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This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Dean Yeong, writer.

What are the key traits of mentally tough people?

  • Delayed gratification. Most people failed because they give in to temptations or give up to challenges too quickly. Mentally strong people understand how to work hard and contribute more now before they even think about returns.
  • Embrace constraints. We want to believe we have total freedom, and we think more freedom makes us better off. The truth is the opposite. When we want all the freedom, happy people embrace constraints. When we want all the glory, successful people embrace failures. When we want to be perfect, mentally strong people embrace imperfections.
  • Never seek for permission. They own themselves responsible. They never seek for permission and authority. They make their own way. If they made mistakes and hit a roadblock, they suck it up. They don't control things that can't be control - such as money and people. But besides those, they are always in control, especially their own state of mind.
  • Focus on the fundamentals. Start with the fundamentals. Focus on the thing that matters the most. This helps us to eliminate distractions and cut through the noise.
  • Consistency. Mentally strong people are not born to be strong mentally, but they learned along the way. Success doesn't come in a day or two, and mentally strong people understand the power of consistency. They take tiny actions continuously and focus on the progress.
  • Self-awareness. Figure out your vision and purpose. Define you own identity. Then, know your strengths and weaknesses, know your roles, know your position, and know your goals. People who are self-aware are stronger mentally because they know how to deal with every circumstance and environment.
  • Sees thing as what it really is. Mentally strong people never create stories for themselves. The ability to see thing as it really is required practice. To be mentally strong, you need to stop telling yourself the stories that make you comfortable and hide your true self and the reality behind the curtain. Accept the reality and then take action to fight against any adversity.
  • Optimism. One thing that moves us forward is hope. If there is not hope, there is no action and thus, no results. Mentally strong people believe in themselves at the same time, believe in faith. The failure of seeing hope in everything you do will fail you before you even try.
  • Embrace uncertainty. Most people want to predict the future. Certainty and safety are necessities since the evolution of mankind. But no one can predict the future with 100% accuracy, which means there will always be uncertainty. Weak people flee away from it, mentally strong people embrace it.
  • Willingness to learn and expand. Curiosity and the willingness to figure things out make people stronger mentally. Read, experiment, learn, reflect. Successful people never stop learning, even from a defeat, and that's exactly what makes them stronger.

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