Tough-Minded People

Today I’d like to tackle the subject of being a mentally tough-minded person. Which I think is a GOOD thing!

In a relationship, it can be difficult to find a balance between the yin and the yang, the male and the female, the softness and the grit. But I think a relationship works best when BOTH partners have a little bit of each.

The qualities of softness and grit, I think, are not inconsistent. You can be tough-minded, and you can simultaneously be soft. I think being tough minded, as well as soft, are BOTH great traits in a person, and in a relationship.

What qualities do tough-minded people have?

1. They’re people whose word is their bond.

Tough-minded people are reliable.

2. They are people who are comfortable saying NO

…because they are also people who don’t necessarily go with the crowd, or are even LIKED by the crowd.

Tough-minded people adhere to their own core principles.

Lots of famous people are both gritty and soft. Mark Ruffalo. Oprah! I bet she’s made a few unpopular decisions throughout the span of HER career! Former President Obama. Madonna is a very tough-minded business person. Doesn’t mean she’s not also open-hearted. Not at all.

You don’t have to be a doormat to still be soft.

3. Tough-minded people push themselves outside their comfort zone. They DARE.

They have the ability to assess measured-risk, and they kick fear to the curb! I think it’s because they’re comfortable with failing. They seem to intuitively understand that what they learn by getting something wrong, has value.

They don’t expect perfection.

4. Mentally tough-minded and determined people are those who stay positive when things get hard.

They find opportunities when others see defeat. I know SO many strong people! They are gritty, resolute, and they always keep their eye on their goals.

They break the mold with courage, boldness and decisiveness.

That doesn’t mean they don’t get scared. They absolutely DO! But their emotional intelligence seems to provide them with the bravery they need to work through difficult situations. They stay in the game.

5. Tough-minded people expect MORE from themselves.

And they usually don’t self-disappoint. They are closers! I think that’s where they get their confidence.

6. They are learners.

They know that things in life change constantly. And they welcome it. In fact, they’re often even ready for it! Tom Hanks, Michelle Obama, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martha Stewart, Meryl Streep. All mentally tough-minded, yet loving and giving at the same time. I’d want all of them in my foxhole!

7. Mentally tough-minded people are able to adapt.

Sure, they have a plan, and even a back-up plan. But they are resilient when their plans get tossed out the window. They are very good at winging it! One of my favorite qualities about them is that they apologize when they get it wrong. This is a great quality to have in a relationship.

8. They are independent.

Their softness and trust surfaces at the end of the day with their families. Actually, their autonomy and power is often motivated by those they love, who also supports and understands them, if they’re lucky!

9. They know when it’s time to pull the plug.

Because they accept the concept and possibility of failure, as easily as they do success, they’re not likely to spend their time bailing out a sinking ship. They adapt, accept reality, and change their plan.

If you’d like to become more mentally strong and self-determined in your life and your relationships, here are just a few things you can do:

1. Stay calm.

If you lose control, you let others know which buttons to push in the future. Keep your cards close.

2. Be MORE concerned with whether you’ve lived up to your OWN expectations of yourself, and not those of others.

Tough-minded people usually have a pretty high bar. If you meet your own bar, you’ve probably met everyone else’s expectations of you.

3. Don’t let other people hurt your feelings.

They’re entitled to their opinion of you. But just don’t take it as fact. Use your own compass. Listen to valuable feedback, use it to improve yourself, and toss the rest.

Easier said than done. I know.

4. Don’t nag or complain.

Instead, be constructive. Everyone needs to let it out – unload, but choose the right person to gripe to about the people who are most frustrating you.

5. Be strategic.

Have a plan. I know one great woman who “reverse engineers” everything! A long-range plan is the best kind of plan. And know that you’ll be tweaking that plan for years! Because things change! You change! So always adapt your plan to fit your goals.

6. Manage your fear.

Ask yourself if the problem in front of you will still matter in five years. It usually doesn’t.


I hope this adds value to your day. As always, write to me and let me know what helped you and what didn’t make any sense to you at all! We are ALL a work in progress, but when we grow together, it only strengthens our lives and our relationships.

Lisa Ryan, LPC
Lisa Ryan, LPC
Relationship Expert - Infidelity Specialist - Guest Speaker ~ Loves the big blue sea, homely dogs, the unvarnished truth, and making people feel better. As an Infidelity Specialist in CT since 2002, Lisa continues to retain fairness, an enormous empathy for all clients and a desire to forge a positive outcome, with a commitment that matches that of the clients themselves. She helps couples rebuild their relationships after the discovery of an extramarital affair, a secret relationship or a technology addiction that breaches trust. She guides her clients through a 5-pronged solution-driven plan, designed by her, which has a success rate near 95%. Clients attribute their achievement to Lisa’s non-judgmental approach and genuine understanding of the unique anguish experienced by both parties when trust has been broken.

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