Finding Inner Strength
Sometimes you feel weak. Mentally drained. Tired. Exhausted. But life keeps moving so you have to move forward as well. Where can you find sources of inner strength?
Eminem is a great example of someone who overcame self-doubt, poverty, and a world of negative influences around him. He was able to dig deep and find the strength needed for success deep with-in himself despite growing up with the odds stacked against him.
Eminem is just one example, but there are millions of stories out there of incredible human beings digging down deep within themselves to find their inner strength and unlocking their full potential.
I personally struggle with finding my own inner strength. I’ve read 100 articles and most of them give vague advice like “just have positive vibes” man. But there’s more to it than that.
To find your strength with-in, you must be consciously aware of yourself and the world around you. Here’s what I’ve found by reading expert opinions and through my own personal experiences.
Let’s dive in.
Understanding Your “Inner Strength” And Potential
Most people have a general idea of what ‘inner-strength’ is, but what is it really?
Is inner strength the same as will power? Or pain-tolerance? Or is inner-strength a measurement of how crazy you are despite the odds?
I think it’s a combination of all those things.
I’ve found that when you’re struggling the most, inner strength often feels a million miles away. Ironically, those are the times when you need it the most.
The Dalai Lama was famously quoted saying
17 Actionable Tips To Help You Find Your Inner-Strength Within
I hate vague tips that you don’t provide any real value, so I’m only including actionable tips which you can implement today.
1. Be Patient –
Setting your expectations is important. Developing inner-strength isn’t something that happens overnight. Just like lifting weights to build muscle, finding and developing inner-strength is a process that can take time.
Patience is something that I personally find myself struggling with. I often start making progress but not fast enough for my liking, so I get frustrated and give up. Having more patience is definitely something I’m working on developing more self-awareness towards.
According to The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, “ people who have patience are more satisfied with life and less depressed.”
Professor of Psychology Dr. Sarah A. Schnitker did a study in 2012 that found “those with patience made more progress toward their goals and were more satisfied when they achieved them”
2. Try Widening Your Perspective – Keep In Mind That Everything Passes –
Sometimes, when you’re in the moment of feeling ‘the need for inner-strength’, it can feel similar to actual pain and like you’ll never get there. In my experience it’s comparable to an emotional storm.
But just like the worst Tornadoes in Kansas, the storm of emotional distress will pass. And when it does, it will leave you a moment of clarity. This ‘calm after the storm’ is your opportunity for reflection and growth.
3. Get Over Your Inner Voice Of Doubt –
Dr. Lisa Firestone, a writer for Psychology Today understands that the nagging voice of self-doubt is all too common.
To get over your self-doubt Dr. Firestone has a few suggestions. For me personally this was a ‘game changer’.
- Understand what your voice is saying – even if it’s mean, nasty, or self-doubting. What is the tone, what is your inner voice saying specifically, and what does it really mean. What is the vibe.
- Think about where your inner-voice is coming from – After listening to your inner-voice think about where it’s coming from. Does it sound familiar? Maybe like a family member? Does it remind you of a specific negative memory or feeling. Really think about this
- Talk back – Try arguing with your inner voice. If you tell yourself that “your stupid” argue rationally with yourself that, most people aren’t that smart, and you’re not that stupid.
- Defy yourself – Force yourself to achieve what your inner voice says you cant. This is one where words can’t explain how difficult this is. But after forcing yourself towards achievement, your inner voice will start to quiet as you build confidence.
4. Taking Responsibility For your Life Decisions –
This is easy for some people and difficult for others. But in order to find a deeper inner strength, you need to take full responsibility for everything that has lead to where you are in life right now. NO EXCUSES
Taking complete ownership and responsibility over the full-state-of-your-life, is a common trait shared among some of the most successful minds in America.
I’m far from perfect, but when I started took take full responsibility for everything in my life (even things I didn’t think were my problem) I was able to see new opportunities and form new perspectives.
More specifically, sometimes I fall into the mindset that “life is happening to me”. Where when I take full responsibility, I feel more able to “make life happen for me”.
5. Let Go Of The Past By Processing Old Emotions –
We don’t (or at least I don’t) always allow myself to process my emotions fully. This usually ends up with a feeling of stress or anxiety and a few too many beers in order to relax. Not super healthy.
Psychology experts at Medical News Today tech that by allowing yourself to feel your emotional feelings completely, without fighting them or without trying to hide, burry, or fix them, itwill allow you to process these emotion and move past them.
Since processing emotion is difficult, and even shunned to a degree for men, it may help to express yourself in a journal, with a trusted friend, through artistic expression, or even with a therapist.
