How to develop inner strength

What are the top traits you think of for small business owners? You might think of leadership, an independent mindset or a hunger for success. These certainly are all traits of great leaders and entrepreneurs, but where do all those traits come from? The answer is inner strength.

Learning how to develop inner strength is a must for any entrepreneur. It will give you the ability to overcome obstacles and bounce back from failures – because failures are inevitable. Tony has said, “I don’t know anybody who’s been successful in life and business who hasn’t been devastated multiple times. The only difference is they get back up immediately.” That resilience comes from inner strength.

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What is inner strength?

Inner strength is a deep, unstoppable belief in yourself. It doesn’t depend on the actions of anyone else, and it doesn’t depend on your circumstances. Most people realize that finding inner strength is likely to benefit relationships and feelings of overall well-being. And many more have a vague concept of inner strength but haven’t pinned down a precise definition.

So what is inner strength really, and how does one go about developing more of it?

Inner strength is a concept open for interpretation. Psychologists use the term “inner strength” to refer loosely to the wide range of mental and emotional resources (behaviors, skills and attitudes) that keep us stable and adaptable in life. The following are the internal resources every human being has that allow them to adapt, change and bounce back from adversity. Focusing on them will help you discover you’re stronger than you realize.

Adaptive emotional skills: Mindfulness, resilience, empathy

Positive emotions: Love, self-compassion, gratitude

Optimistic outlook: Confidence, openness, determination

Engaged manner: Relaxed, humorous, responsible

Warm personality: Generous, hard-working, wise

Many of these aren’t innate personality traits – they’re skills you can develop with practice. You can learn how to practice gratitude, how to be confident and how to have empathy. Separately, they’ll lead to a more fulfilled and joyful life. But taken together, they are so much more powerful. You’ll be unstoppable.

How to develop inner strength

There are real strategies you can incorporate into your everyday life that will cultivate your inner strength and help you unleash your power.  

1. Use empowering rituals

Tony’s mentor Jim Rohn has said, “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.” They don’t have more time in the day. They just use it more wisely by building empowering habits. Incorporate the power of priming into your morning rituals. This dynamic technique helps you adjust your mindset and set the tone for your day. Other rituals include incantations and goal visualization. Tony even likes to take a cold plunge in the morning to invigorate himself, followed by a lean, healthy breakfast.

positive emotions

2. Understand that your choices define your life

Humans are the only beings with the gift of consciousness. We are the only living things that can choose what meaning we assign to our experiences. We can find the positive. We can change our story in deep and meaningful ways. We don’t have to let our circumstances define us. Those with inner strength face tough decisions head on and use them to become stronger. They take responsibility for themselves because they realize that they are the architect of their lives.

3. Raise your standards

It sounds straightforward, and it is. As Tony says, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” Expect more, and you will get more. Use the power of proximity and surround yourself with successful people who have achieved what you want, and thanks to the law of attraction, you’ll also get more of it. Find a mentor or get professional coaching that will lift you up and help you achieve your goals. Raise your standards and you’ll improve your life.

how to set goals

4. Discover your purpose

Purpose is what drives us all to be our absolute best. Your purpose in life isn’t to gain wealth or material things. It usually goes back to one of our most powerful human needs: contribution. How will you give back to the world? When you are looking back on your life, what will be your biggest accomplishment? Your biggest regret? These are the questions you must ask to find your purpose. When you do, inner strength naturally follows.

5. Turn your “shoulds” into “musts”  

As Tony says, “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” We say, “I should lose weight,” or “I should find a new job,” but we never take action. A must is something that you cannot live without doing. And when it comes to living the life of your dreams, every single step you need to take to get there is a “must.” 

6. Let go of the past 

Your past is only your future if you live there. Everyone has failed. Everyone has had challenges and setbacks. The difference between those who ultimately become successful and those who give up is the ability to find the lesson in the failure, assign it a positive meaning, then get back up and keep going. Stop feeding yourself disempowering stories of past mistakes and failures. Change the script in your mind and only allow positive thoughts. 

7. Focus

This might be the most important of all. “Where focus goes, energy flows,” says Tony, and if you put your focus on your future goals, the sky is the limit. Don’t dwell on what has gone wrong or could go wrong. Remember, there is no moment but the present. The past is over, and the future only lives in your imagination. Make the decision today to focus on what really matters: achieving your goals. With a single-minded purpose, your own defeats and negative experiences become small and insignificant.

set yourself up for success


8. Look to previous experiences 

The experiences you’ve had so far in life are valuable tools for building inner strength. When you’re having a hard time finding inner strength, ask yourself: What belief or feeling (like self-confidence or enthusiasm) would make finding inner strength easier right now? Have I had more (or less) of that feeling in the past – and what has changed since then? When you learn from previous experiences, everything becomes a resource. 

 9. Set yourself up for success 

Developing your internal resources takes more than just asking “What is inner strength?” It means priming yourself to find the strength you’re seeking. Set yourself up for success by building a routine and empowering mindset. Focus on your strengths and how you’ll use them to get to the next step. 

Why is inner strength important?

Walt Disney was fired from his first job. J.K. Rowling was divorced and nearly homeless when she started writing Harry Potter. Bill Gates was a college dropout and owned several failed businesses. NFL star quarterback Nick Foles discussed his failures – and how they shaped his path to finding inner strength – on a Tony Robbins podcast. Certainly none of these achievers would have become so extraordinary without the capacity for finding inner strength. 

But mastering how to develop inner strength has even greater benefits than helping you achieve your entrepreneurial dreams. It gives you a sense of peace and meaning. It is a well of energy you can draw from to keep you going through the toughest of times.  

People with inner strength forgive easily, because they know that they can only control their own actions and that their happiness is not dependent on others. They know the power of positive thinking to take control of their state and transform their mindset. In fact, one of Tony’s favorite quotes on finding inner strength is, “The power of positive thinking is the ability to generate a feeling of certainty in yourself when nothing in the environment supports you.”

At one Date With Destiny event, a young woman named Dawn epitomized this idea. Dawn escaped a cult at the age of 13, driven only by her deep belief that there was something more to life. As an adult, she made a choice: She took back her power, changed her story and found her purpose as a therapist helping others. Dawn’s story is powerful – but you don’t have to experience tragedy or hit personal rock bottom as a prerequisite to finding inner strength.

Inner strength quotes

Need some inspiration? These quotes on finding inner strength from Tony and his friends will energize you to realize your full potential.

“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.”  – Tony Robbins

“Failure is a part of life. It’s a part of building character and growing. Without failure, who would you be?” – Nick Foles

“The ultimate breakthrough happens by conditioning your mind every single day.” – Tony Robbins

“If you’re saying you can’t do something, why are you here? You’ve already made the decision in your mind that you can’t do it.” – Michael Phelps

“The greatest moments in my life have all come after the greatest challenges.” – Shaun White

“I believed in my potential. I believed I deserved it, and I used the mantra, ‘Why not me?.’” – Ellen Latham, Orangetheory Fitness

Building inner strength isn’t always easy, and it’s OK to have a bad day once in a while. We are all human, and life sometimes throws curve balls we aren’t expecting. It’s important to remember that “Life is not happening to you, it’s happening for you,” as Tony says. Discovering your purpose opens the door to finding inner strength and contentment. And then, there is nothing you can’t do.

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