Weekly Self-Coaching Exercise: Overcome Feeling Down by Focusing on Strengths and Increasing Mental Toughness

Focus on Strengths and Achievements 

Make a list of your strengths and life accomplishments. You may not give yourself credit for all that you have achieved in your life. Making a list of your strengths and accomplishments will help you become more aware of these successes and beef up your mental toughness needed to overcome negative thinking. It will also help change the focus of your self thoughts from negative ones to positive ones and increases your ability to handle tough things life can throw at you. You can do this exercise again and again, whenever you notice your self confidence or mental toughness is slipping away. Get a big sheet of paper and a pen you feel comfortable with. Draw a T or two columns on  the blank page, set the timer for 10 minutes (or as long as you’d like). Spend the time writing your strengths in one column and  accomplishments in the second column. You could never have a paper long enough or enough time to write them all. Nothing is too big or too small to go on this list. See example below: 

Building a daily routine and taking care of self with positive activities —This list can include things like:

  • learning to be a more effective communicator
  • walk, read, listen to favorite musin, etc.
  • raising and taking care of dog or cat
  • making and keeping good friend
  • dealing with a life crisis: major illness or disability
  • buying your groceries
  • doing your laundry
  • riding your bike catching a bus
  • smiling at a person who looks sad.
  • taking a course of interest
  • getting a job you can handle
  • doing the dishes, keeping living space clean and organized
  • making the bed
  • planting some seeds or caring for houseplants

Do Something Special for Someone Else

Have you ever noticed the good feeling that washes over you when you do something nice for someone else? If so, take advantage of that good feeling that comes from helping someone else by often doing things that are “nice” or helpful to others to build your mental toughness muscle.  Watch for opportunities that come up every day. Buy your partner some flowers or even one rose. Send a friends a greeting card. If someone you know is having a hard time, send them a note or give them a call. Go out of your way to congratulate people you know on their achievements. Visit a patient at a nursing home, in a hospital or a “shut-in”. Play with a child — read them a book, take them for a walk, push them on the swing. Do a chore for someone that might be hard for them like raking the leaves or mowing the grass. You may even want to volunteer for an organization that is helping others.

Other Quick Things You Can Do to Raise Your Self -Awareness

Following is a list of other things you can do to raise your self-awareness and mental toughness. Some of them will be the right thing at one time, while another thing will work at another time. There may be some you choose not to do — ever. You may want to post this list on your refrigerator or in some other convenient place as a reminder.

  • Surround yourself with people who are positive, open respectful and loving
  • Wear something that makes you feel good
  • Look through old pictures, scrapbooks and photo albums focus on achievements
  • Make a collage of your life
  • Spend ten minutes writing down everything good you can think of about yourself
  • Do something that makes you laugh or energizes you.
  • Pretend you are your own best friend
  • Repeat positive statements over and over again

You can add more ideas to this list as you discover them for yourself.

In Conclusion

Work on raising your self -awareness and mental toughness is a life time learning process. To successfully implement this process a positive mindset needs to be embraced so that the activities will be viewed as an adventure in self-discovery not as a burden or a have to do task. The kinds of things you do to raise your self-awareness and mental toughness not only help you to feel better about yourself, but will improve the quality of your life while energizing and enriching it.


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