Strength

  • 3 Ways Self-knowledge Makes You Emotionally Strong

    3 Ways Self-knowledge Makes You Strong

    3 ways self-knowledge makes you emotionally strong

    We are often blind to what our emotions are trying to tell us and they are the basis for self-knowledge. It can be hard to pay attention when your head is piled high with tasks, appointments, and the endless list of everyday worries that seem impossible to solve.

    Yet, when we pay attention and develop a deeper awareness, we have everything we need to make choices that move our lives in alignment with our needs and desires.

    It is impossible to say how much of this is a natural or an acquired ability, but it has been part of humankind’s evolutionary process since the beginning.

    We evolved to be aware of our environment and learn from our experiences to create a future full of purpose. This means that, without self-knowledge, your life will end up being filled with regret and regret leads to suffering. The longer you put off pursuing self-knowledge, the more times you’ll have to reinvent the wheel only end up making things worse.

    The process is simple. At the same time, it requires you to be patient with yourself. When you’re unsure, it takes time to figure it out what you’re feeling rather than making a snap judgement that isn’t really accurate. This is how self-knowledge makes you emotionally strong.

    Here is your 3 part recipe to increase your self-knowledge and emotional strength.

    Here is your 3-part recipe to increase your self-knowledge and emotional strength.

    1. Identify your emotions.

    When you are uncertain of yourself, introspection is the way to go.

    Identify the emotions you are experiencing at the moment. What is your gut feeling? Your breath? Your heart?

    Characteristics of an emotion include clarity, intensity, and pleasure or pain. If you don’t know what an emotion feels like, here are some examples for you to explore more closely:

    Anxiety – The immediate sense of irritation that may be present when faced with a particular situation.

    Disillusioned – The feeling that everything is not as good as it seems.

    Excited – A state of intense arousal, often with an accompanying sense of joy.

    Sad – A feeling of discomfort lacking clarity. It’s more like a vague melancholy.

    Anger – Clear sensations in your body signaling the need to take action and be defensive against certain situations.

    Joy – The highest and most enjoyable emotion experienced by humans. It is a state of permanent happiness and contentment felt after great success or accomplishment.

    It’s important to be as specific as possible with your emotions. This is one of the times in life where nuance matters a lot. Clarity about your internal state makes a difference. It’s too easy to get swept up in the immediate emotion put it in a broad category when really, it might be something much more subtle.

    Take for example anger and sadness. Many people become angry when they’re sad. They don’t want to experience loss and instead become angry as a way of pushing the feeling away.

    I’ve had this experience when I moved across country.

    I didn’t really want to move, in fact I loved where I lived and often thought, “man I love it here.” But, when it came time to begin the moving process, I started to pick out all of the flaws and justify why it would be better to live elsewhere. I pushed away the fond feelings for a place I loved as a way of making it easier to focus on the future.

    This process prevented me from acknowledging my experience of loss and the sadness I felt. Instead of letting go, feeling sad and being in the present I was misaligned with myself. In the end, it made the transition more difficult and take longer than expected to settle into the new location.

    2. Put your experiences into context.

    Make a short list of 3 moments of your life that made you feel strong.

    When you are doing this exercise, pay attention to the emotions that are present during each of the three experiences.

    What emotions were present for these three events? What characteristics did they have?

    Once you have this information at hand, it’s time to put them into context. As if you were explaining your life story to someone new, explain each of these three moments. This exercise requires a non-judgmental outlook – it’s just the observable information, not an evaluation of them.

    It’s helpful to make a note for yourself, on your phone, in a journal or a sticky note that you put somewhere so you can see it often. Reminders like this help you to keep the emotion and experience top of mind, so it becomes part of what you do during the day.

    This is another way that self-knowledge makes you strong.

    Make a short list of 3 moments of your life that made you feel strong.

    When you are doing this exercise, pay attention to the emotions that are present during each of the three experiences.

    What emotions were present for these three events? What characteristics did they have?

    Once you have this information at hand, it’s time to put them into context. As if you were explaining your life story to someone new, explain each of these three moments. This exercise requires a non-judgmental outlook – it’s just the observable information, not an evaluation of them.

    It’s helpful to make a note for yourself, on your phone, in a journal or a sticky note that you put somewhere so you can see it often. Reminders like this help you to keep the emotion and experience top of mind, so it becomes part of what you do during the day.

    This is another way that self-knowledge makes you strong.

    3. Determine what your future plans need to be.

    What would you do differently if you knew what your emotions were telling you?

    Simply imagine yourself in the future.

    If you know what was going on inside of you at the time, would this future change?

    Which ones?

    Why?

    What do you need to do in order to bring this future about, or how can it be brought about easier or faster?

    A word of warning.

    Many people think that they can skip over numbers 1 and 2 above and go right for number 3 to create a more aligned future. But it just doesn’t work that way. It would be a lot less painful and messy if it did, but it doesn’t.

    Alignment takes time and reflection to really know yourself and your needs. Don’t shortchange yourself by moving past this quickly. Most of us were never taught anything about emotions or feelings, other than being told what is “appropriate” to feel for someone else’s convenience. There can be a lot of unpacking judgements in this phase.

    Shaping your life into one where you draw on your sense of inner calm and self-knowledge makes you emotionally strong, so you can live your life in the way that is fulfilling for you.

