do a future article on this, thanks for the feedback!

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