6. It’s Okay To Feel Not Okay –
Humans are humans not robots (yet). We don’t always feel good and we’re not supposed to. The human brain comes pre-programmed with a full spectrum of emotions and we’re meant to use all of them.
If you’re having a bad mental day don’t get down on yourself about it. Allow yourself to process why you’re having a bad mental day, reflect on it, and remember that tomorrow is a new day.
Try not to let one bad day, blend into the next.
7. Ask Yourself “Why?” What’s Motivating You & Why Do You Need Inner-Strength –
From a large scale perspective, no-one know why humans exist, or what our true purpose in the universe is. But, on a smaller individual scale we’re all motivated by something. Why do you do what you do?
What motivates you?
Is it Success? Is it Power? Is it Money, is it to do good in the world? Is it to set a good example for your kids?
Whenever I need my inner-strength the most It requires that I dig down deep and search for my “why”. For me personally, it’s to be the best version of myself and to do good in the world. But your “why” is different for everyone.
If you don’t have a why – Finding one can be your starting point, but it’s up to you to find it.
8. Start Exercising –
I’ve found that exercising and building external strength can build internal strength as well (but not always). Studies have shown that regular exercise can (and will) increase your self-confidence and self-esteem.
After you start to exercising semi-routinely, you’ll gradually start seeing both positive physical, and mental changes to your body and your mind. By pushing yourself (even just a little bit) it proves that you can do more than you thought you could.
Every-time you exercise you get a samll sense of accomplishment which feels good on its own, but that sense of accomplishment also releases dopamine into your brain as a reward.
9. Try Practicing Yoga –
OK, OK I know what you’re thinking, “yoga’s for monks or flexible girls carrying Starbucks coffee cups” – This is a fair stereotype, but one that I wouldn’t put a lot of stock into.
A few years ago I thought yoga was too “hokey”, but now I practice yoga 1-2 times a week and probably should do it more to relax and stretch out my back.
When you’re looking for inner strength often the last thing I want to do is yoga, but it works.
By gaining control of your breathing and forcing oxygen deep into outstretched muscle groups yoga puts you in a state of mind where finding clarity becomes so much easier.
Even if it’s just at home in front of your TV on Youtube, give yoga a shot and see what happens.
10. Don’t Let Fear Factor Into Your Decision Making –
I didn’t know this until I wrote this article, but fear of making the wrong decision is actually a phobia called decidophobia.
As someone who over-thinks most everything, I’ve experienced fear holding me back, more often than I care to admit. Fear can make us feel helpless, scared, and vulnerable. But you can’t let it control your life.
Expert psychologists have found that we often over-estimate ‘risk’ and therefore we overestimate thee fear associated with that risk.
To escape this false feeling of fear, try to understand what your fear is and what the actually probability of that fear happing would be? This will help give you some perspective to weigh risk vs. reward when trying to make a difficult decision.
Often, the hard decision is the right decision, but in order to move forward, we must face our fears.
Fear can prevent you from living your dream, and pursuing your passion. You probably don’t want to look back and think “what if”
Face Your Fears
11. Re-Program Your Unconscious Mind –
Just like updating your computer to the newest version of Windows or Mac operating software, you can update your unconscious brain processing software as well.
Everybody has (to a degree) some repressed emotions, thoughts, and most us of have experienced a form of trauma. But to heal or just move forward in life, reprogramming your unconscious mind is a great option.
For many people, the unconscious mind holds onto things that we don’t want to think about. For example, judgments about ourselves, unresolved & suppressed emotions, childhood trauma, PTSD, ect.
We often suppress these thoughts and feeling with rational thought from our conscious mind, often convincing ourselves not to think about it, or to just forget about the thoughts bubbling up from our unconscious mind.
Unfortunately our brains don’t work that way.
(For a complete guide on re-programming your unconscious mind, check this out.)
12. Repeat Self-Affirmations Daily –
At first, this may sound a little “hokey” as well, at least that’s what I thought, but practicing positive affirmations is a practice that is thousands of years old.
Repeating positive Self-Affirmations is even being actively being taught in our military today, as a means of providing “mental armor” and coping with PTSD.
An affirmation is just positive saying or positive self talk repeated over and over again out-loud. To work correctly, it takes repetition. Do this everyday.
The real key with affirmations is to choose something positive which through repetition, you hope to drill into your unconscious mind so that in times of need, it bubbles up right into your conscious mind.
For example you may wake up in the morning and repeat the affirmation “I Choose To Be Happy” 10 times (or maybe 30 times) while looking in the mirror before you start your day.
On the first day you’ll probably forget by the time you get to your car. But on the second day, you may remember this when someone cuts you off in traffic. But after a month of repetition, you’d be surprised, but you may actually notice a dramatic difference in your overall level of happiness and inner strength.
