Aktualisiert: Sept 1
A child falls and hits its knee.
A relationship goes to end.
A doctor gives you a bad test result.
A girl loses a loved-one.
A company fires 15% of their staff.
I get negative feedback on this.
I'LL BE STRONG.
I like telling myself to be strong in hard situations.
I like to think I am already strong.
I like to work on my strength.
And I like to help enable people to build up strength, both mentally and physically.
I hope we can all be strong together.
I also like telling myself to be weak in hard situations.
I like that I am able to be weak.
I try to work on my weakness.
I like to help enable people to recognise they're allowed to be weak, too.
I hope we can all be weak together.
Here are my thoughts - pretty much unfiltered. Admittedly a bit of rambling, but also thought-through conclusions and learnings from my long-time pondering about the term strength and its strengths and weaknesses.
What is strength, even?
How can one measure strength? Can one even measure a construct like strength? There is physical strength in form of muscles, stamina, skill. There is mental strength in form of emotional stability, determination, willpower.
There is interpersonal strength in form of friendship, cohesion, support.
Put all this together and we would have created the ultimate strong person.
But who can possibly cover all of these different aspects of strength? Who is that strong? In my mind, I have an image of some kind of superman of our modern society: gaming up against all the pressure, deadlines, laziness, depression, work overload, burnout, addiction, loneliness and so much more negative influences each and everyone of us has to face on a daily basis. Superman would be untouched by all that, because his guards have always been up and he never even learnt what it feels like to be weak, or hurt, or depressed.
So, I guess, in order to be like modern superman.. we should all work harder, go to the gym more often, support as many people as we can, meditate everyday and never stop until we reach that level of strength.
Phew! With a mindset like that, I tell you, you will soon be the weakest person in the room: you worked hard, you might have played hard, but you definitely will be suffering hardest.
Let's face it:
YOU WILL NOT ALWAYS BE ABLE TO BE STRONG.
And you know what? It is absolutely okay!
I'd even go so far as to say weakness is needed to appreciate, actually know and understand what it means to be strong.
It is okay to fail a test,
it is okay to lose a race,
it is okay to cancel plans when you don’t feel up to it,
it is okay to cry,
it is okay to feel weak,
it is okay to ask for help,
it is okay not to know where the journey will go,
it is okay to feel lost,
and it is absolutely okay to admit failure.
Accepting the fact, that one can’t possibly be strong every damn day of their lives, always be available for their friends, family and beloved ones, be the worker of the month every time and keep on breaking personal records, is probably the strongest thing you will ever do.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and work hard and do your very best to achieve your goals and go beyond! Don’t get me wrong! Giving up is not an option.
It means, that the strongest version of yourself will be: The version, in which you accept your flaws and work on them. The version, in which you admit your mistakes and own them. The version, in which you realise you need help and aren’t too proud to ask for it.
The version, in which you see how lost you are and start finding your way.
The version, in which you welcome your negative feelings and learn from them. The version, in which you fail and fucking grow from it.
Take a moment to focus on yourself. Let everything else go and really go into yourself. What are your strengths? What are the things you wish you were stronger at?
Pick the one with the highest emotional load. Ask yourself: why this one? What am I willing to be strong for here? - Make sure you understand the deeper meaning of it. Develop a plan. Execute. Grow.
What are your thoughts on the topic?
How easily can you answer the question regarding your strengths?
I, personally, find it hard to just write down my strengths. Like: "hey, tell me your top 10 amazing traits and skills!" - "Sure! I'll even give you 12 from the top of my head and I'll add everything I love so much about my body, too!" - ....Umm, no-can-dosle!
(Side note: I do think of myself as a confident person, but that's an incredibly hard task and I honestly doubt anybody could wing it, just like that. I could do it for my friends, my boyfriend, family and co-workers, but not for myself. But there is a different topic underlying this, I'll probably talk about pretty soon.)
But what I can do, is write down 3 things I've done well every day. Really pick out clear and immediate actions I've done, for example writing this text or dealing with a tough conversation with my sister in a good way, motivating my co-workers to do sports with me - it can be anything, really. This way I write down and even can visualise what I'm good at. Additionally, I reinforce my work by doing this and keep my motivation high to keep going. In modern times, where work results often aren't
visible, not tangible, one to-do is chasing the other, it's so crucial to make room for exactly this kind of positive reinforcement and validation of yourself.
This will ultimately lead to you feeling better about yourself and building up on your strengths - maybe even discovering new ones while at it!
I recommend you give this little hack a shot!
Give yourself three pats on the back for what you've done well today!