Inner Strength: Do You Have It?

janis cohen inner strength

“We may get knocked down on the outside, but the key to living in victory is to learn how to get up on the inside.”
~ Joel Osteen

I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past.

It’s just that simple.

If you consider yourself a resilient person, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

You know what you have been through and know who you are because of it all.

Inner strength doesn’t come from external forces.  It doesn’t come from modeling others’ behavior or using words that others use to sound strong.

It doesn’t come from empty mantra’s or stickers on your fridge that tell you “It’s all good.”

Inner strength is earned and is the direct result of what you choose to focus on, what meaning it has, and what you are going to do about it.

Inner strength is a wondrous manifestation of a conscious intention to use your pain for your gain.

Every decision is your personal currency.

Personal currency is analogous to the points you earn when you play a game; they accrue over time and you can use the credit whenever you want to build yourself up.

Personal currency, in terms of inner strength, is the build up of self-respecting decisions you make when adversity strikes.

Inner strength is resilience; the ability to bounce back and recover quickly from challenges or difficulty..

A specialty of mine is working with woman, of all ages, who want to live their lives with courage, confidence, and certainty.

These women come in beaten down, in some way, by life.

They may not walk in with a bloody nose, their arm in a sling, or visible bruises, but they are accompanied by a sense of helplessness.

They believe that they can’t get out of a painful situation, make a significant life decision, or feel good about who they are.

I don’t believe that these challenges are unique to women. We all experience feelings of helplessness here and there.

At different times in our lives, each of us faces a decision that will alter our perception of ourselves; whether we are weak or strong, good or bad, a success or a failure.

The dilemmas we face, and the decisions we make based on them, set the stage for self-perception.

  • Do I stay in a job or relationship that doesn’t meet make me happy or meet my needs or leave?
  • Do I stand up for myself and my beliefs or do I stay silent to make things easier?
  • Do I turn the other cheek when my gut tells me that something isn’t right or do I dismiss my internal intelligence for short-term gain?
  • Do I take a risk and move forward without knowing the outcome or do I play it small and safe?

Regardless of the dilemma, each of these, and others not mentioned here, are ALL internal dilemmas.

Only you can resolve them.

Fear and resistance are insidious and are the cornerstones of internal dilemmas.

Each may represent itself in a number of ways, but the message that they convey is the same:
I am toxic. I am here to make sure you don’t find happiness, and I will not stop… until you stop me.”

Fear and love are two of the most powerful emotions we have.

Each has the capacity to shape our decisions, our lives, and our self-concept, depending on the one from which we choose to live.

Decisions made out of fear always come back to bite you in the ass.

You know exactly what I am talking about, don’t you?

Whenever you make a choice out of fear, you rob yourself of self- respect and growth.

Fear is the enemy and is the bedfellow of the ego.

The ego does everything it can to prevent your success.

It talks you out of your dreams and desires.  It reminds you of your perceived limitations and serves up a fantastic menu of rationale and doubt, coupled with the smooth taste of previous failed attempts at success, and is topped off with a shit eating grin.

The ego is the critical parent, the voice inside you that says, “you aren’t good enough and you never will be,so stop trying.”

Decisions based on the foundation of love, support our success and encourage us to keep trying, no matter what it takes.

It feels easy, nice, clean and light.

“The enemy is a very good teacher.” ~ The Dalai Lama

If you have built up a reservoir of inner strength you know exactly what this means.

You will look back at your life and know that who you are today is because of the challenges, trials, tests, and obstacles of your past and can clearly identify how you have changed as a result.

You have inner strength.

Each of us does, we just tend to blow off or minimize what really qualifies as inner strength.

(Here’s a secret folks: It’s not just the big challenges that build inner strength, it’s also the little ones that reinforce the bigger ones.)

At some point in time, and I venture to guess that, (more times than you even realize) you have made a decision that has changed your life for the better.

That decision may have caused you short-term pain but the long-term benefit of self-respect results in the knowledge that YOU ARE INTACT.

Life hasn’t beaten you because you haven’t let it.

How do you know if you have inner strength?

Answer yes or no to the following questions.

  1. Have you ever made a decision that felt hard but knew it was the best one for you?
  2. Have you been able to look at a situation, understood the details, become aware of how you felt about it and how you defined yourself because of it, and then changed your course of action because you wanted to feel better?
  3. Do you honor your gut instinct and follow it?
  4. Do you recognize your fearful, painful, anxious thoughts and then move forward regardless?
  5. Are you able to learn from your past, (there are no mistakes by the way) and apply the lessons to future challenges?

If you answered “YES!” to ANY ONE of these questions, then you, without a doubt, have inner strength.

BRAVO!!!

Success can’t be experienced without failure.

We are all here to learn and to grow.  To do that, we MUST fall down and decide to get back up.

For most of us, when we grieve, we allow time and a redefinition of the loss to lessen the pain.  And then we move on.

For most of us, when we feel anxious, we look at the foundation of the worry and choose to take action to eliminate it.

For most of us, when we feel pain, anger, envy, mistrust, or any other negative emotion, we choose NOT to stay stuck in the muck of it: we motor ahead.

We acknowledge it, find its positive intention, and use the momentum of the new knowledge to drive our future decision-making.

Each of us has the capacity to CHOOSE how we feel and, as a result, determine the quality of our lives on a decision- by- decision basis.

You ARE strong.

You ARE wise.

You ARE enough.

Now, give yourself the credit that is due.  You aren’t just a survivor of bad things, you have overcome.

You have picked yourself up off of that dirty floor more times than you realize, brushed aside the debris and moved forward.

So, now… I will ask you again, ” Do you have inner strength?”

You betcha you do!

So put on that cape, that shield, or those bracelets( you know, the ones that deflect the bullets) and go kick some ass today!

YOU GOT THIS!

In love and light,

Janis

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