My granddaughter is a tiny girl. She is 14 years old, and her goal is to reach 5 feet tall. The doctor told her she would not make it and would fall short (no pun intended) by a few inches. She knew she was in for a genetic battle when all of her aunts were under 5 feet.
Her determination is impressive, so she makes up for it in other ways. After spending some time in the weight room preparing for volleyball tryouts, she was excited to share with us her accomplishments. “Everyone was impressed with me today. I can leg press….wait for it…390 lbs.” What? Are you kidding me? Wow! “That is not all; I did 20 pull-ups, but I was embarrassed by the crowd watching me.” Alright, little girl!
Strength can be deceiving! We never know our strength level until we are pushed to use it. Strength comes in many different forms and types. The pillars of strength are physical, mental, emotional , and spiritual.
- Physical strength: Describes an individual’s ability to apply force or resistance-To to lift, move, carry, or pull objects—the state of being physically healthy and strong-physically fit.
- Emotional strength: The ability to embrace, respond and process in an open and vulnerable way in the face of intense emotional experience. To transition from one response to another with awareness of emotions, feelings, a sense of comfort, and confidence.
- Mental strength: An individuals ability to deal effectively with stressors, pressures and challenges and perform to the best of their ability, irrespective of the circumstances in which they find themselves. A willingness to continue to learn. Figuring things out, curiosity and to learn even when defeated.
- Spiritual strength: Spirituality involves our capacity to dig deep and find the greater meaning in life, to align ourselves with a purpose that extends beyond ourselves, to find relationship and unity with something greater such as nature, God, or the transcendent. An individuals commitment to personal values, virtues and core beliefs to guide decisions.
We have many things to consider when thinking about how to measure strength, how to celebrate the strength, and how to admire others for the strengths they have. If you can get for point A to point B with very little work, is it the same as someone who traveled the same distance with many obstacles, challenges, and hardships?
Take an Inventory
When you have a little time, begin to take an inventory of the strengths you have as a leader. No need to hit the weight room for training like my granddaughter, but taking a look at what areas you have as strengths is an important inventory to take.
Are there areas in your completed inventory you would like to tune-up? Do you find any gaps? Are there areas you would like to improve? It is also important to ask others what they believe your areas of strengths are as you evaluate strengths. Others may recognize strengths in you that you did not realize you had, or they may point out that the strengths you think you have are a weakness.
How to build your strength:
- Focus on purpose
- Don’t be afraid to make changes
- Don’t overthink what you are doing
- Stretch yourself and don’t be afraid of discomfort
- Set simple short-term goals daily
- Develop habits to nourish your mind, body and soul
- Exercise your willpower and self-discipline at least once a day
- Take care of yourself, positive self talk
- Think positively
- Meditation and yoga are tools you can add
- Look for deeper meanings in what you see, hear, and read
- Get out, walk, enjoy nature, travel
- Read, ask questions, time to think
- Get plenty of rest
- Listen deeply
- Watch carefully
- Engage with others
- Experience new things often