    It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drudgery of life and forget that we are all just one step away from creating our ideal futures.

    Conclusion

    No one is born emotionally strong.

    It’s a learned skill that you can master at any point in your life. The process is simple but takes time to know more about yourself with each step.

    1. Identify your emotions.
    2. Put your experiences into context.
    3. Plan for the future based on the two previous steps.

    Self-knowledge makes you strong and able to handle anything with clarity, alignment and grace.


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  • 10 Ways to be strong, feel calm and have clarity

    Being strong, calm and clear are three ingredients anyone needs when they’re in the middle of challenging times.

    10 ways to be strong and feel and have clarity

    Hectic schedules, long work hours, health problems and the fast paced changes aren’t easy to handle. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are the keys to being strong, calm and clear:

    1. Breathe!

    Taking a few minutes out of every day to just breathe can change your perspective on everything around you. It puts distance between the overwhelming thoughts and emotions that may be distracting you from focusing on what’s truly important. 

    It delivers more oxygen to your brain that lowers stress and increases calming neurotransmitters for more clarity.

    2. Change your environment.

    This is a big one. When you’re around people you don’t want to be, a change is needed. 

    If your physical environment is stressful with too much clutter or noise, it can increase anxiety. Even at a low level they distract you from what you need to do. 

    Think about what you need to create the positive environment for yourself. Ask yourself, if this helping me or stopping me from doing what I need to do for my well-being?

    3. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

    Realize that others may not understand your life as well as you do. 

    Maybe, you need time and space to understand your life too?

    The first part of being calm is to understand what’s going on within yourself. Sometimes we take our first impressions and the only impression. 

    Take for instance a feeling. When someone doesn’t hold the door open for you might be irritated at first.  You might quickly think that it’s rude and the person is a jerk. Which might be true, but often we don’t have the opportunity to find out. 

    When you find your feelings linger and you wonder why you can’t shake an insignificant situation, it’s probably something else, like feeling invisible, disrespected, unimportant or any number of other feelings that need care. 

    Understanding yourself is an act of self-compassion. Which leads more calm and clarity and knowing what you need in your life.

    4. Being strong comes from self-knowledge

    Each and every one of us has a reason to be here and a purpose. Seek that purpose. 

    You may not see the story line that made you who you are yet, trust it’s there and hang on to what you do know. Your life is unfolding in ways no one can predict. 

    As you go through life, it may not be what you expected it to be. If you followed the plan. Go to school, create a good career, find the right partner, have the kids or not and then you’ll have the life you dreamed of. But when it doesn’t turn out that way it,  is when many people begin to doubt that they’re on the “right” path. I don’t think there’s a right path, just the one you’re on. 

    Each path has lots of options and you can change your direction to a path that feels more in alignment with what you need. Sometimes it takes some exploring to find out which path that it. Take each day as it comes, make wise decisions and in the end, you’ll get to where you need to be.

    5. Build a reservoir of calm

    Strength comes from building your reserves of calm and clarity

    When you know where you end and the other begins it’s easier to not let the emotions of others upset you. Emotional boundaries aren’t about being unfeeling or lacking empathy, it’s about respecting yourself and others that you each have your own experiences. 

    Your self-knowledge along with the well-being habits are skills you can learn to keep stress low and reservoir of calm full.

    6. If something is bothering you, deal with it then and there.

    Don’t put it off for tomorrow. If you let the sun set on the problems that you have today because they will only create more mind-clutter. 

    Ask yourself 3 things: 

    1. How am I feeling? 
    2. What do I need?
    3. Which action do I need to take? 

    Sometimes your answers might be, “I don’t know,” and that’s completely okay. You might need to give it a few minutes and allow yourself some space to get clear. 

    The idea is to not let it linger and avoid dealing with something that needs your attention.

    7. Clear communication with yourself and others takes time

    Use it. Don’t talk yourself out of your ideas or accept less than what you need. Don’t settle for less than what you are for the sake of convenience. 

    Being heard and understood will help you to keep growing in your relationships – with yourself and others.

    8. Choose your words wisely and be sincere even when you’re wrong.

    Don’t try to manipulate yourself or others with your words by saying something different from what is in your heart. 

    When you’re clear it’s easier to speak how you would like to be spoken to, with compassion, sincerity and integrity. 

    Remember, personal integrity is a gift you can give yourself every day.

    9. Know what’s most important to you and cherish and protect it.

    No one knows exactly what will happen; don’t put your happiness in someone else’s hands. 

    Be responsible for your own feelings and trust that others can choose to be responsible for their feelings as well. 

    You job is to take care of your well-being.

    10. The simple things matter.

    A smile, a compliment or a walk through the woods can give you the energy you need to find inner clarity and inspiration. It’s the simple things that sprinkle the day with positive feelings and bathes your brain in feel good neurochemicals. 

    It’s important to take a step back and savor those moments. They are the antidote to negativity and false positives.

    Conclusion

    Being strong, feeling calm and having clarity are all possible. 

    When life feels overwhelming and your mind is cluttered with all the things you need to do, people you need to take care of and situations that need your attention it can seem impossible. 

    There isn’t a magic wand, but there is one thing that makes a difference – it’s your relationship with yourself. 

    When self-compassion becomes a priority in your life, it leads the way to more calm, clarity and makes you strong!

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    5 Minutes to Calm & Clarity Guide

    It's your magic wand for stress!