February required many of us to connect with our emotional strength, and I have got a feeling that March will be no different. But first, let me explain what I mean by emotional strength. This refers to a mechanism of psychological adaptation. It’s the set of resources that nature has provided an individual with so that they can handle challenges and bounce back from them, but also heal themselves in the face of adversity and mend their physical and emotional wounds.
But connecting with our emotional strength means that we must be prepared to dig deep, set ourselves clear objectives, and add a new set of skills to our repertoire. These include resources and competences that allows us to grow stronger and happier, while also handling the adversity that we face and heal the wounds in our soul.
Connecting with our emotional strength in life will simply make us happier people. And even if we don’t all have the same emotional strength, the good news is that it can be learnt, assimilated and become part of us and of our way of life. It is all about understanding which ones we are missing, learn them, and become able to transfer the new knowledge and skills to everyday life situations. But first, in order to understand which emotional strengths we are missing, we need to learn to connect with our feelings and the ones of others by identifying them. By mastering this skill, we will also learn to manage the expression of our emotions.
We may also need to develop another key emotional skill that many of us lack: perseverance in the face of adversity. It is so much easier to just give up when the water gets rough and just feel victimised, despaired and powerless. In order to build perseverance, we need to shift these behaviours by developing a supportive relationship with ourselves, so that we can bounce back more easily and step out of our comfort zone. One way to get there is to remind ourselves that we are good enough, we all are imperfect human beings and making mistakes is simply part of the process. We also need to surrender to life’s uncertainty by trusting the process and develop a sense of spirituality, perspective, appreciation and gratitude for all what we have.
Perhaps, what is holding us back and needs to be worked on is a very low self-esteem, which leaves us feeling unable to fight for what we want and instead, sees us adopting a passive and submissive attitude towards challenging life circumstances. Improving our feelings of self-worth allows us to not fear rejection and failure, as well as being less vulnerable to anxiety. We can improve this emotional strength by using positive affirmations, eliminating self-criticism, affirming our real worth and identifying and developing our competencies.
The bottom line is, developing emotional strengths requires work, but doing so correctly will give a great emotional and psychological return on our investment.
Last month, I have learnt firsthand how difficult it is when someone you love is sick. The spillover effects on family members can be considerable. You’re doing everything in a fog, going through your day with a tiredness that you feel deep in your bones, so I love the idea of slowing down the pace and using my emotional strength as my guide. And I hope that all of you will jump on board on this journey with me. Let’s all get stronger together this month!