There is a negative force in all of us, and in the World, that teaches us to be weak. It says that we can’t do it. Some believe that this “voice” is the voice of negative parenting or some other authority figure in our pasts. I don’t know the secular origins of these thoughts, but I know that we are all influenced by them. I grieve every day watching people struggle, living so far below their potential. They believe that they “can’t”. Oh, nothing could be farther from the Truth. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. Very few of us have any idea of our strength. If we did, the “bad guys” would be rendered powerless. If we did, disease would not reign over us because we would live a different kind of life. If we did, we would work harder and longer. If we did, we would be in control of our lives. We would not be the victim of every evil ever imagined on the face of the Earth. We would be the Victor.
When we say that someone is strong, we are making a comparison to other people’s strength and abilities. As best as can be observed by scientists, allowing for differences in variables such as climate, diet and age, a man walking on a level road can walk 30 miles in a day. If this man weighs 150 pounds, he has expended the amount of strength that would be necessary to move 23,760,000 pounds 1 foot in 1 minute. (1) Our physical strength is much greater than most of us can imagine. We were designed to survive. We are not fragile organisms at the mercy of any other force. Where our physical strength stops, our intellect starts. We were designed to rule the Earth. That is not possible for a weak organism. Remember that the next time you’re faced with a difficult task.
In the first few years of life, more than 1 million new neural pathways are formed every second. (2) Can you see how we are designed to cope and survive? So often I see people who are just quick to give up. When you encounter mental difficulty, do not quit and stop trying. Push. You have untapped potential. Your brain, regardless of your assumed abilities, is more capable than you have discovered. An interesting thing that I have observed is that some animals do amazing things that humans would not even attempt when faced with a task of similar difficulty. The difference is that the animal never considers that it can’t. It only knows that it must. We should learn a lesson from them. Have you ever felt like you had no strength but went ahead and worked out anyway? Some of those times you will have the best workout of your life. You may set Personal Records that surprise you . That negative voice in your head will always try to hold you back. Use common sense, but if the task at hand is something that needs to be done, odds are, you can do it.
Emotional strength is the ability to manage and grow through life’s challenges. (3) Patience, optimism, resilience, gratitude and confidence are emotional strengths. These traits decrease our chances of experiencing anxiety and depression which are known destroyers of physical and mental health. They lower our stress level which can impair immunity. They strengthen relationships which improves immunity. Even if you believe yourself to be emotionally weak, look back at some of the most trying times of your life. You survived. Again, you are much stronger than you know. Most of you have already survived life events where the odds were against your survival, but after a season of grief, you carried on. Life goes on. Life continues. Even though you felt like you could not live through that event, you did. Right now some of you are experiencing the worst days of your life to date and you can survive them even if you don’t want to right now. I heard something years ago that helped me put some things in perspective. “I thought that I was on rock bottom and I heard a voice say, “Get off of me!” ” There are times that I have to say, “Hmmm…it could be worse.” Although there are events that make you wonder if that is true, it usually is. I am an American and we are so spoiled in this great Country. If you are American, please don’t complain too loudly. Most likely you have never been too hungry for too long and I daresay, you could always access water. There are places with no clean water. Be grateful for your Blessings. Be patient with those who struggle. Tomorrow it may be you. Always remember, “This too will pass.” My Mother who suffered with poor health and the chronic pain of crippling Rheumatoid Arthritis always said that. She was right. Knowing that even the worst of times are temporary can alleviate a lot of anxiety. While looking at the bright side of optimism can be a difficult task, it is a beacon in the darkness that can guide you home, safe, grounded and breathing through the most difficult times. Optimism creates resilience that enables you to grow and flourish through life’s uncertain days.
Self-confidence is probably the most important emotional strength that you can acquire. When we “trust ourselves’, we not only attempt what others won’t, we do what others can’t do. During devastating events and circumstances, instead of giving up, we are constantly reformulating our game plan because we “know that we can do it.” While this trait is critical in every area of our lives, it comes to play strongly in strength training. When I first began training, I was weak. Although I worked for a major weight loss company, I was losing muscle and strength fast because I was spending a lot of time on the road and missing workouts. When David presented me with the programming necessary to build strength I assumed that I could do it. I never doubted, even though this kind of lifting is formidable. Heavy lifting is just that, heavy. It pushes you to your limit. As I adapted and grew, my confidence soared as my physical strength increased. Learning to step up to the challenge taught me that I am capable of anything. In a heavy squat, I learned that all I have to do is stand up. That’s how life’s battles are. We may be on the ground when the weight hits us but when we engage our muscles and exercise our strengths, we can stand up. Whether you are a strength trainer or not, the same is true for you. Just stand up. If you are lacking in confidence, working to improve it will make you more aware of your God-given strengths and abilities and make you more aware that you can survive the hard times.
1-Visualize the outcome that you want and work towards that end.
2-Affirm yourself, pat yourself on the back. Give yourself that “Atta Boy!” for every small step that you make towards realizing your potential.
3-Stretch your limits every day. When presented with a difficult task, don’t back down. As Nike says, “Just Do It!”
4-Question your inner critic. When that voice says you can’t, won’t or shouldn’t, answer that you can, will and should.
5-Make arrangements for success. Sometimes this is so simple and it’s something that we frequently overlook. I have been working out in the same batch of workout clothes for 2 1/2 years. Those clothes made me feel frumpy and hindered me mentally. In heavy lifting, your mind is everything. “Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body will.”-(unknown). Yesterday I bought serious workout clothes that will cause me to work harder to wear them well. Make provision for success. I have my gym equipment in my basement so I don’t have an excuse to skip workouts. I have had people say, “Oh, I don’t have that kind of money.” Really? I’m the sole supporter in my household on an L.P.N. income. I put my money into what builds my confidence. I don’t eat out except on RARE occasion. I don’t buy clothes that I don’t need. I don’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. I put my money into my health and welfare. Use your resources to build your life, not destroy it.
6-Above all, in order to build your confidence, take care of yourself. You will be more confident in a healthy body. If you need to make sweeping life changes to live your best life, do it. I made radical changes in March of 2018, escaping a terrible life situation and becoming my own best self-advocate and have never looked back. You are the only one who can create the body and life in which you want to live. This is an ongoing process. Constantly look for ways to improve your health and your life. Unless you test your strengths, you will always think that you are weak.
You are stronger than you know.