The 11 Critical Things Mentally Strong People Avoid

Entrepreneurs are often interested in physical strength and health, but mental strength is even more important. Mental strength is a critical characteristic for entrepreneurs, as many articles address tenacity, “grit,” optimism, and unfailing ability to “fail up,” as David Williams of Forbes puts it.

do not resist change, embrace it

However, mentally strong individuals avoid doing certain things as well. Licensed Clinical psychotherapist and social worker Amy Morin[1] created a list of things mentally strong individuals don’t do as part of LifeHack. It inspired me enough to summarize and spread it around, and I’ll add my thoughts on how these things relate to entrepreneurs.

  1. Mentally strong individuals don’t waste time feeling bad for themselves.
    They don’t waste time thinking about how they’ve been wronged. They are responsible for their actions and consequences and realize that life isn’t always fair. Even though they emerge from difficult situations with self-awareness and gratitude for the lessons learned, they can respond to an unfavorable outcome with the phrase “Oh, well.” Next!” or simply “Next!”
  2. Hand their Power to Others.
    Mentally strong individuals avoid relinquishing control to others, ensuring they do not feel inadequate or inferior. They understand that they are in charge of their actions and emotions. They acknowledge that their strength lies in managing how they respond.
  3. Seeing change as an enemy
    A mentally strong person accepts change and challenges with open arms. If they have a greatest “fear,” it is of becoming inwardly focused, complacent, and stuck. An environment of change, challenge, and uncertainty can energize a mentally strong person and bring out their best.

  4. Waste time on things beyond their control.
    A mentally strong person doesn’t whine about bad traffic, lost luggage, or other people (as these things are usually outside of their control) but instead focuses on what they can control: their response and attitude. Even in a bad situation, they know that the only thing they can always control is their response and perspective, and they make the most of these attributes.

  5. Wanting to be liked by everyone.
    Do you know any people pleasers or people who go out of their way to displease others to reinforce an image of strength? Neither position is good. A mentally strong individual aims to be kind and just, in addition to pleasing others if appropriate, but they are not afraid to speak up. They can deal with difficult situations where someone might become upset with grace, if possible.

  6. Worry over taking Risks.
    A mentally strong person is very willing to take calculated risks. This differs from taking foolish risks. However, with mental strength, an individual can weigh the risks and benefits thoroughly, consider the potential downsides and even the worst-case scenarios before taking action, and make a rational decision.

  7. Lament and become sentimental about a past event.
    A mentally strong person can avoid miring their mental energy in past disappointments or fantasies of the “glory days” in the past. Acknowledging and learning from past experiences, in particular, provides mental strength. Investing the majority of their mental energy in creating an optimal present and future is what mentally strong people do.

  8. Avoid Habitual Mistakes.
    The definition of insanity is when we take the same actions repeatedly while hoping for a better outcome than we got the last time. We all know what it means. A mentally strong individual acknowledges responsibility for previous actions and is willing to learn from errors. According to research, one of the greatest strengths of successful executives and entrepreneurs is their self-reflective, accurate, and effective way of thinking.

  9. Avoid the Green Monster trap.
    It takes strength of character to be genuinely pleased and enthused by other people’s achievements. Mentally strong people possess this skill. When others succeed, they don’t become jealous or resentful (although they may carefully observe what the individual did right). They work hard for their own success rather than taking shortcuts and are willing to do so.

  10. Surrender when they fail.
    The most outstanding entrepreneurs acknowledge that many failures characterized their first efforts. Every failure provides an opportunity to improve. Mentally tough individuals are willing to fail repeatedly as long as they can learn from each “failure.” They don’t fear being alone; they treasure and even enjoy it. During their downtime, mentally strong individuals reflect, plan, and accomplish things. They don’t need others to keep them happy and cheerful, so they don’t rely on others. They can enjoy being with others and also enjoy being alone.

  11.  Understand that the world owes them nothing.
    Employees and executives at all levels realize that the world does not owe them a salary, rewards package, and an easy life regardless of their education and preparation. People with mental strength are prepared to work and succeed on their own merits at every stage of life.

    Those who want immediate results will be disappointed. Even when they start a business or begin a workout plan, people with mental toughness are in it for the long haul. They know that they must take measured doses of time and energy and celebrate each step of success as they go. They have staying power and recognize that real change takes time.

