I have to admit: I don’t like the word WEAK. Actually, I hate it. (And I know you’re not supposed to use the word hate but I’m going to anyways.) I believe that none of us are weak.
We are all strong.
What is your definition of being strong? Do you believe that you are a strong person? What makes someone strong? I received multiple examples from my clients of their view. Here are some:
1. I am strong because I got through a lot of crap as a kid.
2. I am weak because I had to go to treatment for my heroin addiction. My cousin is strong because he did it on his own.
3. I am weak because I am in therapy.
4. I am strong when I’m able to contain my feelings. I am weak when I cry.
5. I am weak because I couldn’t handle the stress without needing to ask for help.
This is about one’s own power; the will and ability to get through something in a certain way. These examples show me how focused we are on "moving forward" "getting through something" "sweeping things under the rug" and not enough on growth and personal development.
But, we have missed the mark on what strength is truly about – emotional intelligence.
- Insight and understanding one’s self, self-awareness
- Coping and managing emotions in a healthy, self-compassionate way
- Adapting to change, being flexible
- Able to grow from experiences in a meaningful way
- Asking for help, using one’s community of non-judgmental support
We are not born with these abilities. They are instilled in us, taught and developed over the course of our life. Our strength can grow with each meaningful experience we have, with each change that occurs, with more awareness we learn about ourselves.
So, I challenge you to examine your own view of strength. How did you develop this view? What was instilled in you as child and has that stayed with you over time?
Huffington Post wrote about the 9 Essential Habits of Mentally Strong People:
And Forbes wrote about 5 Powerful exercises to increase your mental strength (I like #4 the best): http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2013/12/03/5-powerful-exercises-to-increase-your-mental-strength/
I read a quote the other day from Kid President, he said: "Give people high-fives just for getting out of bed. Being a person is hard sometimes."
Doesn't that put things in perspective? You're strong just for getting out of bed - things can only get better from there.
Trusting your intuition