Friday, September 23, 2011

The secrets to being a strong person

What is your definition of a strong person? Is it someone who is ruthless, rude and self seeking? Or is it someone who is the life of the party, loud and confrontational?

What appears as strength – may be one’s weakness!

In reality the characteristics described above qualify as those of someone who is internally weak. It may shock you to learn that the girl, who is always trying to be the life of the party, does so because she needs the approval of others to feel worthy.

It may also shock you to learn that the pushy and rude office bully acts the way he does because he fears others will dominate him. Those who need to act tough and strong are the ones who need strength the most!

So what is true strength?

Dr. Aurelio Peccei [1908-84,] founded the Nobel Prize winning humanitarian think-tank The Club of Rome. He fought against Fascism in Italy during World War 2 and was imprisoned and sentenced to death for it. During this time people like him were executed, tortured or shot to death by the roadside. Each day was an intense life or death struggle.

During an interview he stated that the arrogant and those who looked confident externally turned out to be cowardly and weak at the crucial moment. On the other hand, he commented that those who were humble and seemed quiet remained courageously calm under the most hellish circumstances.

True strength comes from the inside

The above example highlights the fact that you cannot tell a person’s true nature by their outward appearance or by their behaviour when everything looks like it’s going well for them. True strength doesn’t come from being fake, overly confident or pushy. The truth is that strong people don’t try to prove they are strong to anyone – they know they are.

How can I be strong too?
  • Believe in yourself no matter what!
People may have laughed and rejected you, so you may have come to believe that no one loves you or that you’re worthless. But don’t judge yourself in this way. To be strong you have to focus on your dreams – if you are determined, you are already half-way to victory. There is no one who does not have a mission in this world. You would not have been born if you did not have a mission to fulfil. So never give up on yourself!
  • Learn to live without the approval of others
Truly successful and strong people have learnt that to be powerful means to ignore the opinion and disapproval of others. There is a danger in needing others people’s constant approval, because it leads to peer pressure and/or stress. Decide to finally break free from the demands of society, friends or relatives and be yourself. Dress how you want, behave the way you truly want to and follow your own dreams. Refuse to be another sheep in the herd! By detaching from others opinions you will finally feel real inner power and tranquillity.
  • Love and listen to yourself
Your value and your worth can only be determined by you. If you leave your self esteem to be dependent on others, it will result in a yoyo type self esteem and self confidence that goes up when people approve of you and down when they don’t. This will make you feel weak. If someone calls you a loser, discount it. Say to yourself “How can this person say I’m an idiot; they’ve only just met me. Only I can truly judge who I am.” Keep challenging the negative comments people make in your mind. If you can’t find any reason to love yourself, then love yourself for being God’s workmanship. Know that God doesn’t make junk!
  • Learn the skill of assertiveness
Assertiveness is actually one of the characteristics of people with high self esteem. Assertiveness is an attitude and a way of acting in a situation where you need to express your feelings, ask for what you want, or say no to something you don’t want. Jesus was a very assertive man when He walked the earth.  He was not afraid to speak His mind because He believed in Himself and did not fear others - nor did He need their approval!

When you’re assertive:
  • You ask for what you want or say no in a simple, direct way that doesn’t attack or manipulate anyone else [“No thank you, I am not able take care of your dog on Saturday.”]
  • You communicate your feelings and needs honestly and directly while maintaining respect and consideration for others [“I would like you to keep your agreements with me.”]
  • To be assertive is to stand up for yourself and your rights without apologising and feeling guilty [“I’d like you to respect my right to half an hour of quiet time without being interrupted.”]
The point is to not get defensive, feel guilty, make excuses or follow someone when you don’t agree. You simply don’t yield to someone else’s preferences while discounting your own rights and needs.

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