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Staying Strong

July 03, 2019 4 min read

Staying Strong


Strength is not just important in a physical aspect, but it is also a necessary mental attribute which allows you to be successful throughout your life. Many sports and influential individuals spend a significant amount of time training their minds to cope with daily anxiety and boosting self-confidence to help them reach their desired goal. Everyone needs to develop their own self-awareness and build the tools they need to become an all-round strong individual. So here are hopefully some helpful tips on just how to achieve your goals.

1.Believe in yourself

Put aside those negative thoughts. Although it’s natural to have a range of thoughts, it is best to focus on the positive ones. Build your confidence and believe you can achieve your goals. A little bit of inner arrogance can help especially when you remind yourself of past successes. Being self-aware will also help you quickly pick up on negatively focused thoughts and turn them around into positive ones. This in turn will help you stay positive and be strong enough through the challenging times to reach your goals.

2. Stay focused

A true goal is not just an overnight thought, but a true desire to reach an outcome knowing that there will be difficult obstacles to overcome along the way. However, staying mentally focused is usually the reason why many people do not succeed. It is essential to prioritise your time and prevent short term benefits from influencing or delaying your ability to reach your main goal. When making decisions, consider all the possibilities and the consequences on certain choices. Nevertheless, it is absolutely vital to have a well-balanced lifestyle. Without setting aside time for family and friends, the harder it can be to stay focused on your goal.

3. Push yourself

Nothing will happen if you expect everything to be given to you. Push yourself to your limits (without burning yourself out) and remain in control of the environment around you (discussed more later). Life is not a fairy tale… a simple wish will not make it come true.

4. Understand you will fail

No one can say they have succeeded in everything they have ever attempted in life the first time they tried it. It is all about how you deal with these unsuccessful attempts. These should been seen as initial attempts and not as an overall fail. Everything is a learning experience. I know it gets old, but it’s true. You can’t be perfect 100% of the time (or if you think you can you better think again). Don’t beat yourself up over it. It is normal to go off the rails for a little while, lose focus and get distracted. The important part is that you accept it and try to get back on track as soon as possible. Envision what the future can bring, rather than pondering on the past. Learn about what doesn’t work, move on and prevent something similar happening in the future.

5. Look at the bigger picture

Emotions can easily take over and lead to irrational thoughts. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. In most cases things never look as bad that way. There is no need to over exaggerate a problem like we always automatically do. Spend some time understand what your trigger factors for certain emotions are. Then understand what calms you down or clears your mind to re-focus yourself. We all need a time-out every now and again.

Stressing takes up a lot of time and energy. Although it’s impossible not to do it, avoid it as much as possible. Stress only contributes towards negative thoughts and runs you down physically and mentally. Step back and think about alternative outcomes rather than panicking in your current situation. Chronic stress can lead to reducing the immune system (increasing your chance of becoming sick), cause gastrointestinal distress and also changes social interaction (important for a well-balanced lifestyle). Stress affects your attention, memory, thought process and behaviour due to changes in glucocorticosteroid and oxytocin. A little bit of stress is normal, just don’t let it get out of control and take over.

6. Surround yourself with supportive and optimistic people

Associate yourself with a supportive group and remove yourself from all negative influences. Individuals who are constantly associated with negative, irrational and exaggerated thoughts can in turn contribute to an increase in your own harmful thoughts or emotions. It is hard enough to keep your own negative thoughts out. Fill your life with determined, empowering, optimistic individuals who will natural help you rise up too. You should never feel embarrassed about anything as you can only try and try again.

Also don’t be afraid to like /love yourself (it’s not lame and it doesn’t mean your “full of yourself”). You don’t need to rely on others to compliment you. Remind yourself of how good you are and be proud of yourself. It will help you be strong enough to get through the tough times.

7. Be patient

No one has wanted to become an Olympian one day and become one the next (that’s called a dream). Well same goes for you. It takes time, lots and lots of time. It is why most people don’t make it as they lose interest or focus. Celebrate your small achievements and the steps you achieve along the way.

Hopefully, you have taken this all on board (or already have it down pat). Good luck (not that much of it comes down to luck). You have the power to create the future you desire, so get started today.

References

Jones, G., Hanton, S., & Connaughton, D. (2007). A framework of mental toughness in the world’s best performers. The Sport Psychologist, 21(2), 243-264.

Lazarus, R. S. (2006). Stress and emotion: A new synthesis. Springer Publishing Company.

Mills, D., Karagiannis, C., & Zulch, H. (2014). Stress—its effects on health and behavior: a guide for practitioners. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 44(3), 525-541.

Mollon, P. (2014). Attachment and Energy Psychology: Explorations at the Interface of Bodily, Mental, Relational, and Transpersonal Aspects of Human Behaviour and. Talking Bodies: How Do We Integrate Working with the Body in Psychotherapy from an Attachment and Relational Perspective, 65-88.

Wirth, M. M. (2015). Hormones, stress, and cognition: the effects of glucocorticoids and oxytocin on memory. Adaptive human behavior and physiology, 1(2), 177-201.


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