What is YOUR “inner strength”? Do you know? Have you spent much time thinking about it?
Right now are you thinking of your positive qualities: I am kind, giving, a good listener, generous… ? These are all wonderful! However… these are ‘strengths’ that you use to enhance relationships with others, to support others when they are in need. But what strengths do you use to support yourself in times of unpredictability, uncertainty and hardship? What ‘inner strengths’ do you call upon when you feel off balance, insecure, don’t know what to expect or what to do next?
If you knew that your inner strength(s) could increase your confidence if you were more aware of them, would you want to know what they are? I WOULD!
Who couldn’t use a little more confidence in their life? A little more: courage, assurance, tenacity, fearlessness, daring and grit?
Most of us have endured struggles that have left our confidence levels depleted, left us feeling broken. These hardships may have been:
- health struggles
- mental health
- relationship issues
- dealing with grief
- goals unmet
- and many more
Where do we find the strength to rebuild, and increase our confidence, our self-esteem, once the pieces of our life begin to fit together again?
Our INNER STRENGTH comes from the totality of our experiences – both the positive and the difficult must be embraced. Our struggles develop our inner strengths just as powerfully as our accomplishments, greatest moments, and sometimes even more so. We can find our strength within ourselves if we know it is there, and where to look. You have to let the fire inside you burn brighter than the fire around you and you will find your inner strength.
This calls for vulnerability and none of us seem to like that word! Being vulnerable means we are opening ourselves up to the possibility of being hurt, so to be vulnerable ‘feels’ weak. But this is where we are wrong, ladies!
Vulnerability is not weakness. Vulnerability requires strength and courage. Vulnerability is where change happens!
You have endured struggles over which you had NO control. Why not ‘choose’ to be vulnerable and show up for yourself, be IN control as you confront your fears and say, “NO MORE!” It doesn’t have to be comfortable in the moment, but with this courage, you will find your “inner strength” and from there, your “confidence” will flourish!
Don’t let your struggles be your side hustles, always fighting with yourself to determine your own self-worth.
- Be Fearless
- Be Daring
- Be Vulnerable
- Be Courageous
What’s your story? It’s time to get inside it, and own it, girl! Are you ready to be IN control, be courageous and vulnerable, confront your fears and watch your confidence grow? (This is where you yell, “HELL, YA!”) Let’s take the first step toward finding our inner strengths. We are going to kick our fears’ ass together! Let’s do this!
*Update: I was contacted by Verywell Mind on April 1, 2020, in reference to this article I wrote on inner strength. I was asked to share Amy Morin’s podcast on this subject to expand the reach of the new Verywell Mind Podcast on Spotify. Please have a listen and follow their podcasts.
57 – Friday Fix: How to Find Inner Strength When You Need It the Most – The Verywell Mind Podcast with Amy Morin | Podcast on Spotify
What is FEAR and how can fear diminish our confidence? There are many types of fear that limit us day-to-day, some of them we don’t recognize, or choose not to recognize in ourselves (because why the heck would we want to be vulnerable and do that, am I right?):
- fear of judgment
- fear of failure
- fear of rejection
- more specifically the fear of public speaking
- and more
Do any of these fears resonate with you? Do you see any of these in yourself?
Outstanding influencers have voiced their thoughts about what fear is, the limitations fear places on us, and the results of these limitations.
Nelson Mandela declared:
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
Let’s look at the fear of judgment as an example. Fear of judgment has dramatically increased rates of social anxiety, led to a shocking number of women who avoid the gym or running in public, has had a paralyzing effect on many talented women (and men) who will not action their purpose/business/life goal or embrace their potential for fear of criticism, and has also led to increased debt ratios due to a “keep up with the Jones'” mentality. Perhaps you are affected by the fear of judgment in one of these ways or in another way.
Try these four strategies if you recognize the fear of judgment as limiting you:
- Do you have the courage to say, “I am enough”? To holler it from the hilltops, “I AMMMM ENOOOUUUGGHH!” To write this affirmation on your mirror, make it your screen saver, place sticky notes around your home that you will see, set pop-up reminders on your phone.
- Can you let your judgment go? Just catch yourself mid-judgment, and bravely intervene. Recognize your judgmental thought, your judgmental mindset, and choose to let it go. “I would so go to the gym if my ass wasn’t so…” AH! Caught you! Good-bye!
- You think finding your inner strength might be a challenge, how about owning your inner critic? Bring – it – on! Your inner critic has you doubting yourself, questioning your self-worth, comparing yourself to others.
Guess what? No matter what you do or where you go, people will judge you. FACT! But, guess what else? Those who judge others are too busy judging others and doing nothing themselves out of fear. So why do you care what the critics have to say? Are you going to let them be your reason for not being vulnerable, courageous, daring, fucking awesome and living a life with meaning and purpose? (This is where you yell, “HELL NO!”)
Be like Nelson Mandela! That man was the real deal! He had tenacity and grit! He was fearless! He showed courage and triumphed over fear despite being afraid! You can too!
That is some daring shit! But… keep in mind:
“The fears we don’t face become our limits.” – Robin Sharma
If we allow FEAR to control us, and we do not have the courage to contain our fear – we allow it to limit us, our dreams, and our potential. We do not feel we are good enough. Do you see how fear can paralyze us? How the fears we choose not to face can become our greatest limits and defeat us?
Fear of failure is a fear many choose to never face, not only because confronting fears is undesirable but because most of us see failure as a huge negative – it is a big, bad direct reflection of our skills, value, worthiness and potential. Yuck! Unfortunately, by not staring the fear of failure straight in its ugly face, we are allowing it to control us, and keep us from progressing in life and from fulfilling our dreams.
Fear kills hope. It can hold you back from something you know you are capable of doing. Fear will paralyze you! But… what if we can change your perception of failure so that you embrace it, rather than fear it? Whoa… this is some daring shit right here!
- Fear has us believe we are losers if we fail. Even successful people fail (Einstein, the lightbulb, blah blah blah, you’ve heard it a million times) The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is: successful people overcome fear, take further risks, and learn from their mistakes. They continue to grow, and you can too. You are not alone in your experience of fear of failure or your experience of failure.
- You cannot predict the future. You cannot control the future. Don’t let the unpredictable stop you from trying. What if I fail? But… What if I succeed?
- Failure leads to expertise! Have you ever wanted to be an expert at something? The best of the best? Instead of fearing failure, view potential failure as an opportunity to become an expert. Try one way, it doesn’t work? Try another way. It doesn’t work? Try two hundred other ways! Stop fearing it! Get out there and kick some ass!
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
– Les Brown
“Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
Have the courage to be vulnerable and act on fear if you want to begin to find and build your inner strength so that you can increase your confidence!
If it were easy – everyone would do it! You have the courage! Be fearless, be daring, define your own path and choose you, girl!
Check out one of my favorite videos about overcoming fear.