We have a lot of strengths and weaknesses, and that is what makes us human. However, sometimes we forget about all the strengths we have and solely focus on our weaknesses. Over the course of many years, scientists have discovered that each person possesses all twenty-four character strengths in varying degrees. Character strengths are parts of your personality that make you feel authentic. Do you ever wonder what you can do when you fully utilise your strengths? What might you achieve? You might not feel that these strengths are important, but using your character strengths, such as the phasic strength of raising to the occasion or the signature strength that contributes to your uniqueness, can help enhance your life.
Just like our character strengths, we have several untapped inner resources within our grasp. With just a little bit of time and effort, you can tap into your inner resources and realise your full potential. Carl Rogers founded the person-centred approach in the 1940s, which was based on the idea that everyone has inner resources that allow a person to cope with life and achieve his/her maximum potential. He strongly believed that people have everything inside of them to live a truly happy and fulfilling life. Rogers said: “What you are is good enough if you would be it openly.”
Carl Rogers is right, you know. Most of the time, what we need to survive and thrive is inside of us, but we don’t know how to access it. The good news is that if you haven’t discovered your inner resources already, you still can just with a little guidance and effort. In this article, we will share with you six ways that would allow you to tap into your inner resources and make a positive difference in your life.
- Accessing your support system
When life becomes uncertain, and you have no idea about how to cope with it, try and talk to the people who you believe would be wise enough to give you the best advice. Whenever we encounter any hardship, we instantly surround ourselves with self-doubt. We start doubting our capabilities and strengths, and our self-critical inner voice within us becomes louder. At times like these, it is important to remind ourselves that life is too short of paralysing ourselves with doubts. Don’t fall into this rabbit hole. You are much more than you think you are, and you have a fire within you that can get you whatever you need in life. You just need to ignite it.
If this reaffirmation doesn’t come from inside, you then approach your wise family and friends who can make you believe in your self-worth and help you discover your sleeping potential inside you. Whenever you find yourself doubting your capabilities and being hard on yourself, ask yourself, “Who is someone who knows what I should precisely do at a time like this?” Hopefully, you will help yourself find that person that comes to your rescue and helps you find the treasure of inner resources that has been buried deep inside of you. Sometimes you might feel that you already know what they say, but don’t assume for yourself. Let them give you the advice and impart their wisdom to you.
- Be grateful
We cannot always be in control of all emotions that we feel. Fortunately, gratitude is an emotion that we can choose to practice. When emotions like sadness and grief envelop us and our brains find it hard to cope with feelings of helplessness, gratitude comes to our rescue. Practising gratitude can help us understand our emotions and grow and heal around our grief and sadness, fosters hope for the future, making us more forward-looking and optimistic, and improving emotional regulation. Practising gratitude is one of those things that you need to make a habit of. Being grateful improves both our mental health and physical health. A 2004 research study showed that practising gratitude daily can boost the immune system, allowing human bodies to fight off potential bodily threats.
You can practice gratitude in a number of ways. Keeping a gratitude journal where you list down the things you have and the things you are grateful for every day is a very effective technique to incorporate more gratitude into your daily life. This list will remind you about the good in the world, and this practice will keep negative thoughts at bay and make you much more optimistic.
You can also try volunteering as a tangible way to practice gratitude. Volunteering and helping the less fortunate can make you more grateful for all the good fortune that has befallen you in life. It can also bolster your self-esteem by giving you an outlet to make a difference in the world. Among other ways of practising gratitude, you can also try meditation and prayer. Not only these practices will generate feelings of gratitude, but doing so will also improve your spiritual health.
Being more grateful serves as a mood booster, but it will also positively affect your mental and physical well-being and allow you to deal with adversity in a much better way.
- Be your own friend
“We are our own worst enemy”. This is one of those quotes that we all know by heart. It is true, you know. We constantly criticise ourselves, fail to acknowledge and appreciate our achievements, doubt ourselves, judge ourselves too harshly, and find faults with each and everything we do. And most of the time, our such habits turn into moments of self-loathing and frustration. However, if we are our worst enemy, we can definitely be our own best friends. If you are struggling with self-deprecating thoughts, then know that self-compassion is precisely what you need. We have to world to pick up on our each and every mistake.
