Why you are stronger than you think
You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – Winnie the Pooh
(A. A. Milne)
Being “strong” is a phrase we hear a lot lately. The word is used so much on social media, in the news and in conversation that it can lose its meaning.
What does it really mean to be strong?
The truth is that mental strength isn’t something you’re born with. It’s something you can develop, no matter who you are or where you come from. You are stronger than you think – and when you realize that, your power is limitless.
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1. You are adaptable
Humans have outlived many other species. We’ve survived this long because we are adaptable physically and mentally. We’re able to live in nearly every climate on earth. We’ve made transformative discoveries that lengthen lifespans, eliminate diseases and feed billions of people each day. Humans are unique this way. No other life form on the planet can adapt the way we can.
Remind yourself of this essential human trait as you navigate difficult waters. Think back on a tough time you faced in the past. How did you use your innate resourcefulness to rise to the challenge? Maybe you needed to learn a new skill or make a change to your daily routine. Maybe you asked for help. You adapted – and you overcame – because you are stronger than you think.
2. You are resilient
Tony has worked with people who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds: Cult victims. The abused. Those with multiple personalities. They created extraordinary lives because they had incredible inner strength. They knew that our most difficult moments shape who we are. Life isn’t what happens when everything is going your way. A fulfilling life is forged when we rise from the ashes of what we used to be.
You don’t need to have a painful or traumatic past to find that sometimes life just gets you down. If you find yourself caught in negative thought patterns, change your perspective. Think about all the things you have to be grateful for. Learn lessons from your failures so that you can reframe them in a positive way. And don’t ever give up.
3. You are in control
Tony teaches that “Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can save their lives.” Stop seeing your life as a series of events that are outside your control. Start taking ownership. Recognize that everything in your life is a result of a decision you made – not your boss, your parents or your spouse.
That means you have the power to take action and change your whole world. What will you do to take control of your situation? Update your résumé. Work on your business plan. Create an exercise routine. Practice mindfulness. Reconnect with your loved ones. Learn a skill that will help you reach your goals or pick up a new hobby just for fun. Whatever you do, take decisive action. Rise to the challenge and create a life that’s empowering, not clouded with negativity. As you build your confidence, you’ll realize you are stronger than you think.
4. You face your fears
Fear is a natural instinct. If our ancestors weren’t afraid of lions, we wouldn’t be here today. Many of us choose to ignore our fear. It makes us uncomfortable because it points out our flaws. It fills us with self-doubt. It even causes us to physically tremble and sweat. We often don’t have the tools to overcome these feelings, so we avoid them. But when you know that you are stronger than you think, you face your fears head on.
We were taught that there are three reactions to fear: fight, flight or freeze. But there is another F word we weren’t taught: faith. And it’s much stronger than fear. People with mental strength call on faith over self-doubt. They know that they are here for a reason, and that reason is much greater than any problems they will face. They have faith that they can handle anything. They were made for adversity – and they will not let it stop them.
5. You know that life is a journey
Life is a journey, not a destination. For everything there is a season. This too shall pass. Our world is filled with sayings that all get to the same point: Life is bigger than we are. Setbacks are temporary. Both pain and pleasure are fleeting. The forces of love and hate are locked in a constant battle. It’s this polarity that allows us to appreciate the good when we have it. To do this, you need to let go of your expectations. “Trade your expectation for appreciation and the world changes instantly,” as Tony says.
The universe is vast. Life really is short. Do you want to spend it in a negative state, or will you choose to see joy and love? Will you empower yourself with the knowledge that you are stronger than you think? Will you embrace change – no matter what it brings – and let it drive you to create an extraordinary life?
Want to uncover your own inner strength?
At Unleash the Power Within, you’ll learn the skills you need to build resilience, take action and transform your life for the better.