Thursday, 25 July 2013

How to find inner strength

By Nila Sweeney

Do you sometimes wonder how you've managed to face and handle tough situations in the past? Those times when you thought you’ve finally able to regain your footing; another wave of failure or losses knocks you down all over again?

I’ve been thinking about those myself, especially at times when my confidence is taking relentless battering from the problems that’s been coming in rapid succession.

Yet when I look back at my past troubles and then look at my current predicament, I'm amazed at how resilient I've been. No matter how difficult the situation was, I’ve always managed to pull myself out of the hole.

Each time I was about to reach my breaking point, I somehow got handed in a new lease of life, a hope and incredible inner strength that enabled me to bounce back.

Experts believe that some people have a natural predisposition to resilience and are able to bounce back from traumatic or difficult situations without trouble, while some people simply fold and crumble.

I believe anyone can cultivate resilience with a bit of effort. Here are the things that helped me develop inner strength and how it may help you too.

Nurture supportive relationship at home and at work.
Being nurtured by caring people makes you stronger, there’s no doubt about this. No matter how tough things get when you know you can count on someone for their unconditional support, you become more confident to face any challenges that come your way.

Let go of your need to control events.
Equanimity enables you to regain your footing during turbulent times. It’s a refuge or an island where you can rest and find stability.

Accept that some problems are outside your control. What you can control is the way you react and handle these situations. Focus in managing your thoughts, actions and habits. These will help you better deal with any adversity.

Face your problem squarely.
Avoiding the problem will only delay the inevitable fall out. It's better to confront the issue sooner than later so you can move on. Take stock of the situation and then take positive action.

A well-known Indian poet sums this up nicely in a beautiful prayer.

"Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers,
But be fearless in facing them.

Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain,
But for the heart to conquer it.

Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved,
But hope for the patience to win my freedom."
-Dr. Rabindranath Tagore 

Trust yourself.
When faced with seemingly endless litany of woes, we sometimes forget that we do have the mental, emotional and physical faculties to deal with these challenges.

We sometimes allow ourselves to be complacent, maybe even arrogant in maintaining a sense of entitlement. “Why should I have to deal with these issues?” “I deserve better!”

The thing is, when you adopt this line of thinking, you often end up suffering unnecessarily and unable to find a workable solution to your predicament.  As a result, you’d be stuck in the fall out.

You’re stronger than you think. You’ve been here before and you have the mental and emotional toughness to face this crisis. You just have to trust yourself. 

Be humble.
Humility enables you to see and admit to your role in this crisis. It helps you learn from your mistakes and enables you to focus on the positive steps you need to take to improve your situation.

Let go of the drama.
Sometimes we make things more difficult than they really are because we love drama. We tend to magnify the damage and blow it out of proportion either to elicit sympathy or just want to punish ourselves. When we let go of the drama and approach the problem as it is, we’ll be able to handle the situation better and find an appropriate solution.

Embrace change.
Everything is in a state of flux and nothing stands still. This means that no matter how difficult your current situation is, it won’t stay that way forever. It will get better.

Change is scary and uncomfortable, but it also brings possibilities and endless potential. No matter how difficult it can be at the start, trust in yourself that you will adapt and you will thrive.

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