Tag Archive: inner strength

My blog is coming out a day late as I was stranded in Jamaica for an extra two days because our flight home from vacation was grounded due to Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully, we were safe and far enough away from the direct impact of the hurricane, and were forced to enjoy two extra days of vacation! Lol! So we got home yesterday and the whole day was consumed by unpacking, grocery shopping, and cleaning, etc.

But I didn’t want to simply leave out the blog I was supposed to publish yesterday on taking initiative. It seems like an important issue to me, as many people out there wrestle with drive, determination, and taking initiative.

Some people seem naturally ‘gifted’ at having incredible drive and determination to make their life successful in all areas of life, while others seem to wrestle with the basic will to live. Most of you are somewhere in between. Those of you somewhere in the middle to low category of having personal or professional initiative may feel as though initiative itself is in fact a ‘gift’ that you don’t have. Let me quickly debunk that theory. While it may be true that initiative and determination may come to others seemingly more natural than it comes to you, it is not unattainable for you. There are those who believe common sense cannot be learned by someone who just doesn’t have it, the same is NOT true for initiative. It is a skill that can be crafted and developed and nurtured throughout the remainder of your life! It is NOT unattainable! It is within your reach!

If you are not naturally a ‘doer’ in life, you can learn the skills of motivation to determine a vision for yourself, life or business that is attainable and realistic, define your goals and communicate your objectives in a way that drives you to accomplish them.

What you may not know, is that drive, determination, willpower and learning to take initiative has a lot to do with learning your personal power. The more autonomy you have learned to develop in your life, and the more purpose you feel you have in life, the more you will master the skills at accomplishing your vision for your life. For more on autonomy, read my blog series on boundaries from several months back. Autonomy has to do with personal power. A sense of oneself and who he or she is apart from other’s and their opinions. I lay claim to the concept that the more a person was treated as someone who could not achieve or was taught to be an underachiever, or was taught that they weren’t pod enough or smart enough in their formative years, will wrestle with self worth and initiative, in part, due to a lack of autonomy that was modeled for them. The good news is… It’s never too late! Learning how to develop a good sense of self worth, and how to develop healthy boundaries will set you up for learning how to feel good enough about yourself and responsible enough for yourself to equip you to develop the skills of assertiveness and initiative – the drive to dream, and reach for the goals you set for yourself! It IS attainable!

Are you aware that accepting and taking responsibility for your actions is not only part of the process of learning how to take initiative, but is part of developing self esteem, and having proper boundaries in your life? Once we know what we are responsible for in life, it empowers us to take responsibility for our life which becomes the driving force to develop true initiative. The better we think, believe and behave in the ways which empower us to achieve our goals, the more self confident we become, we are that much closer to achieving our goals, personal or professional, one action step at a time.

Aristotle once said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Habits are another key then to learning how to take initiative. Eg. If we repeatedly are lazy, we will continue to be lazy because it has become a habit. Habits can either make us or break us. We can develop good habits or bad habits. All stem from our own personal power of choice. Many of us think of habits as ‘bad’ and can list a number of the habits they have that they don’t like about themselves quite readily… But there are good habits too. You can decide to eat a healthy diet as easily as you choose to eat an unhealthy diet. You can choose to exercise regularly. It is within your personal power to choose. If you feel you are powerless over a situation, you may have an addiction. But even addictions can be broken by the power of habit. All habits (good or bad) are formed in our brains involving cue, routine and reward. We can change our bad habits over time by repeatedly doing something different until that becomes a new habit. We can replace bad habits with healthy, positive ones, giving us the power to take control over the ‘out of control’ areas of our lives.

Changing our habits is another way to take initiative. It helps us determine who or what we want to be – fit, healthy, successful, whatever the goal is, knowing is half the battle. Knowing you have power over your decisions and can take action to reach your goals and dreams, empowers you to take the first steps toward lasting change.

If you struggle with low self worth or feel you need additional help in developing more personal motivation or initiative in your life, you might want to consider my boundaries or personal development coaching program offered at http://www.freedomlifelove.com

Remember: You have the power to choose the life you want. Go out and get it! Most of our blockages are stubborn belief systems in our minds that cause us to believe we can’t, or we are not good enough, talented enough or smart enough. When we change the internal negative messages into positive ones that invoke hope and strength and willpower, we equip ourselves with the strength to break old unhelpful habits and take responsibility for our lives by loving and nurturing and caring for ourselves enough to break out of routines that keep us back from reaching our goals, we have just started the process of taking initiative, and are closer to getting the results we want. Remember to keep your goals realistic and attainable so you don’t shoot yourself in the foot with your very first goal, concluding that it doesn’t work. What is an attainable goal for you right now? What action steps can you take right now toward reaching that goal?

Good luck on your journey to getting the results you want. Where there is no vision, people perish. Find your vision. It’s a good place to start!

what is strength?

They say that when things are tough, the tough get going.

