30, Aug, 2012

Badassitude Pep Talk No. 47: Draw Upon Your Inner Strength

img0001You’re strong. You’re tough. You’re brave. Yes, it’s true, or you wouldn’t have made it this far. With every challenge, disappointment, obstacle or difficulty that you face, an opportunity to grow stronger, wiser, better and smarter presents itself. And when you take advantage of that opportunity, and rise to the occasion, reacting to adversity with grace and personal power, you build your inner strength. Your inner strength becomes a reservoir of hope, courage, determination, tenacity, humor, and love that uplifts, motivates and energizes you. The reservoir is deep within you, and sometimes you overlook it, or forget to tap into it, and you think you’re weak, or failing, or lacking in some way. But don’t get sucked down into the vortex with that self-fulfilling prophecy. There is nothing you lack — you hold the key to your strength, your happiness and your future.

In the worst of times, some people shine, triumph, and excel beyond all expectations. They do this because they’ve learned how to recognize, acknowledge, and implement their inner strength. They know that every time they make the brave choice, the choice that doesn’t involve self-seeking, self-pity or self-indulgence, they increase their inner strength reserves. And they know how to access those reserves. Here are four strategies, or practices that you can use to more readily recognize, build, and evoke your inner strength:

Know Yourself. This is ongoing, it’s a life-long journey. Life is constantly changing, and so is any living being. Our environment is in a constant state of flux. The universe is expanding, exploding. But there is an essential part of you, a knowing, that remains, that holds steady. That’s the part of yourself that anchors you. One way to access this self-knowledge is through the practice of meditation, prayer, or deep contemplation. Practice visualization and use mantras to focus your inner consciousness. Adversity introduces us to ourselves. So does love. So do giving and receiving gracefully.

Remember Who You Are and How Far You’ve Come. When you’re in a relaxed state of contemplation, meditating, listening to your favorite music, or exercising (in the zone), let your mind drift back over your past experiences. Remain as objective as possible, view these recollections as if you’re watching a movie. Give yourself credit for brave, generous, honest actions. Acknowledge any selfless deeds. Celebrate the good things. Look over the not-so-good or regrettable choices or actions. What have you learned, or can you learn from these things? Remember, everyone makes mistakes, it’s part of life. But we’re not doomed to repeat them, we can learn from experience and access the strength to move on.

Remember Where You’re Going. Stay focused on the things that you want to accomplish. Establish your short and long term goals, then reassess them daily, weekly, monthly and annually. you’re plotting your course through life. When you live in a state of consciousness that keeps your ultimate goals in front of you at all times, then difficulties are much easier to face. Sift out the petty drama and unnecessary stress by aligning yourself with a greater purpose or higher power. Ask yourself, “Will this matter in a year? Five years? A hundred years?” Bruce Lee said, “A goal is not always meant to be reached. It often serves simply as something to aim at.”

Refrain from Setting Limitations on Progress or Possibility. This is where badassitude takes self-doubt to the woodshed. Try thinking in terms of unlimited possibility. What would you do if you absolutely could not fail? Bruce Lee said, “If you always set a limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there. You must go beyond them.” You can if you think you can.

Whenever you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you win. When you access your inner strength there is nothing you cannot accomplish. There are times when you’ll find yourself lagging on the path to your dreams. Those are the times when you can tap into your reservoir of hope, courage and experience. Practice meditation, prayer, and visualization. Use mantras and compile a list of self-enhancing statements to read to yourself before going to sleep at night. Write the statements in present tense and make sure they describe the state you want to attain as though you’re already there. These processes, when engaged consistently, will reprogram your mind to accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible. Your inner strength will become an inexhaustible source of self-empowerment, at your fingertips. It’s an unstoppable force within you. Use it well and wisely.

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