Hidden Strengths: Finding Help When You Need It Most

There are days when we feel we just can’t accomplish anything. Within the emotional turmoil, we think the ‘entire world’ is against us. Nothing is going right. Our ideas aren’t coming out right. We just feel as if we can’t do anything at all. That’s when we need to give ourselves a pep talk and find our Hidden Strengths.

We may not be the strongest person in the world, whether physically or emotionally. But we do have unique qualities that we can use. In some cases, it may mean sifting through the emotional debris. In other cases, it may mean taking an Afternoon Tea break and making a list of our strengths and weaknesses.

Sometimes, all we need is a new way of looking at things. Once we have an opportunity to see our situation from a different angle, we can focus more on our hidden strengths rather than the negative emotions. To help you out, here are a few analogies you can consider:

a seashell filled with assorted precious jewels

Hidden Strengths Can Turn into Precious Jewels

When you sit down to make your list, think of it as a mining experience. Take your mental sieve and place a big scoop of the negative emotions in the center. Slowly and gently start shaking the sieve, allowing all the dirt to fall through the tiny holes.

As with mining, once the excess dirt starts falling away, what is left are the tiny nuggets and pieces of gold. Even a precious gem can look just like a rock, or even greasy and dull, similar to butter. You may have to look closely to see the potential, but it’s there, hidden just beneath the surface.

a white heart-shaped life rind wiht red reflecting tape mounted on a tin wall

Hidden Strengths Can be a Lifeline

Sometimes our emotions can be so full of turbulence we feel as if we are on a boat in the middle of a huge storm. There are times we feel as if we have been tossed out of the boat and are struggling to keep the waves from overcoming us.

Your hidden strengths are like a lifeline being tossed directly into your hands, ready to pull you to safety. Once you grab hold, you can slowly but surely pull yourself back in the boat. You may not sail directly out of rough water, but you can at least have a firm place to wait out the storm.

a man tighrope walking between mountains with a hazy view of more mountains in the background

Hidden Strengths Can be a Safety Net

It takes time and practice to get things right. I have always been in awe when I watch circus tightrope walkers. All those flips, turns, catches, and twists look like a ballet being performed on a stage. But instead, it is done from a cable that is approximately the diameter of a nickel, and strung high in the air (Nik Wallenda walked 1,800 feet on a steel cable over Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua).

Professional like Mr. Wallenda may not always use a safety net or harness, but most high-rise workers do. It is one way to protect them in case of a fall.

Hidden Strengths act as our personal safety net. When things to badly, we can learn to fall with grace as we know we have them set up and secure to prevent us from harm.

black and white image of two armor gloves

Hidden Strengths Can Fight the Bullies

When we begin to feel like we are worthless or unable to move forward, many times that is caused because of fear and mistakes. Once we have made enough of them, we just want to give up.

These bullies often go by the names of Fear, Doubt, and Uncertainty. But our Hidden Strengths act as our warriors. When those bullies show up, our Hidden Strengths step up in full armor ready to do battle. All we have to do is summon our army, then step back and watch these bullies fall.

a stack of four rocks on the edge of a larger boulder to reflect hidden strengths

Find a Mantra

For me, there are days when I could probably water the entire pasture with my tears. Life gets tough somedays. And for some reason, these tough times seem to all pile up into one big garbage heap.

At times like these, if feels as if the punches are coming from all directions. A coyote takes a calf, and it feels like a punch in the side. A trusted family member or friend turns on you, and you feel the jab in your gut. A medical emergency is a jaw-breaking uppercut. You lose a parent, and the roundhouse blow goes directly to your heart. You are so bruised and battered from the slaps, wallops, smacks, and full-blown impacts that your body and mind just can’t take another minute of the beating.

That’s when you need to do a few things. First, if you need to, go ahead and water the pasture (or yard, or your pillow) with a good cry. This is actually healthy for you, as it releases endorphins which relieves both physical and emotional pain.

the bank of a pond, the reflection of trees in the water with a boat, and a red dog gazing into the water

Second, it may be time to create a Mantra. A Mantra, in this case, is a repetitive phrase that helps you to focus on what you need to hear – not what your mind is telling you.

Years ago, I developed this Mantra. It has helped me through some very tough times. In a few cases, it almost immediately helped me to pull myself up by my bootstraps and keep moving forward. On other occasions, I have had to repeat it constantly for days until I was able to believe it.

But it has always worked, and I continue to use it whenever necessary. Feel free to use it yourself. It is a great reminder of all those Hidden Strengths we have. We may not always be strong, but if we dig a little deeper, we can find all the Hidden Strengths we need to move forward.

And for the days you need a constant reminder, just download a pdf version, and tape it up on your refrigerator or your bathroom mirror. And always remember, you really are stronger than you think.

Simple Life Mantra depicting Hidden Strengths

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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