It’s up to us to determine what charges our own batteries.
Nobody can do that for us. For developing mental resiliency, for sustained high performance, our strengths know how to run the show, we just have to learn to get out of their way.
Focusing on strengths is a critical factor in change methodology. When we primarily focus on what isn’t working we tend to shut down. Our processing ceases to find new possible solutions for us. Focusing on what is working causes our brain’s power center, our left frontal cortex, to take over. From this place, we begin to innovate our way through life rather than succumb to a state of frozen inaction.
We can broaden our view of what’s possible in life.
Human beings are built for resilience and strength, we’re meant to thrive and flourish, and this practice incorporates this understanding into our mind, body, and soul. It’s based on a few principles which are:
- One of the best strategies for helping a person succeed is to focus on what they’re doing that is positive. (Fear-based negative motivation stopped working a few decades ago. We’re evolving.
- What we focus on expands. We can choose what we focus on for sustained stamina. Challenges aren’t necessarily “problems”. Resilience makes us stronger.
- Our inner strengths act as healing agents for our misfortunes and wounds. In our greatest challenges can live our greatest resources.
The practice is simple enough and can be used to guide yourself through periods of stagnation as well as through simple moments of frustration.
Used frequently, this practice will become your go-to resource for navigating your way through issues large and small. Working through the four steps will reset your problem-solving muscles and act as a springboard for getting out of the rut.
- Reflect on your strengths: Connect with your gifts, (even if you think they’re unrelated to your current frustration) abilities and strengths. Do a full survey of what you’re good at. This is working to change the direction of your gears, fostering a new way of thinking.
- Articulate the possibilities: State the best version of your potential (even if you’re feeling so low you have to pretend your way through this at the beginning). State your dreams for your future. And this can be partially fantasy. The point is to just get your dreams flowing. Take the word “realistic” and throw it out the window. The point is not to keep cycling through what is currently “real” for you. The point is to launch into the possibility of something new.
- Direct attention & action: Start focusing on what needs to happen in this moment to get one step closer to your articulated potential & dream for your future. No excuses. Excuses are simply a self-sabotaging strategy to stay stuck. Imagine your way through this if you have to jump start the process that way, but leave this point with one or two action steps that will bring you a blip closer to feeling fulfilled, enough to power you out of the place of inaction into a place of possibility.
- Feel your future: Focus and feel in your body what it would feel like to have already accomplished your dreams. What does it feel like to already be living the gifts of your greatest potential as though you have already achieved it? Spend twenty or thirty minutes every day, creatively visualizing this reality and connecting with how that feels in your body.
This exercise builds the resources you need to continue to refuel your life, no matter what frustration you’re experiencing. Sustained high performance can’t happen when we allow our energetic tanks to run dry. There is nothing that empties a tank faster than feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, or feeling the chronic victim of your life. Shifting your focus to where you are feeling empowered, and articulating the dreams and potential of that power, is going to bring you the new resources and energy to keep moving forward.
To jump start this process, this is a great little exercise:
- Think of a memory where you were at your best. Verbalize it out loud, to yourself, in ten seconds or less.
- Now, describe the qualities you felt through this experience with three words. Three words which embody how you felt.
Use these words as your guide. Seek experiences that evoke the same feelings and qualities. Think of them as your North Star. They’ll point the way to your search for the Holy Grail of vitality.