What is mental strength? For Amanda Heck, it is being able to overcome something that is a challenge externally. It comes from within. It is so rare and so often overlooked. Heck said anyone can workout at a gym or pick up heavy objects repeatedly to build physical strength. That is easy.
Mental strength is extremely difficult to come by. People feel trapped in their lives. They feel as they cannot get over hurdles that have been put in front of them. Heck felt that way. She struggled, and still struggles, with anxiety and felt that she was mentally weak. She just could not get over the anxiety she was feeling in her life. She wanted to become stronger.
She really wanted to push herself to get stronger mentally. To Heck, the most difficult, mentally strong thing she could do was fight. There are punches coming at you and you are thinking that you do not want to be taken down. You have to think about what to do when you are on the ground. You have to think about everything and keep your composure.
The fear you have beforehand is palpable. It is something that really has to be harnessed. The way to do that is through mental strength.
Heck surprised herself when she realized how much mental strength she actually had already. She did not realize she was capable of some of the things she has accomplished. Now, she does not struggle with difficult decisions as much. Too often these things are taken for granted.
She has met too many people who are physically strong but run away when the hard stuff hits. To Heck, that is not strength.
Women often cut themselves short because being able to take on the tough decisions and the rocky moments is a true strength. Society, however, does not see that as being strong.
It takes a lot of strength to walk away from a toxic relationship. It is difficult to take care of your children by any means necessary. Taking a leap of faith in a career or pushing hard to get to the top of your field – these things take immense mental strength. There are women who do these things every day, and they have no idea how strong they are.
Heck had a close friend in Minnesota who was her beacon of mental strength when she would feel overly anxious. She looked to him in the tough times. Three years ago, she moved to Las Vegas and grew tired of her anxiety. She viewed it as a weakness and took her biggest step to strengthen her mind. Heck realized she had limitations.
She decided it was time to get ahold of her anxiety and work with her limitation. Josh was Heck’s personal trainer and one day, she got up the nerve to tell him she wanted to fight. Heck was so anxious when she started that performing a simple roll on the mat was scary for her. Every time her trainer took her down, he told Heck to relax.
Being able to find a solution for her anxiety that worked for Heck came down to her understanding that anxiety was not a weakness, but a part of her. It was simply something Heck had to work through. Accepting herself where she was, was the beginning of building mental strength.