Sunday, 7 June 2015

Give Thanks~Feel Joyful WK 22- Inner Strength

Inner Strength is one of the qualities that help to define us as a person. So often we describe people as having a strong or weak character which usually comes about because of the way we see them handle different situations in life.

Quite often people who are bullied are considered ‘weak characters’ because they appear unable to stand up for themselves. As a general rule this is true although there is one group of people who attract negative energy because of their strengths and these are people who hold firm beliefs and refuse to adapt to pressure from others. Religious fanatics, politicians and people with a cause tend to fit into this category of strong people who are under attack from the media or individuals.
The ‘bully’ is not operating from a place of controlled inner strength. The bully is failing to tackle his/her weaknesses and compensates by using physical or emotional abuse towards others to create a sense of personal strength and control. Bullying is an outward display of their weakness.

How do we develop inner strength?- Some suggestions:

Ø  Know and love yourself. We need to take time to understand ourselves, accept who we are and love ourselves unconditionally. Initially this is extremely difficult and we may question whether we are loveable: we need to accept that we are and believe it. Loving yourself is an ongoing and life-long process- the sooner we begin the better. Here are some very simple questions to help you get started- Where am I right now? What do I like about myself? What needs to change? How will I go about making those changes?

Ø  Look at your weaknesses and decide how to start making changes. Once you have identified your weaknesses you need to decide how to go about making changes. What do you want to tackle first? This can be a characteristic such as patience, being consistent, doing a thorough instead of a rushed job. It may be that we need to be positive, encourage others instead of criticising or spend more time with our families. Start with realistic targets so that you can see gradual improvements and congratulate yourself on your achievements.

Ø  Identify your core values. It really helps us to know what we believe and why as this is central to inner strength. Once you have a set of solid core values you know who you are and how to operate. Your conscience is an excellent guide and works far better with a set of rules to adhere to. People do lose their way in life at times and core values can become blurred. Very often people reach a point where they naturally re-evaluate their beliefs, often making changes as they enter adulthood. We might change religions, careers or relationships as we realign ourselves in order to create a code we can live happily by.

Ø  Identify your true friends. It’s very important to have the right people in our lives that have our best interests at heart. These are the people who help us to keep focused and actively encourage us to be strong when they can see us wavering in difficult situations. They encourage us to hold on, or keep trying when we feel like giving up. They will also help us to identify potential change when we are set in our ways. If we have confident, motivated people around us who do not exhibit traits of jealousy or envy, we can really benefit both from their example and advice.

Ø  Develop the habit of encouraging yourself. When developing inner strength we need patience. You will not become a new person overnight but will make strides and learn new lessons. We need to keep progressing and re-evaluating ourselves whilst appreciating our achievements. The aim is to become a better version of ourselves in the same way that products are upgraded. We don’t have to be radically different however we need to question who we are and how things affect us in light of the changes within society, our families, our workplaces and so forth.

It is inner strength that helps us through the most difficult times of our lives and inner strength that gives us the determination to climb mountains! It is an amazing quality and well worth taking the time to cultivate.

Jaz McKenzie

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