Serenity now!! Where do you find your personal strength?

Putting one foot in front of the other to get through the day via quillandcurio.comAs a mom, and now as a new entrepreneur, I’ve had to dig deep countless times to keep myself motivated and energized over the past couple of years. And not even for the really big things or big projects. Sometimes it’s just about putting one foot in front of the other to get through a day.

So where does this personal strength, this motivation to keep going despite the odds, come from? Is it a renewable or sustainable resource? Some days, it really doesn’t feel like it. Does it come from within us or is it a product of external influences? What is it?

It’s not easy to pinpoint what this driving force is when it’s different for each person. Your source is different from my source, or you may have more than one influence while I may rely on one or two key things to keep me focused and uplifted. I stumbled on some research that actually defines the many traits that can make up personal strength – 24 traits to be exact. These traits influence how we see the world and also determine how we frame, process and internalize what happens to us and around us.

I’d like to think I possess a few of these traits – love of learning, hope and vitality are the ones that seem most applicable. I also know that sometimes it takes more than what’s within to keep me focused on my goals, or to pull me out of a funk.

So what do we do when personal strength doesn’t cut it? Here are the things I turn to when I need a little outside inspiration:

My kids and my husband – Let’s be honest…there are times when they drive me completely nuts. And yet, they are the first in line when I need a hug, and they make my heart sing on a daily basis.

Constant friends – Time after time, I’m reminded of the value of my friends. They are pure gold in my eyes. My friends who I’ve known since we were in school together or lived next door to each other, colleagues and mentors (past and present) who’ve become like family, and the people in our community whose lives are intertwined with ours in so many ways. These are the people who keep me going and rally around me when I’m feeling low.

Listening to music to lift your spirits via quillandcurio.comMusic – When I’m feeling like a hermit, I usually retreat to a quiet place and start YouTubing music videos. Classic motown, old school gospel, early ‘80’s pop, ‘90’s alternative, hip hop from the 2000’s – I look up whatever comes to mind and let the spirit move me…and it usually does bring me to a much better place.

Prayer – Being of the Christian-persuasion, I do find a lot of calming and mind-clearing benefits in praying. It helps me let go of stress and fills me with renewed hope.

Walking – While I’d like to say that I take healthy, brisk walks to burn off stress or lift my spirits, this would be a lie. My walking involves the 10 steps from my couch to the kitchen to grab some chocolate. But it has to be milk chocolate. I tried to like dark chocolate since it’s supposed to be the healthier choice, but it’s just not for me. I will also walk to get a bottle of wine. I don’t think I need to explain this one.

Digging deep to discover personal strength via quillandcurio.comThe other thought I had after writing all of this is that personal strength really does take work. Yes, a person may naturally have some (or all!) of the traits outlined in the research referenced above. However, we still need to actively pursue and renew our personal strength through the choices we make to develop and mature these traits.

In a nutshell, I think personal strength takes effort and will probably never be a “completed work” if we’re honest with ourselves. But, if we choose to embrace situations, work through them and ask for support, we discover how strong we can be.

What about you? Where do you find your strength?

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