7 Career-Boosting Habits of Mentally Strong People, According to a Psychotherapist From saying "no" more often to regulating your emotions, these tips will help you level up your life.

By Amy Morin

Key Takeaways

  • Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker, and bestselling author.
  • She says mentally strong people have seven habits that anyone can use to level up their career.
  • Morin says when you start acting mentally strong the feelings often follow.
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Johner Images | Getty Images via Business Insider

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

If you've decided it's time to take your career to the next level, you can borrow strategies from people with mental strength to get there. The good news is, you don't necessarily have to feel like a mentally strong person to act like one.

In fact, when you start acting like a mentally strong person, the feelings often follow. Over time, you might start viewing yourself as an unstoppable force who has the power to accomplish great things. Here are seven habits mentally strong people use to level up their careers.

1. Create their own definition of success

It's easy to get distracted by all the incredible things other people are doing. But viewing other people as competition can get you off course. Mentally strong people create their own definition of success that outlines what they're ultimately looking to accomplish.

Do you want to be self-employed? Do you want to make a certain amount of money each year? Are you looking for a career that gives you extreme flexibility and freedom? Is there a particular title you want to hold? Knowing your goal can prevent you from comparing yourself to others and it will help keep you focused.

2. Focus on what they can control

You can't control if you get a promotion and you can't control whether someone hires you. But you can control how many jobs you apply for, how many networking events you attend, and how many courses you take.

Mentally strong people establish goals that are within their control so they can track their progress and stay motivated as they strive for higher levels of success.

3. Say 'no' often

It's tough to tune out people who say things like, "You're leaving money on the table if you aren't posting on LinkedIn every day," or "Taking this class could get your business to the next level." You'll get lots of invitations to do exciting things — but every time you say "yes" to something, you might be distracting yourself from your main goal.

When mentally strong people are intent on leveling up their careers, they're going to say no to the vast majority of things that come their way. The fear of missing out can be tough and it can be uncomfortable to deal with pressure from others who insist things should be done differently. But every time you say no to something that isn't in line with your goals, you say "yes" to more time leveling up your career.

4. Expend their mental energy wisely

We all have limited mental energy. Don't waste that valuable real estate on things that don't matter.

When you catch yourself rehashing the past, worrying about what other people are doing, or being concerned about what other people think, turn the channel in your brain. Mentally strong people commit to thinking about things that will help them be productive and avoid people who try to drag them into drama.

5. Get a mentor and mentor others

Finding a mentor who's already doing what you aspire to do can help you stay motivated and help you gain practical advice about the next steps you should be taking to really level up your career.

It's helpful to mentor others as well. Mentoring someone is a great way to combat imposter syndrome. You'll be reminded how far you've come when you offer advice and feedback.

6. Sharpen emotion-regulation skills

Your emotions can derail your progress if you're not careful. Anxiety can cause you to think a risk is more dangerous than it is. Excitement can cause you to overestimate your chances of success. An angry outburst could ruin an opportunity.

When mentally strong people understand their emotions and how it affects their judgment, they make better decisions. They also develop healthier relationships and feel better.

7. Look at every day as an opportunity to grow stronger

There will be many things about your career advancement that are outside your control. But the one thing you can always control is whether you took the opportunity to grow mentally stronger.

Whether you made a mistake, got rejected, or are struggling to make a decision, there will be many chances to grow stronger and get better. Mentally strong people stay focused on becoming the best version of themselves. They see difficulties as opportunities, not insurmountable obstacles.

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