Every one of us has inner strengths, far beyond what we are aware of. The extent to which your inner strength is buried within you effects your access to it, yet with the right effort you can discover these powers. Childhood experiences or life traumas may have concealed your inner strengths (and they may be the cause for problems you have with self-confidence and accessing your strengths), but they are, and always remain, your natural birthright — and are waiting right beneath the surface, beckoning to be released. Finding these inner resources is not always easy — there are no magic pills. It often requires painstaking work. But with diligence and persistence you can uncover them. Begin with the attitude and commitment that you are going to invest in finding your inner strength, and use the following techniques to do the work.
An olive does not produce oil until you press it — meeting a challenge brings out the best in a person. Inside of you there is potential that is unrealized, but without some pressure you won’t access it. Pressure builds a drive to overcome the obstacle, the need to find a way. People find solutions that they never would have thought of had they not been under pressure. Pressure also dislodges and forces the hidden strengths to surface.
Think of a dam. As the dam restrains the flowing water, the water builds up pressure, and continues growing in strength, until the point that the water can burst through the dam with enormous intensity — power that would never have been tapped were there no resistance from the dam. The deeper the resistance, the more power is built up. This principle holds true in our personal lives.
Over time, it gets harder to express repressed inner strength. You need to begin using this tool like a muscle that went into atrophy. Slowly slowly warm it up and massage it gently (metaphorically) to get it ready for use.
Embrace challenges and put yourself in situations where you have to find solutions, but do it in a way that is not overwhelming — challenging but not demoralizing. Don’t force anything, don’t “bite off more than you can chew,” setting yourself up for failure. The key is to score small victories, and build up your strength and confidence. Find small scenarios where you can exercise your inner strengths facing small obstacles. Aiming for perfection is not realistic — aim for hope and attainable goals instead.
Spend Time With Strong People
Success is contagious. Excellence brings out excellence, and mediocrity brings out mediocrity. Being around people who access and express their inner strengths help you build and express your inner strengths, while being around fearful people builds fear. It is OK if you feel a little bit inferior to them — some competition is healthy. Healthy envy motivates and increases wisdom.
Stand for Something
Ask yourself: Is there anything so important to you that it is not optional? What is your inner strength for? What do you stand for? Find something permanent rather than things that are of physical nature. (Money, pleasure, and prestige are of a physical nature, while things like helping others, sharing wisdom, and pursuing spirituality are of an eternal nature.) Direct your inner strength toward something beyond and greater than yourself.
Exercise: How do you deal with confrontation? Do you know how to solve a problem? Do you withdraw or explode when faced with challenges? Journal about it in your MyMLC journal.
Go deeper into this subject: Are You Driven? | Your Guide to Personal Freedom: Counting the Omer Week Four |