Your inner strength is best defined as, “stable traits, an enduring source of well-being, wise and effective action, and contributions to others.”  In other words, your inner strength is your ability to do the right thing, the right way, without any concern about what others think.
In this article, we’ll look into how to find your inner strength so you can stay strong even when you face adversity.
How Do You Handle What Life Throws At You?
Think about the one person (may be more than one for some of you) at work who annoys everyone because they seem to lack emotional intelligence. They are always talking about controversial topics or stereotyping people in the worst kind of way.
You probably have two thoughts flowing through your mind. The first is telling them why no one likes them and why you wish to be left alone. The other is going to be a more compassionate approach to better understand them and see if you can address the root of the problem.
Think about the last time someone cut you off on the road while you were driving home. Again, you probably found yourself dealing with two possible choices. You were not sure if you were going to react in an aggressive manner and race around them, cut them off, and then slam on your brakes in front of them. Or you could always take a more thoughtful approach and decide to let it go. You assess the situation and realize you were not injured, and consider the possibility that they genuinely did not know you were there.
In one last example, how would you react if you felt like you were overlooked for a promotion? Even if you were the most qualified, does allowing yourself to get upset and quit abruptly help your cause? Instead, consider the many opportunities you were afforded throughout your career.
There is a level of contentment, consideration, calmness, and patience found within someone who uses their inner strength. Just as the word “strength” traditionally implies, there is also a level of endurance necessary to use such restraint throughout your life.
This is important to understand because your inner strength is essential to you living your dream life. Your inner strength helps you to deal with the obstacles life is going to throw your way. When you think of words like resilience and perseverance, they are both tied to a deep sense of inner strength and purpose.
You know how I love to reference comic books, so think about the Marvel movie, Captain America: Civil War. Captain America (Steve Rogers) is willing to fight against the authorities and fellow Avengers in order to protect his friend Bucky Barnes. This escalates to the point that some of his friends are imprisoned; while others are fighting him at ever corner. In a moment, Rogers goes from beloved hero to wanted fugitive. His fall from grace is encapsulated when he even has to surrender his famed shield.
However, you can tell that Rogers is at peace with his decision to stand by his Bucky against all opposition. He likely wishes there could have been another way, but he knows there is nothing he would change.
You are going to find yourself dealing with situations where you are standing against the grain. Where conventional wisdom is going to push you in a direction you are not excited about going.
Your inner-strength or fortitude could take the form of compassion against someone everyone dislikes. Yet, it could also present itself in the form of strong action in the face of indifference.
Think of your inner strength as your ability to handle whatever life throws at you in a compassionate and thoughtful way.
How To Tap Into Your Inner Strength
If you are like me, you have plenty of voices inside your head at any given moment. These voices can represent a variety of reactions, thoughts, and emotions you could utilize.
For example, how would you feel if you had to present information in-front of a group of colleagues or superiors? Some people will feel nervous and apprehensive, while others will feel confident and excited.
Now, consider the words each emotion may convey to you…
- Someone who is apprehensive may wonder if they still have time to back out.
- While a person who is nervous could be worried about getting a question they do not know how to answer.
- If you feel confident, you are telling yourself that this is your opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd.
- And someone who is excited may be visualizing themselves receiving a standing ovation at the end of their presentation.
Even though you have a variety of voices reacting to every situation, they really come down to two voices, your inner strength and your inner critic.
If you want to increase your ability to listen to your inner strength, you need to work on staying present in the moment. Mindfulness is a great way to allow yourself to respond, instead of react to the events in your life.
In the examples earlier, you could react to someone cutting you off on the interstate by cutting them back off. Or you could take a moment and realize that the issue has not impacted you in anyway. However, if you escalate the situation, there is now the possibility that you have compromised your well-being.
Be Mindful of What Is Going on Inside of You
It is best to think of mindfulness meditation as the practice of creating space for your thoughts.
When you take a moment and ponder how you want to react to a situation, you are tapping into your inner strength. Moreover, by practicing mindfulness meditation on a regular basis, you will improve your ability to hear your inner strength.
The good news is you don’t need anything special to practice mindfulness mediation. In fact, all you need to do is follow these six simple steps:
- Take a seat. Find a place to sit or kneel that feels calm and quiet.
- Set a time limit. It can be as short as a few minutes or as long as a few hours. Recommend 5 to 10 minutes when starting out.
- Notice your body. How does your body feel in the position you chose? Do you feel any pressure on your joints from sitting or kneeling?
- Feel your breath. Follow the path of your breath as it moves through your body.
- Notice when your mind has wandered. You cannot keep your mind from wandering. Instead, whenever you notice it has wondered, simply return your focus to your breath.
- Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t worry about where your mind wanders. Allow yourself the ability to experience the moment and once the moment passes, return to the present.