On being mentally strong.
I've spoken about this in therapy heaps lately it seems. In a treatment setting there is much to be said about this topic but here are some great starters...
Research indicates fostering resilience means not being easily persuaded to believe the self criticisms and judgements we bring into our lives. Furthermore, fostering resilience means coming to understand that giving away your personal power robs you of the mental strength you need to remain resilient.
Mentally strong people don't give away their personal power. Here are "what I've learned with you" on how to retain personal power. In order to make positive changes, take a moment to recognise how you give your mental energy away.. This is not an exhaustive list so add to these observations in the comments if you are so inclined!
Establish healthy boundaries
It is easy to neglect establishing healthy boundaries (physical, spiritual and emotional). Perhaps you tend to 'give the benefit of the doubt to a fault' or maybe you find yourself blaming others for wasting your time or forcing you to do something. We give our personal power over to others when we give in to guilt trips or refuse to be assertive. Establish healthy boundaries that give you control over how you spend your time and with whom.
Make your self worth independent of other people's opinions
While most of us 'know' this principle, it is difficult to manage this vulnerability effectively. The difference between being confident and secure; or vulnerable to others opinions is a slippery slope. Evaluate the criticism received but be intentional about how you determine your self worth.
Forgive, again and again. Don't avoid facing what needs to be forgiven or grieved. Yes, it's painful, right? Forgiveness is a huge topic and of course, doesn't mean what happened was acceptable - it is however a means for which you set yourself free from the interference unforgiveness brings.
Know your values
Find clarity with this one. We put ourselves at risk when others lead this aspect of our life. I notice that personal power is given away when one believes they are to subjugate their own preferences, opinions, and needs to endorse the needs, opinions and preferences of others, over their own. Others believe they are selfish unless they thoroughly vanquish their preferences. While the values of humility and servanthood are wonderful attributes, subjugation is an unhealthy schema!
There is a massive difference between problem solving and complaining! Complaining use to make me feel better short term but in actual fact, I had little control over my attitude! Venting to those around you keeps you focussed on the wrong things. Complaining stops us from finding a solution and implies we have no authority over the situation. To become a better problem solver, put energy into finding meaningful solutions rather than having a whinge!
Managing thought life
Don't waste time on unproductive thoughts. This is typically a life and psychological skill with its own unique application to each individual, but for starters, postpone worry time until you can process thoughts properly - anything else is a waste!
No more victim mentality
Avoid language that implies you are a victim. While I have been victimised, as have you, and there are consequences for actions, we do have choices.
Avoid being 'opaque'
I've not always been willing to stand out from the crowd, and preferred to come alongside or keep my thoughts to myself for fear of being seen, heard and ultimately criticised. I call it being 'opaque' - where what is on the inside isn't quite seen on the outside. There are numerous reasons why I adopted this behaviour, however when I trusted I was mentally strong enough to stand out, I could dare to make a difference.
Take 100% responsibility for how you feel despite how others behave. If you don't know how to manage this space, I know a good therapist or two!
(Disclaimer: By law, it is the requirement of a registered health professional to provide a disclaimer for activities or information disseminated publicly to assist in the ethical, safe and appropriate use of what may be deemed as advice. The contents of this blog are written with the intention of being read as an informal personal statement of reflections and observations by the author, Rochelle Masters. The contents herewith are not written as definitive statements or prescribed instruction for your personal circumstance and no guarantee can be given that the reflections are free from error or omission. This blog is not meant to treat mental illness. The diagnosis and treatment of mental illness requires the specific attention of a physician or other properly qualified mental health professional engaged to treat your personal circumstance. If you are seeking diagnosis or treatment of a mental illness, you should contact and consult with a physician or mental health professional. The information in this blog is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional in the appropriate treatment setting.
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