We don’t need to turn against ourselves. Being your own friend and showing yourself compassion and love is self-care 101. It entails being understanding when you make mistakes or experience setbacks in life rather than being self-critical and angry. When you are being hard on yourself and struggle with feelings of worthlessness, ask yourself what you think makes people worthy and valuable.
You might think that their accomplishments and career progress make them worthy of other people’s love and respect. But do you think that your career growth and tangible achievements are what make your friends and family love you? If you get a promotion or a new car, will it make them love you more? At least the love of genuine people is not dependent upon your accomplishments. People who love you do so unconditionally. They love you despite all your flaws and weaknesses. Keeping this in mind will help you be more compassionate with yourself and deal with whatever comes your way in a much better way than you were doing before.
- Always remember your gifts.
When you are down and having a hard time, keep going, and try and remind yourself about your strengths, skills, and talents. Ask yourself, what makes me unique? What do I have that gives me a competitive advantage and makes me special? Being good at singing or writing can be your gift. Having extraordinary social skills and being very great at networking is another gift that can make you special. You might have a gifted memory which makes you special in a way that you remember all birthdays and anniversaries. Keeping track of these gifts and reminding yourself about them can bring more compassion into your life. If you are having a hard time finding your gift, you can ask your friends what they might think is your gift.
- Acknowledge the Long-term growth
Whenever you encounter any challenge in life that makes you dismissive and frustrated, make yourself see how far you have come from where you started. If you feel like you haven’t made any progress in life and fall prey to the dangerous game of comparing yourself to others, make yourself see the place you started your journey. Acknowledge the progress you have made, no matter how trivial it might seem to you. Tell yourself that I have bravely navigated the life challenges that came my way. It is okay to not have all the answers all at once.
Focus all your awareness and attention on the present moment. Bring your attention to the next step. Don’t distract yourself with what you might think will happen in the future. One step at a time. Look straight into the eyes of your challenge and tell yourself that nothing is impossible, and I am more than capable of overcoming this challenge. Moreover, embrace and trust your life situation. Don’t resist change. Having a positive attitude fosters growth and learning. Put all your faith in this process and look for the value your situation can bring into your life.
- Set a goal to work towards
Setting a goal or target has advantages that can be transformational. Goals allow you to achieve your desired outcomes more efficiently without being overwhelmed or stressed out. Moreover, a goal can eliminate aimlessness and create more clarity and produce feelings of purposefulness. People who set goals claim that it makes them more confident, productive, and less stressed. Goal setters see what they can achieve in life. To quote Rick McDaniel, “Goal-setters see future possibilities and the big picture.” Setting goals can give you more control over your life. When you don’t set goals, the lack of direction allows others to take control of your life.
Moreover, goals and objectives also generate a sense of excitement and motivation. It makes us more determined to turn our words into actions. Goals also improve your decision-making. When you have goals to achieve, you set boundaries for your energy, time, and resources. This provides you with a framework to manage your energy and time, and you make better decisions involving these precious resources.
Setting goals is great and can help your personal and professional life exponentially, but in order to make the most out of setting goals, make sure your goals are SMART. SMART is an acronym for a goal criterion. S and M mean that the goal must be specific and measurable. The goals you set should be specific to you and measurable in quantitative terms to allow you to measure your real progress. A, R, and T stand for attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
This means that the goal you set should not be unachievable or unrealistic. You should set them in keeping in mind what is humanly possible to achieve. In addition to this, you must have a timeline for achieving your goals. Otherwise, you would never know if you have achieved the goal. Hopefully, these criteria will help you achieve translate your thoughts into palpable actions. As Tony Robbins said: “Setting goals is the first step from turning the invisible to visible.”
For many of us, the treasure of our inner resources is buried deep inside of us. It takes a conscious effort to find it. Sometimes we may feel that there is no need to discover the treasure at all since we don’t deserve it. At such times it is important to know that your strengths, skills, and talents are inside of you, and you can access them. Something that is even more important to know is that you deserve to find your hidden treasure and boost your self-esteem.
You have a fire inside of you that can help you live a happy and satisfying life. Your support system might help you in your journey of discovering your hidden treasure, but it is only you who can claim it. You might find it challenging to discover your untapped resources, but following the six tips summarised in this article can help you do so. Being grateful, showing self-love and compassion, and being your own friend are what can help you find those untapped resources of yours.
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