    Are you mentally tough? What areas of these habits do you need to strengthen?
Change Your Habits Change Your Life


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The five crucial things successful CX companies do every day

> Most successful CX companies do these things to lift their game
> Steve Towers shares the winning strategies
> Model your own strategy based on leading CX next practices
This article is a build on terrific feedback from my recent piece ‘5 Critical Failures of 80% of Customer Experience initiatives’.
(You can see that here:

George Bernard Shaws observation is pertinent

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”

So with that in mind, let’s move beyond the mistakes and uncover the winning strategies and how best we can implement those insightful approaches.
Based on our recent work and research my report from the CX front line should help you rethink your approach in our collective endeavor to get more scientific about the customer experience.
In the earlier article, we identified five major errors and causes of failure. Let’s review how winning CX companies reframe those into successful strategies.
1. Top teams understand CX success and get out of the way of their people to let them get on with it.
To achieve strategic CX success, it is necessary to understand the limitations imposed by industrial-age thinking (getting better at doing the wrong stuff faster, functional specialisms, outdated reward systems) and help the organization migrate to Outside-In thinking and practices. At Zappos, for instance, it is more important to meet the customer (see Zappos hits the road.., gather insights, and provide input to reshape the organization. The top team is actually out there “We want to shake the customers hands, give them really big high fives and meet their friends — delivering happiness and memorable experiences along the way,” said Kristin Richmer, Senior Brand Marketing Manager, Zappos.
The task then is not overlaying the new insights onto an industrial age siloed world. It is actually to reshape the organization, its people, the reward systems, processes and systems to better deliver successful customer outcomes. Tony Hsieh reinforces this feed-forward approach “we actually want to talk with customers more as 70% of our business are repeat buys. Hiding our contact details and making it difficult to talk is not our way”
2. Customer needs are understood and developed to create the organizational alignment towards successful customer outcomes.
Leading CX Companies have developed an a-b-c strategy when boiled down includes
(a) stop asking customers what they want
(b) get your head around current customer expectations, and
(c) articulate customer needs even when the customer doesn’t know what they are.
This effort is not a ‘one and done’, it is about continual learning and then the development of services and products that anticipate customer needs rather than following the outdated mantra of those organizations seeking more and more (often meaningless) feedback.
And Disney provides a demonstration of this a-b-c approach.
Consider this:

Disney World Orlando, is about 43 square miles, about twice the size of Manhattan. 30 million guests per year enjoy 4 theme parks: the Magic Kingdom, the Hollywood Studios, Epcot and the Animal Kingdom.

You can navigate to these parks by car, bus, monorail, boats and a ferry depending on your hotel – and that in itself includes over 20 themed for your delight. Coupled with Disneys new wearable “Magic Bands” (see you receive a smooth personalized experience where ever you are.
This collection of entertainment is a dynamic living system focused on successful customer outcomes. With digital real-time feedback, Disney offers an integrated experience built around a co-ordinated set of business and customer outcomes, from the time you think of a trip, to the time you are back home with the kids.
3. Being customer-centric isn’t about projects – it is a state of mind.
A great mistake of many is approaching customer experience as an initiative, something with a clearly defined start and end point. Appreciating CX is a state of mind for the whole company is a major differentiator and allows successful organizations to continually tweak and evolve, rather than live in a permanent state of project stop-start crisis. The guiding principle is, at the heart of CX, change is desirable, welcomed and systematic. It impacts everyone and everything all the time.
4. Successful CX transcends measures and implements a rigorous feedback/feed forward framework.
A recent analysis in the banking industry suggested that more than 85% of the total key performance indicators measured outputs – things that get produced from activities.
Successful CX companies however have a very different profile and focus, their attention is on measuring outcomes – the result of what is produced. To these companies this is not a semantic distinction, it underpins the total CX strategy. As a result, the measurement systems are simplified, and the focus on results rather than activity moves the dial towards customer centricity so much more quickly. Programs such as Disneys True North set a direction with supporting metrics, and rather than measure everything that moves they focus on the results and outcomes that need to be delivered to achieve successful customer outcomes. In this context, more than 75% of measures are ‘Outcomes’ with less than 25% outputs.
Test this for yourself in the call center. What are your top ten measurements, are they output-oriented or outcome-based? The former would be things like average handle time, abandon rates, downtime and so on. The latter would be the delivery of customer need, queries completely resolved (not the piece mean partial interim ‘first call resolution’ type things measured with a functional bias).
In summary, CX leaders have fewer measures and the majority are now Outcome-based.
5. CX is both the strategy and the operational objective to overcome needless complexity.
A recent Forrester survey says 81% of CX professionals are mapping experiences from the customer’s perspective, but only 21% are mapping the ecosystem (processes, people, technology). In this context there are two opportunities that successful CX companies exploit:
i. CX can only be successful if you build a complete CX ecosystem map (we call that a CXecomap) which includes cause and effect and connects the people who deliver the customer experience with those people and systems who provide the means for it.
ii. CX Current state crisis. Successful CX companies can clearly articulate the what and how the organization should be doing to deliver great experiences. They do not become mired in the exercise of mapping all the current external and internal processes and systems (which can take years to complete and provides little in the way of direction for what should exist.)
These companies understand the reality that the current structure and systems were never created with excellent CX in mind but were in fact designed around an industrial age, production system based model. Accordingly, next practice is to utilize design principles that envision what should be, and then progressively mature and migrate the organization to that vision.
To conclude CX success doesn’t come from wishful thinking. It is a deliberate and sustained effort to understand and articulate the ever changing customer. To build a new trust with them that goes beyond the platitudes of the past. In the near term it is about becoming more scientific about the customer experience. In the longer term it is a guarantee of business success.
We have codified these CX next practice approaches into the CEMMethod (now version10). You can access that as a resource with others below.
The earlier article can be viewed here: ‘5 Critical Failures of 80% of Customer Experience initiatives’.
Other useful resources on this (workshops, accreditation, and certification) (blog for all things customer experience) (CEMMethod v10) (Free copy of ‘Outside-In. The Secret’)
Join us to learn the Secrets of Apples, Googles, Zara, Zappos and Emirates success

