What drives us through life’s most difficult situations is our inner strength. Despite the difficulties, the obstacles that at the beginning seem insurmountable and the seemingly unsolvable problems, thanks to the inner strength we have the incredible ability to overcome adversity and move forward.
Inner strength helps us to recover from a serious illness, to get out of the depression caused by the loss of a loved one and to start again after a failure that has destroyed us. Thanks to inner strength we not only resist adversity, but we come out strengthened by the most difficult circumstances. Inner strength is a psychological resource that promotes well-being and facilitates healing.
It is the ability to protect ourselves from adversity by maintaining a positive, trusting and optimistic attitude that allows us to project ourselves into the future, relying on our resources to face every problem.
Inner strength rests on three fundamental pillars:
Resilience. It is the force that drives us towards survival even in the most difficult conditions, which feeds on trust in our abilities and resources to move forward. It implies a balance between perseverance – keeping our path despite everything and everyone – and the flexibility to adapt our way of thinking and behavior to circumstances, however hard they may be
Sense of life. It is the ability to find meaning in life, to explain to us what happens and to understand the most difficult circumstances so that we can choose the most appropriate strategies to manage stressful situations. It also implies the full awareness that we are free to choose our attitude towards what happens, this allows us to strengthen ourselves and maintain a certain degree of control over the situation.
Self-transcendence. It is the ability to move beyond our ego. It implies the overcoming of personal interests, so as to be able to assume a psychological distance that helps us to put into perspective everything that happens to us to go beyond concern. Thanks to self-transcendence we can expand personal limits and even deal with seemingly more negative experiences with humor. In this way we manage to pass through difficult times without collapsing, taking on the difficulties with greater integrity.
Inner strength is one of the most precious tools in life. It is what keeps us confident and encourages us to continue and that remains when everything else has collapsed.
Not only does it allow us to overcome adversity, but it helps us to continue, maintaining a positive attitude that allows us to continue to trust our abilities.
For example, a study conducted at the University of Utah revealed that inner strength is one of the most important factors in determining the quality of life of people who survive cancer, as it allows them to cope with the disease with greater integrity and positivity.
We must think of inner strength as an investment in life. The more problems we face, the greater our confidence in our potential to move forward, whatever happens, and the more we will be able to face future problems without collapsing. Although we do not have a plan of action, although we have never faced the obstacle, inner strength gives us the necessary impetus for not wavering.
What are the characteristics of people with inner strength?
People who have inner strength have an internal control locus, meaning they take charge of their lives and take on their responsibilities. They do not blame others or the world for their problems but try to solve them.
They do not worry about what they cannot change. They usually focus on what really matters and avoid the causes lost in the beginning or those that are beyond their control. This attitude allows them to focus their energy and achieve their goals. They are pragmatic people who contribute as they can and don’t get martyred when they can’t do more.
They do not constantly complain (an endemic characteristic of our society that only serves to focus on the negative aspects of situations, wasting extremely precious energy and time) but instead of crying over spilled milk, they use that energy to reorganize and return to the office. They can concentrate their resources on what is really useful.
They are able to adapt to the circumstances, however hard they may be. They are very flexible. While remaining faithful to their value system, they manage to reorganize their behavior when circumstances change. They follow the natural flow of things to achieve their goals. And when this is not possible, they are able to change their objective with a more accessible and rational one. This does not mean resignation, but being wise and mature, means knowing how to distribute resources among those things that will bear fruit.
They don’t try to impress anyone, their goal is to outdo themselves. In a competitive culture, many people act with extrinsic motivations, looking for results as if they were medals to hang on the chest, medals that guarantee the approval and admiration of others. People who have adequate inner strength do not want to impress anyone, have enough self-confidence to pursue their dreams. Their goal is not to be better than others, but to exceed their limits.
They see the past as a source of information, nothing more. Most people live tied to their past in one way or another. But often the past becomes too heavy a weight that keeps them from moving forward. People with adequate inner strength, on the contrary, do not remain tied to the past, learn from their past and move on. The past does not define them. They understand that the past is just an opportunity to learn and strengthen their resilience. In this way, the past strengthens them, rather than generating a sense of guilt.
They apply gratitude. They are aware of the enormous power of gratitude, which is why they practice it daily. This allows them to focus on positive things, rather than just on life’s problems and obstacles. It also allows them to better understand their potential and exploit their strengths to face adversity. Taking advantage of the effects of gratitude, these people find tranquility and courage to face any problem from a more balanced perspective.
Therefore we must discover and value our inner strength.