Recently, my daughter said to me, “You are going to have to be Strong for this One”, and later that same day, Be Strong appeared in my inbox, both those messages got me thinking about what it means to be strong, so here goes, my thoughts for the day!
We all know that Life can bring adversity and challenges completely uninvited into our worlds. We can be going along and suddenly we receive a scary health diagnosis or drive down the highway and out of nowhere be hit, break ups, job loss, disappointments both big and small show up in our lives and call upon us to respond. It turns out in fact that we are able to choose how we will respond to anything that Life brings and it is in our response that we find our strength and in our strength, we discover what it means to be strong.
As a Life Coach, I have the enormous honor of being entrusted with the challenges and adversity that are facing my clients, and together we find ways for them to be stronger than their storm. While, the details of their stories of adversity differ greatly, their journeys through the storm does not, they all have a single common thread and that is that their strength is bigger than the adversity and in this strength is a key element, let me try to explain.
When I think about “greatness” in sport for example, I think it is a very similar quality as Be Strong in adversity. In downhill skiing, for example, the great skiers, lean into the fall line, meaning, that the very thing, that is so scary, leaning down the hill, is the thing that makes them great. As opposed to beginners, who (quite naturally) lean up the hill, away from the fall line, away from the fear. But as skiers when we lean into the fall line, we experience the thrill of skiing, that point where we are one with gravity, our bodies, the mountain, and the snow. But we know how much to lean into the fall line, too little and we are fighting the mountain, too much and we well, crash! The great skiers know how much to lean in at any given moment.
Running races can be won by the downhills! Great runners know, how to lean into the downhills, they release the braking instinct of their quads and literally lean into the downhill by letting the hill and gravity take them down, not fighting the hill but lean into it. They know, the exact amount to let go and lean so that they find the perfect balance between holding back and falling down.
I believe that the same thing applies to Life. When adversity strikes, being strong means knowing when to lean into what is facing us so that we move through it. Like the skier, we want to resist it, like the runner we want to put the brakes on, but that is not how we move through it. We move through it by taking it on, or leaning into it enough to make progress, but not so much that we are overwhelmed and fall.
When adversity strikes, being strong means knowing when to lean into what is facing us so that we move through it.
Let me show you what I mean with an example from my own life. After a car accident, two years ago, I was traumatized so much that I was scared to drive, since my husband had a broken neck and we were out in the country far from any other form of transportation, it was up to me to drive and I did not want to be trapped by fear, not at all. The problem was that driving more than 10 kilometers (6.4 miles) per hour was too scary for me, just terrifying. I learned to lean into the driving and into the fear. This meant that I learned when to push the speed, literally to 15, to 20, to 25 and so on until I reached 100, well OK 110 k/hour. I learned when to push, when to stop for a rest, when was too fast and when was too slow. It took being strong, it took being great, it took looking fear in the eye and saying, I am stronger than you! The day I could drive 100 k/hour, we had a party to celebrate! I was stronger than the storm.
As always, I hope this guide is helpful. It is dedicated to my clients from whom I have learned so much!
All the best,
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Original article — “Be Strong: The Building Blocks of Resiliency”