There are thousands of affirmations to choose from or you can create your own. The goal with choosing an affirmation is to make it highly personal and motivating.
13. Practice Being Calm And Having Self-Control In Adversity –
Stanford University’s science Director Dr. Emma Seppälä discusses the effects anxiety vs. calm on your mindset in a 2019 article.
Dr. Emma outlines the impacts on stress and anxiety on things like your emotional intelligence and your decision making. When you’re tightly “wound up”, you’re much more likely to over-react or react negatively to situations than to respond with reason.
A study in 2007 by the Brain Imaging and Behavior and Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, found that after meditation training participants were able to increase self-control, communicate more effectively with others, and reduce stress.
Dr. Emma Seppälä continues on to conclude that If you want to get the most out of yourself in terms of your productivity, creativity, and innovation—making progress at work or just solving the basic problems of life that you’re faced with—calm is the key.
14. Understand How To Empower Yourself
Understand How You Give Away Power?
- When You Listen To The Over-Critical or Judgmental Thoughts That Disempower Your Worth, Potential, or Abilities.
- When You Force Life And Go Too Fast.
- Saying Yes, When You Really Mean No.
- When You Don’t Listen To Your Inner-Feelings or Needs.
- Not Sticking Up For Yourself
Understand How You Feel Empowered?
- When You Slow Down and Think.
- Asking For Help.
- By Sharing Your Truth In A Kind And Rational Manner.
- Surrounding Yourself With People Who Love And Accept You
- Prioritizing Time In To Connect With Nature.
- Engaging In Healthy Choices Like Exercising, Getting Good Sleep, Healthy Eating, Social Connection, Relaxation Time, And Meditation.
- Engaging In A Community Or Group With A Shared Goal Or Intention.
- When You Are Creating.
- By Helping Others.
15. Spend Time With Like-Minded People –
When it comes to building confidence and finding deep inner strength, spending time with like-minded people is a breath of fresh air.
Negative influences pull your energy down with them, but positive like-minded people will resonate on the same frequency as you and help pull you up. Like-minded people (most likely) will understand what you’re going through, and if not, they will at least be able to put themselves in your shoes and relate.
In my experience, spending time with like-minded people is a great way to get new perspectives on life that you may not have thought about. New perspectives, mean new angles and new opportunities. New hope, and new inspiration to keep moving forward with.
16. Read A Book –
Often when you find yourself searching for inner strength it comes at a time when you’re feeling stuck or stagnant in life.
From my experience, when you’re feeling stuck a great approach is too take a step back and try looking at why you feel stuck from a new perspective.
A new perspective can provide you with a completely new way of thinking which may be the key to getting yourself unstuck.Reading allows you to learn new knowledge, understand new ideas, and see things from different perspectives.
For the most significant impact on your perspective, try reading books about foreign cultures or about some of the Greatest Minds the world has ever known.
Get to know more about people like Buddha, Albert Einstein, Ray Dalio, or even Steve Jobs. They are undoubtedly some of the most influential thinkers of all time.
17. Reflect Daily –
Reflecting is so simple, yet so under-utilized.
Nothing great in the history of the universe, has anything ever been built, that worked perfectly on the first attempt. Building anything great is a process. Try, reflect, improve, and try again, and repeat.
It’s a simple formula that’s been responsible for everything in our lives. Look at the iphone 1 vs. the iphone 29 (or whatever number they’re up to now) the processing speed, screen definition, camera capability all vastly improved over time by the process of refinement.
Building inner-strength or more broadly, a more rewarding life, is no different. However, most us us never take time for reflection, and them wonder why there’s no improvement.
By making daily reflection a part of your routine, you’ll have no choice but to improve on your level of happiness, inner-strength, and life in general.
18. Try micro-Dosing –
Micro-dosing psilocybin mushrooms is turning a new cheek in the scientific world and depression breakthroughs are at the forefront and the most researched condition for psilocybin treatment.
In 2018 the mental health care company “Compass” was awarded “breakthrough therapy” designation (a fast track review) by the FDA for studies in psilocybin treatment of depression.
According to a 2017 study published by ScienceDirect.com…,
Psilocybin appears to be safe, rapid, and enduring in its antidepressant action.
It is important to note the study considered psilocybin’s abuse potential to be “low”
There are also several publicly traded companies where you can buy stock in mushroom companies. (I already bough stock in 3 mushroom companies)
More research is needed, but early results from the study, would suggest psilocybin as an alternative to SSRI antidepressants such as Zoloft, Prozac or Xanax.
““I felt so much lighter, like something had been released, it was an emotional purging, the weight and anxiety and depression had been lifted.” – Study Participant
8 Benefits To Increasing Your Inner-Strength
- Increase Your Overall Level Of Happiness – Lottery winners aside, increasing happiness isn’t usually something that comes overnight.