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The program, now in its eleventh year, utilizes the BP Groups approaches and framework to help you and your organization win the triple crown – simultaneously reduce costs, grow revenues and enhance service.
Producing Immediate and sustainable business results across any industry and sector.
Become a qualified CPP-Master or ACXP and demonstrate your professionalism

Leveraging Analytics to Create the Ultimate Customer Experience Ecosystem

Dr. Durrell Ramrathan, Ph.D

Dr. Durrell Ramrathan is for many an unsung hero carving a path for the rest of us to follow as he takes CX and Analytics to the next level. This recent keynote is exactly what |I am talking about, chokka block full of useful practical guidance and some great stories at the same time.

Watch the presentation here and download the transcript below.

You can reach out to Durrel at: Durel Ramrathan, Ph.D
and he is part of the groundbreaking CX team headed by Roland D. Naidoo over at #Multichoice.

Get the Transcript:

To upskill to the latest ‘Next Practice’ Find out more:

There are always more questions than answers 😉 However, in the ACX Masters program, we cover all the bases and provide a set of tools and approaches that enable you to WIN THE TRIPLE CROWN in every CX initiative
Join us soon!



I am going to do a one-minute Q and A today. Do you know what the toughest questions Customer Experience Leaders Ask?

OK, Here we go.

Find out more:


QUESTION 1: Why do so many organizations struggle to become truly customer-centric?

ANSWER: They are using an out-of-date mindset. The thinking is borrowed from the industrial age when optimizing production and throughput was the thing. That way of thinking is about production management, efficiency, effectiveness, and waste elimination. Does that sound familiar? The mindset is not exactly customer focussed.


QUESTION 2: What is (probably) the biggest hurdle to becoming Outside-In and customer-focused?

ANSWER: It is getting passed this industrial age mindset and all the things that come with it. For instance, it is our reward structure. It’s the approach to employee empowerment. Another one is rigid out of date linear processes and systems. I think you get the picture.

Alright, one more concern.

QUESTION 3: If listening to the customer is so important, then what is ‘best practice’ and the emerging next practice?

ANSWER: Often times many companies try to drive forward by only looking in the rear-view mirror. That is by listening to subjective perceptual historic feedback rather than paying attention to every interaction 100% of the time.

The GOOD news is…

In the ACX Masters program, we show you step-by-step how to handle these challenges so you don’t have to Fall into the Bear Pit.

You can get the full scoop and preview here at the BP Group site.

Cheers for now!

There are always more questions than answers 😉 However, in the ACX Masters program, we cover all the bases and provide a set of tools and approaches that enable you to WIN THE TRIPLE CROWN in every CX initiative
Join us soon!

Check it out here: The ACX Master – online, in the room, live and interactive