Your Inner Strength
Do you believe you have the inner strength to reinvent, restart or pursue your dreams? Will that resolve be enough to really keep going, especially if pursuing a new direction or taking a risk? According to a recent KPMG study the biggest obstacle for women taking risks over the age of 40 is confidence.*
Even if you are confident in one area, there may be huge mental obstacles you are facing in venturing into a new area. Obstacles that are holding you back can be the fear of being judged by others or feeling intimidated and invisible. And what about the feeling that you don’t measure up or are not good enough? With the social media markers of comparison so many create for measuring sticks, it is not surprising our confidence levels have dropped.
My main readers and audience are those who are at the halftime of life (over age 40) and I love working with those who are motivated to use their skills, talents and resources. But I realize that many are tired, discouraged, and wondering, What’s the use? If I am speaking directly to you today, we need you! Your experience and skills are needed, even if you feel like the world has passed you by. (Read: Too late at Halftime?)
Your Inner Fortitude
I like the comparison of inner strength to inner fortitude. It’s perseverance, resilience and tenacity all together. Just like resistance training with weights builds muscle and strength, the obstacles you face and get through will strengthen your resolve and even abilities. But you have to let them do their work. You can’t quit!
What will hold all of us back is a mindset of anger, bitterness or even giving up. The recent world-wide pandemic has made many weary and restless. Many are wondering if they have the inner strength to keep going and whether it is worth the effort. That is a good question to ask yourself because I believe you do! But you have to believe it for yourself and act on it. Here are three very basic steps to help you call upon your inner strength, whether you are restarting, entering your career again or just wondering what to do next.
Inner Strength Step One: Start and Act
Your willingness to start and act applies to a current area or a new venture. When discouragement sets in, you may be thinking, Why bother? And, What’s the use? At that point, you feel like quitting! Doors may have closed in the past or you may have faced a large setback that makes you hesitant to take another risk. It’s easier to just stay the course.
But what if that course has closed or changed to where it has forced you to move? Or if you keep talking about pursuing your dream and another year just went by? Sit down and start writing out your plan with a defined schedule to start with at least one measurable action. I also encourage you to journal daily. (Read: Hitting a Plateau)
I am a big proponent of journaling. As you write your thoughts on a page, they will disentangle themselves and become clearer over time. Start small with a 90-day challenge, writing just a couple lines a day. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make for you. As you write, define small actions you will put in place weekly. Don’t let another year go by without acting!
Inner Strength Step Two: Gain Perspective
We have recently put in a small open patio area under a grape arbor in the back of our property. On many nights, when sitting under that arbor, I can see the stars. The wonder and the vastness of the universe never ceases to amaze me. Even if you don’t have a ready-made area to gaze at the stars, find some place where you can gain perspective of the magnitude surrounding your world.
Using a different angle from above, imagine you are in an airplane looking down at your life and your business. As large as we may build our platform, we are still a small dot on the landscape. How can you best use your dot of influence in the large scheme of things?
When looking at your life from a different perspective, you can usually see different viable paths, even making sense of the surrounding confusion. I suggest you hire a coach or gather a trusted mastermind group to help you gain that perspective in your life. Doing so will save you time, resources and a great deal of energy in the long-run. It is well-worth the investment.
Inner Strength Step Three: Take a Risk
Referring to the KPMG study*, the lack of confidence holds many back from taking a risk. 86 percent of respondents admitted that when they failed at something in the past at work, it made them more cautious about how they did things in the future.
Maybe none of the risks you have taken previously have panned out. Understandably, you are hesitant to stick your neck out again. But you should mitigate your risk, understanding the implications of different actions, but not hold back because of unhealthy fear. (See: Lessons Learned)
As you well know, taking a risk doesn’t necessarily mean success happens right away. This is why I encourage starting small. Take baby steps that will help you move forward with courage. When you demonstrate courage, you develop confidence. And that confidence will build momentum in your life and business.
Your first decision is to start. Even if you have started, get out your journal and commit to your 90-day challenge, writing just a line or two a day. Put your simple plan together and schedule it. Commit to not only starting your plan, but not quitting!
Get the perspective of a good coach or trusted colleagues. They can help you see any blind spots. Then, don’t be afraid to take some risks. Take the risk of using more technology with small, simple steps. I am well-versed in the frustrations of implementing new technology. I have tried a lot of new tools that didn’t work for me the first, second or even third time! But by persevering, then implementing those tools, I was able to create a system to help others as they struggle. So start now, don’t quit and realize you will continue to build your inner strength and perseverance with confidence and momentum!
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