Performance Improvement & Professional Development

What Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

A few years ago I came across a book by Amy Morin titled “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.” I was intrigued by the title so I decided to find out what those thirteen things were.

In doing so, I couldn’t help but draw the analogy between Amy’s list and what I would consider the 13 things Outperformers don’t do either.

Here’s Amy’s list:

They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves.
They don’t give away their power.
They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control.
They don’t shy away from change.
They don’t dwell on the past.
They don’t fear taking calculated risks.
They don’t make the same mistakes over and over.
They don’t worry about pleasing everyone.
They don’t resent other peoples success.
They don’t give up after the first failure.
They don’t fear alone time.
They don’t expect immediate results.
They don’t feel the world owes them anything.

A thought provoking list, wouldn’t you agree? And, each of these 13 characteristics really do describe characteristics of a person focused on success and achievement. Amy Morin’s list isn’t an all-inclusive list to be sure, but it’s impressive and certainly describes the characteristics of a person serious about performing at a high level.

The Outperformers Creed

“I wasn’t born an Outperformer. I became an Outperformer by establishing the habit of doing things underperformers don’t like to do. I don’t always like doing these things either but I have the self-discipline to roll up my sleeves and do them anyway. As an Outperformer I understand that success and achievement are about effort and results. I can’t have one without the other.” I must put in the effort to get the results I desire.”

Now let’s be real, no successful person – and no Outperformer – displays these 13 characteristics all the time. But, there should be a consistency in our lives if we’re striving to be successful and be an Outperformer. Success is a way of being that happens every day.


Do a little self-assessment. Personalize Amy’s list. Replace the word  “don’t” with the word “I” – along with a couple of other minor adjustments  – and see where there’s room for improvement.

In Other’s Words

  • “99% of all failures come from people who have a habit for making excuses.” (George Washington Carver)
  • “He that is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” (Benjamin Franklin)
  • “There are a thousand excuses for failure, but never a good reason.” (Mark Twain)

Look around my website for more performance improvement resources – including workshops – and my Professional Development Forums.

About the Author

Les Taylor is the founder and managing partner of Outperformers International. He is an award-winning author, professional speaker and recognized expert in the field of performance improvement and professional development. Les is a former law enforcement executive, served as the executive director of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and is a past president of the Arizona Chapter of the National Speakers Association.

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