Getting Mentally Strong

I see things differently.

As the prelude to talking about careers I want to limn the number-one secret to success in recovery and in life: getting mentally strong and engaging in goal-seeking behavior.

I wanted to talk about this after listening to the end of an interview with Amy Morin, LCSW on the radio. She said that mentally strong people refrain from talking about what they can’t do.

The interviewer asked her if this stigmatizes people with mental illnesses. The therapist said “No” because everyone living on earth has potential. Morin referenced Marla Runyan, the legally-blind athlete who competed in and won races in track and field. From Wikipedia:

“Marla Runyan…is a three-time national champion in the women’s 5000 metres.”

Do you really want to compare yourself to other people? Being jealous of other people is not the way to live our lives. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to ordinary, average people because to do that would be lowering our expectation of ourselves to conform to people who aren’t driven to excel.

Think about it: we’re capable on our own of doing great things and setting the world on fire. You and I have it going on in our own way. Other people who are content not to strive to have a better life shouldn’t be our benchmark.

No one else holds us back: only ourselves. I make the case for setting our sights higher and dreaming bigger and setting challenging goals.

To this end in here I’m going to talk about setting goals in the next blog entry.

My secret is simple. Instead of telling myself “That’s impossible!” or “I won’t be able to do that!” my first automatic response is “How can I make this happen if I really want it?”

I urge readers to take up this question: “How can I make this happen?”

Imagine: a woman who was blind competed and won in track and field.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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