The ability to not let external conditions, circumstances or events affect us is a vital skill to have if we want to be mentally tough and remain level-headed.
Knowing how to respond when things happen in a calm, confident manner is a better quality to have than always reacting to things, which means we’re controlled by things outside of ourselves.
What Does it Mean to Be Level-Headed?
When someone is considered level-headed, it means they:
- Pause and think before they respond in any situation.
- Have developed their mental faculty of perception so they can look at things from different points of view.
- Are able to make the right decisions, most times.
- Are comfortable with who they are and what they want to do.
- Have a healthy attitude and tend to be in a positive mental state more often than not.
The challenge is knowing how to be level-headed, while staying true to who we are, and not coming across as someone that’s robotic, who does the same things and operates the same way over and over.
Many years ago, I attended a leadership training program, that involved a three-day training, once a month, for six months. During the last training session, as all the participants were doing a debrief of the training and what we had all learned from not just the training, but also from each other, one participant commented that I had been the same all the way through the program.
A number of participants had emotional highs and lows, which were reflected in how they participated throughout the program. I had been stable all the way through and it played out in the way I participated in the program.
At that time, I did not know what the comment implied about how I showed up during the program, whether it was a good thing or not a good thing. I have since learned it depends on the context we find ourselves in and whether the way we behave is getting us the results we want or not.
10 Characteristics of Level-headed People Worth Adopting
We can use these characteristics to develop our mindset and upgrade our thinking so that we can gain mental strength and have the confidence to do the things we want to, that will benefit others as well.
- Learn to manage your emotions. The ability to respond rather than react is a vital skill to have if we want to be in a healthy state. We can learn to manage our emotions better through mindfulness techniques, having higher levels of clarity, and staying focused on what matters most to us.
- Be willing to let go of things that have not gone your way. There will be disappointments, frustrations and failures along the way. Instead of reliving those things, we have to view every experience as a learning opportunity and move on to what we need to do in order to accomplish what we want.
- Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. We all do certain things really well and there are things we don’t do well. Having greater awareness of these will help us make better decisions and also accelerate our progress towards our goals. This will also help us confront the fears we need to overcome to get to where we want to be.
- Embrace change. Rather than hoping things remain the way they were, we have to accept faster change is now a way of life. Those who can adapt quicker to change will be at the forefront of new innovation and attract new opportunities quicker.
- Focus on what’s positive. Our experience of life comes down to what we choose to focus on. It takes more effort to focus on what’s positive because negativity is always around us. By choosing to focus on what’s positive, we’ll also be developing our mental strength, which will help us maintain a healthy attitude.
- Be intentional about who you spend time with. Instead of being around people who drag us down, it’s better to be around people who will lift us up. Those who have high ambitions or big dreams will challenge us to grow and become better at what we do.
- Be a better problem solver. If we’re still alive, it means we’ll still have problems. Becoming better at solving problems will open up new opportunities because we’ll be more focused on finding solutions. The more problems we solve, the more opportunities we’ll create.
- Be kind to yourself. It’s easy to expect ourselves to operate a high level and therefore, set a high standard for ourselves. There will be times when we will not meet our expectations or standards, so it’s important not to get down on ourselves. It’s more useful to quickly adjust our behaviour so we can continue moving towards what we want.
- Set meaningful and worthy goals. We need direction in life. Having goals gives us purpose, meaning and focus. Goals also gives us greater clarity on what we need to do on a daily basis. Having goals helps us remove things that are not important so that we can better focus on achieving what we want.
- Take consistent action towards what you want. Without taking regular action, we will not achieve our goals. When we’re taking action, we aren’t influenced by other things that may be interesting because we know they’re not important. More action leads to faster progress, which increases our chances of achieving what we want.
As we develop these characteristics, we will notice a shift in how we operate and feel on a daily basis. The better we feel about ourselves, the more confident and powerful we’ll be, which means we’ll also be happier and positively affect those we interact with on a regular basis.
Action Step: Choose one characteristic you know will bring you the most benefit initially and focus on developing it. Find someone who can help you through the process and also hold you accountable. Over time, add in other characteristics you’d like to develop.
Question: What other characteristics would deem a person to be level-headed?