No false promises. But by becoming more self-aware, in-tune with your motivations, and by practicing ways to increase inner-strength, increased happiness will come as a result.
According to Harvard Medical, Positive emotions have been directly linked with better health, longer life, and greater levels of happiness in numerous scientific studies.
I’ve found that personally by increasing my general self-awareness I feel that I’m able to make more progress in life which yields a deeper level of life satisfaction and happiness.
- Reduce Stress & Anxiety – Being unsure about life or having the feeling that “life is just happening to you” instead of taking control of life, causes a lot of stress and anxiety.
When you lack inner-strength you feel stuck and unable to move forward, or unsure how to move forward. But by digging deep and forcing yourself to make decisions and moves that increase your inner strength, you’ll be able to pull yourself out of being stuck.
I don’t mean to make this sound easy, I’ve struggled with feeling stuck for years so I know what it takes to get unstuck. But once you start building strength your confidence will increase and your level of worry will start to decrease.
- More Control Over Your Life – Greater inner-strength gives you the ability to have more control over your life. Not complete control, but more control.
The more you work at building inner strength, the more control over your life you’ll have.
Dr. Nathan DeWall, published an article for the American Psychological Association, showing that based on his research, self-control will contribute to personal and professional success more than smarts or family background.
For example, inner-strength can help you stop procrastinating and overcome laziness. Overtime this will pay dividends.
- Enhance Your Self-Esteem – As you inner strength builds over time, so will your own self-confidence. Self-confidence is not like ‘flipping a light switch on’ and then BAM all of a sudden you have self-confidence.
True self-confidence is something you need to build slowly over time. As you continue to push yourself through new bounds you’ll build confidence. Eventually the giant mountains that you thought you’d never climb start to look like small hills.
This is what self-confidence looks like. As you reflect on your struggles 9as long as you don’t quit) you’ll see that you overcame tough times and this understanding will build more confidence for your future.
- Make Decision Making Easier – The benefits to developing inner-strength are not singular, but compounding. What does that mean? The benefits are all connected an each improves on the next.
By taking control of your life, reducing anxiety, increasing happiness, and developing more self-esteem, decision making will naturally come easier.
As you improve your decision-making process overtime, you’ll naturally make better and quicker decisions. Poor decision making is expected from those with low levels of inner strength because they will be tempted by ‘quick fixes’ and short-term gains which eventually lead nowhere.
- Courage And Strength To Endure Difficulties And Keep You Going Through Tough Times – Life isn’t supposed to be easy (unless you’re Justin Bieber). It’s a statistical certainty that you will hit hard times in your life.
I’ve been there and hard times create immense amounts of stress, anxiety, and pressure. As the saying goes, there’s no progress with-out struggle. And as you may or may not know, the most beautiful diamonds in the world are formed under intense geological pressure.
What does that mean for you ?
Finding inner strength not only gets you through hard times, but it makes you into a stronger better version of yourself, and also gives you the confidence you can reflect on to keep you moving forward for years to come.
- Have More Optimism About Life – It’s easy to be pessimistic (bad vibes) when you’re in need to inner-strength. But by gaining inner-strength it can give insight to change your perspective to start seeing what’s possible.
I’m still more pessimistic than I should be, but I’ve come along way and I’ve identified a more optimistic approach to life as a goal worth perusing.
- Develop a Higher Levels Of Awareness / Consciousness – Fortunately for us, our brains are built for change.
New research has revealed that the brain never stops changing and optimizing in response to external learning and growing. This means that new-found inner strength is literally programmed into your brain. First into your conscious awareness, then your sub-conscious, and eventually into your unconscious mind.
Building inner strength takes self awareness, and self-awareness builds general awareness, and self-awareness combined with general awareness raises your level of consciousness.
Setting expectations for increasing your level of consciousness and awareness is important. It’s not something where some “trick” will suddenly raise your consciousness. It’s a slow and constant improvement over time.
Patience is key.
Conclusion: Finding Your Inner Strength
Finding inner strength isn’t like a treasure hunt where something’s hidden and once you find it you’re done.
Inner strength is something that gets developed and increases over time. Just like exercising or going to the gym to build muscle and stamina, building inner-strength is a process that builds on itself and will continue to grow as long as you continue the effort.
I personally work on at least one of these items listed above everyday. I’m not perfect, or a guru, or a multi-millionaire but I am a better version of myself than I was a few months ago and definitely way better than I was a few years ago. And I will continue to be a better version of myself next year.
The goal with finding inner-strength is to build a better version of yourself with is completely attainable for every human on the planet.
But that’s what I think, let me know what you think.
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