When you’re an introvert living in an extrovert’s world, it’s easy to get thrown off balance. Luckily, there are tried and true habits that mentally strong introverts use to stay on track. Because here’s the thing.
We introverts get overwhelmed by things that extroverts thrive on. They crave the buzz of constant socializing, and busyness. Meanwhile, the chaotic pace of modern life makes us introverts want to hide under a blanket all day. Not only that …
The demands of daily life can turn our mind to mush. We come home after a long day feeling mentally exhausted and defeated. It’s tough to have a resilient mindset when you’re constantly battling introvert overwhelm. Thankfully, there is a better way.
Developing the habits of mentally strong introverts can mean the difference between limping through existence like a battered old street dog, and feeling a sense of confidence and control over your life. I should know.
I’m an introvert myself. And I’ve been on this earth long enough (32 years now) to understand that our mind is one of the few things we have control over. This is good news for introverts, who spend a whole lot of time prancing through our vast mental landscapes.
The tricky part is knowing how to stay mentally strong no matter what daily challenges we face. It turns out that habits and mindsets have a whole lot to do with it. That’s why I’m revealing …
The 10 habits of mentally strong introverts
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — Thomas Jefferson
1. They prioritize alone time
By now most people know that introverts need alone time — and plenty of it. And yet, many introverts still struggle to prioritize their alone time. Mentally strong introverts understand and honor their need for solitude — and they are happier for it! Eric Klinenberg, author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, explains why alone time is so important:
“There is something very liberating for people about being on their own. They’re able to establish some control over the way they spend their time. They’re able to decompress at the end of a busy day in a city…and experience a feeling of freedom.”
Introverts who are mentally strong see their need for alone time as a natural and healthy part of who they are. In other words, they don’t feel guilty about it. Which brings me to my next point.
2. They don’t feel guilty about their needs
Mentally strong introverts know that their needs are different than those of an extrovert. They don’t beat themselves up about it. Instead of feeling guilty about their quiet, solitude-loving nature, they embrace who they are without judgment.
3. They have a growth mindset
Mentally strong introverts have what Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success calls a “growth mindset”. A person with a growth mindset is focused on the process of learning, rather than the product. Such a person isn’t driven by dollar signs or certificates. They are interested in the experiences that expand their mind and soul.
With a growth mindset, mistakes are a natural part of the journey. Mentally strong introverts don’t dwell on wrong turns, but instead see each misstep as an opportunity to learn and grow.
4. They set healthy boundaries
Mentally strong introverts know how to set healthy boundaries. They tell their loved ones when they need space. They might also set boundaries surrounding their time, energy, and social calendar. And they don’t feel bad about it.
Introverts who are mentally strong see that setting healthy boundaries helps improve their relationships, and overall happiness.
5. They focus on their strengths
I’m a strong believer that introverts can do anything that extroverts can do. Often we can do it better; However, there are some things that may come more naturally to us as individuals.
Mentally strong introverts don’t waste time focusing on their limitations. Instead, they focus their precious energy toward building on their natural strengths.
“[I]ntroversion is my greatest strength. I have such a strong inner life that I’m never bored and only occasionally lonely. No matter what mayhem is happening around me, I know I can always turn inward.” — Susan Cain
6. They pursue success on their own terms
Mentally strong introverts know that success is theirs to define. They don’t waste time trying to mould themselves into what their friends, family, and neighbours see as the definition of success. They use their values, dreams, and passions as their compass on the winding road toward fulfillment and happiness.
Personally, I really identify with Maya Angelou’s simple, yet brilliant, definition of success:
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
7. They have fulfilling relationships
Just because we’re introverted, doesn’t mean we don’t want and need fulfilling relationships. No one knows this better than mentally strong introverts, who surround themselves with people who love, and accept them for who they are. Don’t get me wrong.
Mentally strong introverts aren’t necessarily social butterflies. In fact, they might have very few friends. Rather than try to win popularity contests, they focus on quality over quantity in relationships. For tips on how to cultivate more fulfilling relationships as an introvert, download my 50-page Introvert Connection Guide.
8. They make their mental health a top priority
When you spend as much time in your head as we introverts do, you start to understand the importance of mental health. Mentally strong introverts take care of their mind by giving it space to wander, and ponder. They meditate, go for walks, and practice the fine are of doing nothing.
Mentally strong introverts also seek out support when their mind starts to turn against them. When negative thoughts, anxiety, and depression sneak in, they talk to a trusted loved one or professional, who can help them find their way out of the fog.
9. They exercise
When was the last time you broke a sweat? If you’re a mentally strong introvert, you probably do so on a regular basis. Mentally strong introverts know that exercise is an easy and proven way to boost confidence, mental clarity, and overall happiness. And it doesn’t end there.
According to Michael Otto, PhD, a professor of psychology at Boston University,
“The link between exercise and mood is pretty strong. Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect … Exercise may be a way of biologically toughening up the brain so stress has less of a central impact.”
10. They are captains of their own ship
Have you ever talked to someone who just loved to play the victim? The world is against them, and they are completely powerless. Mentally strong introverts have the opposite mindset. They see themselves as captains of their own ship. No matter what life throws at them, they focus on what they can do, instead of what seems impossible.
Sure, mentally strong introverts might feel a little self-pity now and then. But they never stay in this state for long. Their powerful sense of personal responsibility keeps them moving forward in spite of crummy circumstances.
What do you think, lovely?
Can you relate to the habits of mentally strong introverts? Did I miss any? Please do share your insights and experiences in the comments below!