Strength. (Source: Girls goes strong)
It comes in many different forms and has many different meanings, but it’s a word that resonates with almost everyone.
We talk a lot about physical strength, but we also make sure to emphasize the importance of mental strength, emotional strength, and strength of character as well, because having one without having the others just isn’t as fulfilling.
One of the most exciting things that we’ve noticed is how much physical strength translates into so many other forms of strength. There’s just something about lifting a heavy weight off the floor, or pulling yourself up over a chin-up bar that makes you feel like you can conquer the world.
Last March I started a 28 Day Love Your Body Challenge that walked women step-by-step through 4 weeks of positive self-talk, mantras, and daily action steps to help improve their inner dialogue, and thus, their relationship with themselves and their bodies.
Day 3 was, “Love your body because it’s strong,” and the mantra was, “I am strong enough to _________, and I am proud of that.”
If you’re not familiar with mantras, they are often simple words or sounds associated with meditation, but they can also be phrases or slogans repeated frequently for their psychological or spiritual power.
Sound a little woo-woo?
But powerful as heck? You bet.
Because believe it or not, right this very moment, whether you know it or not, YOU have a mantra.
You have something you repeat to yourself over and over again every day, and if you’re like most women, it’s a negative mantra. Whether it’s that you’re not thin enough, you’re not lean enough, your breasts aren’t big enough, you’re weak, you’re fat, you’re lazy, you’re not smart enough, you’re not good enough – you have something that you tell yourself over and over again all day long, and this inner dialogue is powerful.
So how do you change it?
You just start telling yourself something different. “Fake it until you make it,” if you will.
Just like anything else you want to “get good at,” you practice it until it feels natural. Just like squats, just like guitar, just like math… you do it until it comes easily and naturally to you.
In terms of strength, I love to choose 3 different areas in which I display my strength (physical, mental, and emotional), and regularly repeat those to myself.
Here are mine:
“I am strong enough to endure my Father’s death, and still find joy, happiness, and gratitude on the other side, and I am proud of that.”
“I am strong enough to recognize that a comfortable and good 6-year relationship wasn’t amazing, and walk away, because I deserve amazing. I am proud of that.”
“I am strong enough to do a Turkish Getup with an 80 lb. KB and I am proud of that.”
But truly, they can be anything that makes you feel super powerful.
Did you hold your tongue to avoid saying something that would hurt a loved one?
Did you stand up for yourself and speak proudly even though you were terrified on the inside?
Did you finally conquer that 200 lb. Barbell Back Squat that had been eluding you for months?
What have you done that makes you feel incredibly strong, proud, and powerful?
Write it down, and begin saying it to yourself on a regular basis until it comes naturally, and if you need a bit more inspiration, here are some contributions from several other incredible women:
”I am strong enough to be a mother and advocate for my daughter with Down syndrome, and I am proud of that.”
“I am strong enough to beat MS and I am proud of that.”
“I am strong enough to get through the grief of my sister passing away. And I am PROUD of that!!”
“Over a year ago I admitted to myself that my relationship with alcohol was slowly destroying me. I was strong enough to admit that, face it and conquer it.”
“I am strong enough to survive grief, and I am proud of that! I lost my husband 3 years ago at the young age of 46. We have four wonderful kids and I have survived! I am so proud to say that I did not let his death or my grief define me!”
“I am strong enough to leave an abusive marriage to be a single parent to a then 1 and 5 year old.”
Are these women incredible or what?
In situations like these it’s easy to wonder how they possibly got that strong. Where did they ever find the guts and the mental toughness to do those things?
Remember above how we discussed that much of this mental and emotional strength comes from gaining physical strength?