Mandy has been working in the mental health field for more than eight years and has worked with a diverse group of clients. These range
Are you weak or are you strong? Weak and strong seem to be complete opposites. When you ask yourself this question, do you tend to hope that you are strong rather than weak? Did you automatically lean towards wanting to be strong rather than weak? The idea of being strong tends to conjure up positive images of being able to cope with life, manage your emotions well and deal with crises in a steady manner. What does being strong mean to you? Being weak on the other hand, tends to conjure up images of passivity,of not being in control and an inability to cope with life.
You Can Choose
The truth is – being weak and strong is a state that exists in all of us and it is whatever you want it to be. You can choose to believe that being strong is better than being weak. You can choose to believe that being weak has it’s benefits too. Or you can choose to believe that they are equal – not better or worse than each other. Being strong or weak is part of the natural flow of life. We can’t always be strong and we are not always weak. One constant state of being isn’t possible so it’s important to accept the natural ebb and flow of life and of our emotions. We tend to resist any signs of weakness yet this is a natural part of life and we all need time out to refocus and ‘unplug’ from the hectic pace of life.
Be careful of your perceptions regarding the concepts of “weak” and “strong”. If you automatically assign negative thoughts to the concept of “weak”, ask yourself where these thoughts have come from. Are they correct? Where is the evidence? How do you go about defining “weak”? Are there internationally accepted guidelines? The answer is “No”. If you feel negative towards the idea of being weak, you will be hard on yourself every time you take time out or slack off a little. This is damaging, learn to reframe your perception of what being weak is.
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This process of examining preconceived ideas is a vital skill that can serve you on many levels and for many different concepts in life. Our thoughts (eg. I am weak because I do not stand up for myself) lead to emotions (frustration and/or anxiety) which then leads to behaviour (withdrawing from others) and the cycle continues. Nip this cycle in the bud by examining the stories you tell yourself and instantly improve your mood. Why would you want to adopt thinking and beliefs that lead you to feeling miserable? Choose thoughts that work for you and empower you.
The Power of Thoughts
Instead of “I am weak because I do not stand up for myself”, you could reframe that in many ways:
- I could stand up for myself but I choose to pick my battles carefully
- Just because I don’t assert myself does not mean I am unworthy or weak
- I can choose to stand up for myself when I feel ready
These are only a few examples of more neutral thinking that will keep our self esteem in tact. Believe the best about you, strive to improve by all means but accept where you are right now. Accept who you are and stop berating yourself for your perceived failures.
Remember yin and yang – opposite and contrary forces that are interconnected, the same as weak and strong co-exist. Natural dualities that govern all processes in life. Learn to let go and revel in being “weak”, whatever that might mean to you. See it as a from of self respect and believe that you are wiser than most if you can enjoy and relish your weak moments.
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