Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing. – Unknown
For those expecting to see a post about strength levels in the gym this article may leave you disappointed. Instead this post is about strength in all walks of life – We sometimes forget that strength encompasses the mind and body and where the mind leads to body will follow.
Last week when watching the new Saucony “What is Strong” ad campaign it got me thinking about what strength is and how we can implement it into everyday life. It also got me thinking about how we can work with our weaknesses and counterbalance them with our strengths….
Strong is Being Yourself – In the face of adversity and being true to yourself. This can mean different things depending on the situation and it can be tough – things like peer pressure and social media make it hard at times. Stick with it though, do what you love and do it well. Strength can also come from experience – sometimes we fear things that we have never experienced or done. Once we get around to doing the stuff that scares us 9 times out of 10we realise that the picture that we build up in our minds is much worse than the reality. Go with it, Roll With The Punches.
Strong is Trying Your Best – All we can do is try our best in life. Whether its sport, work or just some part of everyday life you can always gain strength from the knowledge you have tried your best. This can change from time to time though, we don’t always have the same amount of energy and enthusiasm for certain things therefore the level we perform at can vary. This also comes down to accepting moods, energy levels and other factors which determine how involved and successful we are.
Strong is Realising What You Have Control Over – A shift of perspective and simply realising what we do and don’t have control over can change everything. So many of the things we worry or stress about which drain our strength are things we have no control over. If you are getting stressed over something write it down on a piece of paper and figure out First whether there is something you can do about it and Secondly what you are going to do and possible solutions. By doing this we can externalize our thoughts and put things into perspective.
Strong is Taking Care of Yourself – In terms of physical strength we need to train, so far this post has been about the psychological aspect of strength. Strength is not purely about brute force but also means strength of the body as a whole, the muscles, agility etc…. In order to build physical strength we need to do a wide variety of training that allows us to build muscle, improve movement and build stamina. This translates over to everyday life and the strength we build during training (whether physical or mental) can help us deal with whatever life throws our way.
Turning a Weakness into a Strength? Nobody is perfect and we all have an Achilles heel so to speak but this is not to say we cannot turn our weaknesses into strengths. There is a simple rule you can apply to any area of life:
- Figure out what you are good at.
- Apply your strength to a weak spot.
Take for instance running – you might be bad at running but you are strong and powerful in the gym. Instead of just going for long slow runs go for light jogs with sprints thrown in to take advantage of your strength and power.
Or you maybe a slow worker – Use the time you take to do your work meticulously and realise that the extra time is because you are doing a more through job than the people working faster than you. People will appreciate the attention to detail.
The idea is simple but it always works and allows us to see and use our strengths to work with our weaknesses rather than masking or ignoring them.
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