Stop! Think about that question. What makes you feel strong and empowered? Don’t answer with your spouse, family, or children. Imagine you are alone in this world. What is your rock where you can dig confidence out of your boots if you need to? This question is probably one of the most important questions you will ever answer for yourself.
I understand drawing reassurance from my husband’s warm hug when I need it most. However, learning to draw strength from your internal resources and things you can do for yourself benefits you when you come to a place you need to be strong.
So, with genuine thought this time, from where do you derive courage when your confidence down around your ankles? What can you do to power ahead when that flight reflex kicks in?
Every day we send ourselves messages. I catch myself doing it without even thinking. “Alicia, that was a bonehead move.” Or “You can’t do that. You’d have a panic attack in front of everyone.” “You will never achieve that. You are too old.” “No one wants to read your blog. You should just give up. No one cares about what you have to say.”
Wow. And that’s just the beautiful things I’ve caught myself whispering to my spirit in the last week. Does that sound familiar? It’s just me, right? I doubt it.
We wouldn’t utter these words to someone else. Why must we tear ourselves down with this damaging self-talk?
My commitment: I believe that I am sacrificing my own sanity and increasing my anxiety issues (diagnosed agoraphobic) with this negative self-talk.
I scoured the internet and found two motivational quotes that resonated with me.
- BElieve in YOUrself.
- You are stronger than you seem, braver than you believe, and smarter than you think you are.
I scribbled it on my bathroom mirror in liquid chalk. It’s bright, and I have to see it every morning and night when I tend to my daily life routines. It’s bold and hard to miss. It’s easy to wipe off if I want to change the message.
Words have the power to change our lives. What kind of power will you give them?
The more we know
I believe that knowledge is power. We have brilliant minds that should exercise just like our bodies do. On the inside, I think that learning new skills makes us more confident in our abilities to take care of ourselves.
If you can fix your basic plumbing issues, change your tires, and cook your nutritious meals, you will not only add a few clinks to your change jar but also empower yourself.
Every year, my New Year’s Resolution consists of one thing: Learn something new. This year, I chose to try to master targeting basics. I’ve always been afraid that if I would be too timid to shoot a handgun. My negative self-talk would kick in. “You will have a panic attack if you try that.”
My husband is a marksman or expert in several firearms, and I felt comfortable with him teaching me. He understands my anxiety issues well. I am blessed that he is a very patient man.
He stood right beside me, illustrating proper grips, and demonstrating proper stance.
When I first started shooting, I did feel a bit anxious. However, I learned that the gun didn’t kick as much as I anticipated and the sound wasn’t as loud as I thought it would be.
My anxiety subsided. I overcame the negative self-talk. After three weekends of practice, I hit the target! Yay me! I felt empowered because I had learned something new. I overcame my anxiety and was able to do something I didn’t think was possible.
It gives my husband and I a new hobby that we can share. And I gained the confidence in a new skill.
Here and Now
I feel weak and frightened like a scared deer when I panic about the future. I feel overwhelmed by obstacles and failures when I dwell in the future. Focus on the moment. Planning for the future is not the same as fretting over it.
Sometimes, people let their fear of what may become stop them from moving forward. They let the past dictate their current thoughts. These things make them stagnant in the present.
Allow yourself to fully experience the moment. When eating your meals, slow down. Savor each bite. What does it taste like? How is the texture? Do any aromas evoke memories? Experience life that way, too. You only live one life. Be in the present for it.
Move It, Move It, Move It
I feel secure when I am healthy. I have battled extra pounds before. I’ve lost weight before. However, it didn’t really change my outlook on life. I was skinny, but still hopelessly depressed, moody, and angry.
This time around, I added exercise to the mix, and I feel a world of difference. My body is stronger than it was then. More oxygen is flowing, and my nutrition is better, so my mind works better. It’s easier to remember things. My thinking is clearer than before. Serotonin levels increased making me feel less agitated. I feel healthier, even though I am not as thin now as I was then.
Also, my health issues are in my hands. I don’t feel as helpless. I feel like I am doing something about my high blood pressure and cholesterol. Honestly, they haven’t reduced since I’ve gotten healthier, but I know that I’ve done everything I can. That’s an empowering feeling.
I can do things for myself that I couldn’t do before. If I had just lost weight through limiting caloric intake, I wouldn’t be physically stronger or more flexible. My balance would not have improved. Because I am physically more capable than I was a year ago, I feel empowered to do more in life. That gives me internal strength and increased confidence.
I feel stronger when I can carry in groceries on my own. I feel more energetic and happier. My circumstances haven’t changed for the better. My outlook on them has improved, however.
Your Turn to Be Stronger
So, now that I’ve spilled my guts, what gives you strength and courage? How do you find the confidence to put one foot in front of the other? Think deep, here. I’m looking for answers more creative than your favorite friends or family members.
We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.