Surround yourself with sources of strength

Posted: 28 June, 2012 in inspiration, motivation, writing
Tags: , , , ,

I watched a documentary last week about a group whose motto was “Strength through Unity”.  Members spoke about how being in a group helped them feel stronger in their beliefs and their commitments, both to each other and to their cause.

It got me thinking about where I get my strength from.  Whether we are talking about a certain project or just life in general, we all draw strength from somewhere, something or someone that keeps us going when we feel like giving up.

There are two types of strength to draw from: internal and external strength.

External strength comes from people or sources outside of ourselves.  Some external sources of strength include family, friends, volunteering work, community work or community members who have done something inspiring.

Internal strength comes from our own inner reserves: strength through self discipline, meditation, fitness training, personal study, education are some examples of internal sources of strength.

To find out where my sources of strength come from I had to ask myself some questions.

  • Do you believe strength comes from being united with a group or cause?  Or from a single power source?
  • Do you get strength from doing things for others?  Or for being something – a published writer, a mother, a teacher, a nurse/doctor or other health professional?  Sometimes it’s the respect and recognition from the title we are given that we get the most strength from, not the action that got us there.

I’ve read about people with cancer drawing strength from someone else who has had cancer and survived.  Often it’s the story of someone who has gone through what we are going through that gives us strength.  Someone starting up a new business or managing a successful business is a wonderful source of encouragement if we’re trying to do the same thing.

When we’ve found our source of strength it’s important that we keep as much of it around us as possible.  If there is someone you admire, whose work, efforts or success makes us want to work harder, surround yourself with their work. Whatever makes us stronger is worth indulging in – a lot.

With so many sources of strength around me every day, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where I get my strength from.  I draw a lot of strength from the stories of writers who have struggled.  Lionel Shriver’s book We Need to Talk About Kevin was rejected 30 times before finding a publisher.  This gives me strength (and courage) to keep writing because if a book as great as WNTTAK gets rejected and Shriver refuses to give up, I know I can keep going. I draw strength from people who have taken a small one-man business and built it into a million-dollar company.  Their dedication and hard work inspires me.  I draw strength from people whose work may go largely unnoticed and unappreciated and yet they continue to do it every day – nurses, teachers, those working in war zones to try to improve the life of others.

So, my most common source of strength is external, outside myself.  But as I get more confident in my writing I find I am able to draw on a growing pool of inner strength that wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the many who’ve inspired me to keep going.  I surround myself with their stories every day and I know I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for their example.

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