Well, I hardly would consider myself a ‘tough’ person, although many people have told me I am strong. I’m not sure if I believe them or if they simply say it to encourage me, or if they really DO see a strength in me that I cannot see for myself. Because when I look at what’s inside of me, I see human weakness, and frailty. I see someone who has been broken too many times to count, yet possesses this strange sense of resilience that even I don’t understand.

I have been disillusioned far too many times to count, in areas such as faith, my beliefs, my values and my understanding of morality.

I have always felt like I am a far too dependent person, simply because I allow myself to be vulnerable, real and open with those closest to me. I would also say that I am REAL with everyone, as I have not yet figured out how to hide on the outside what is happening on the inside. And I appreciate authenticity anyway, so I choose to be authentic.

I feel like I am in a sad state of affairs internally, as I currently continue to battle disillusionment in many areas of my life. Perhaps this is what happens when idealization shatters in front of you. Which is funny, really, in an ironic sort of way, because I have always thought of myself as a realist rather than an idealist. Possessing the ability to hope for and believe for the ideal, but to willingly accept the real.

What doesn’t make sense to me now, however, is that though I feel disillusioned, I am picking myself up off the floor, and going on. Damaged by what has harmed me, yet I am picking up pieces and moving towards the goals I have in my life, that are as of yet, unrealized. Perhaps I am placing my hope in something new while the rest of my life feels shattered? Or maybe this is how you move on, and grow. Maybe this is a mark of maturity, an embracing of all that is, no matter how unpleasant, and growing up and becoming someone who is less dependent on other’s, capable of achieving my dreams and reaching some long lost goals.

Maybe I finally am strong enough to accomplish what I have allowed fear, anxiety & insecurity to hold me back from. Maybe I misunderstand the definition of what it means to be strong. Maybe the harshness of life is a training ground to make us tough enough to handle the hardship, while keeping us soft enough to receive the healing & inspiration we need to move forward.

Coming back to my opening line about what happens when the going gets tough… Perhaps they are right that the tough do get going.

In my own life, no matter what I feel I am struggling with internally, on the outside, I see initiative like I have never known before. I used to feel like getting motivated was a tough thing for me. I allowed a lot of things to hold me back- mostly anxiety and fears.

But perhaps going through some of the most difficult things in my life, facing my worst fears, and some I never imagined possible, I came out on the other end finally with the belief ‘what is man? And what can he do to me?’ maybe it’s because it’s all been done… And I’m still standing. (although sometimes I feel like I’m crawling… And then those other days were even crawling out of bed feels like a chore…)

The point is, that maybe I’ve overcome my fear. Maybe my fear of rejection has been solved by experiencing it, and living to tell the tale.

But whatever it is, I’m moving forward. I’m taking my life in my hands and saying ‘I will not allow fear to hold me back anymore’ and I press forward towards the dreams, desires and visions I’ve carried for years, but held myself back from due to fear or negative self talk about myself.

Maybe the confidence I was hoping to get from others, the affirmation and reassurance, is coming from within, instead of from external sources. I feel motivated like never before to accomplish my dreams. My goals. I feel like nothing can stop me. Because the things I thought could, have not destroyed me. Perhaps I’ve been set back a little, but I am pushing forward. There is within me an inner resolve, and an inner resource of life & love I didn’t know I could possess in light of the trauma I endured last year.

It’s my time. To reach out and grab what I have longed for and yet had allowed myself to be held back by for so long.

Is this what they call resilience? Is this what strength is? Perhaps I have misunderstood what strength is.

I want to share a poem with you I wrote a while back about hope in the middle of a storm. Here it is:

Though I am Weak

Though I am weak in my flesh
I feel my spirit coming to life.
Love bursts forth from my heart
Like the dawn of the sun,
Overflowing like a tidal wave
Sweeping over the broken places within me
Making all things new.
Hope arises, is stirring anew
The love for the broken
Makes me new.
When I am rejected, I love all the more
The love of God covers the failures of men,
His light is shining bright in my heart
The morning has come.
His love floods my heart
With his pure love
Covering over my imperfect human
Capacity for loving.
He empowers me anew,
His armor he puts upon me
His strength has come.
‘the journey ahead is too much for you’ he said…
Rest, eat, sleep…
He has come to my aid,
Come to my defense
His shield is upon me,
I rest beneath his feathers,
His wings overshadow me
Like a mother hen,
As he heals and mends the broken
Places in my soul.
I breathe in deeply
A breath of clean air,
Throw my hands up,
Weary from fighting on my own.
I surrender, I trust. I rest in you.
You are my defender,
The one who lifts my eyes up
To the hills
When my head is too weary to lift my gaze upon you.
My strength & my help
Come from the Lord.
His salvation for me has come.
My first love renewed.

-Katie Meilleur

So here is my closing question for the day, and I would really love to invite your commentary and thoughts on the subject. How do you define strength? What is it? What does it look like? Feel like? How does it function? What… IS strength?

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