7 Ways Leaders Can Cultivate Their Inner Strength
By Kevin Daum, Contributor
If there is one thing you can count on in the business world, it’s inconsistency. The journey is always a series of ups and downs. Challenges come and evolve into obstacles. Opportunities become triumphs. The one constant is you and how you deal with all the change. If you are weak inside, you will be batted about like a rowboat in a hurricane. But those who cultivate inner strength are able to weather any storm and can travel great distances at speed when the seas are calm.
My greatest successes have come when I used my inner power to make the most of the good times. And when times were rough, ultimately it was a strong inner core that got me through the worst. You can tune up your inner strength with a few key exercises, just as you would your body. Here are some tips:
1. Know who you are.
Insecurity is an inner-strength killer. Your personality is the foundation of power. Get to know it well. Use tools like StrengthsFinder and the work of Kathy Kolbe to understand who you are and how you function best. Then, work on getting comfortable in your own skin. The happier you are with yourself, the less the outside world can do damage, and the more you can give in peace.
2. Spend time in silence.
The world is a noisy place. Distractions and disruptions can chip away at your core, leaving you frazzled and beat up. Take time to rejuvenate. Set aside one day a month to completely unplug from everything. That means no email, music, TV, or people. It’s a great time to connect with nature and just sit with your thoughts. The only way to calm your inner chaos is with 100 percent focus.
3. Set a routine.
Every ounce of energy wasted drains your inner strength. Why do things inefficiently and redundantly? Control what you can control so you can focus your efforts and brainpower on the things you can’t control. Grab a notebook. Separate your daily tasks into repetitive tasks and thinking tasks. Then create processes and routines for the repetitive tasks. You’ll be thrilled with the time and brain space you just found.
4. Create the right circle.
Hanging out with the wrong people can deplete your energy with every visit. Their inner weakness can suck the life from your core. Build your world with others who are strong inside. Keep company with those who celebrate you and feed positive energy into your life. Be brutal and protective about the company you keep. One sour person can take down the whole community.
5. Gain control of your body.
It’s tough to feel strong inside if you are unhealthy outside. Make a strong effort to be fit. Eat well, exercise and dress in a way that makes you feel good about yourself. Be proactive about your health and you can use your body to strengthen your soul. I gain much of my strength from kayaking and running. Sure I struggle with weight (who doesn’t?), but I work hard to stay strong and attractive for the woman I love. Make yourself feel good when you look in the mirror and you’ll start the day feeling powerful.
6. Give yourself a good home.
When you can’t go home and relax at night, you begin every day with a weak start. Get your house in order. If your relationship is bad, fix it or end it. If the kids are out of control, work with professionals to right the ship. Make sure you live in a home that makes you feel happy and proud. Your home should be a safe haven that is worth working and fighting for.
7. Connect with the source of your power.
Regardless of your religion, you can gain inner strength by connecting with your spiritual source. Through prayer, meditation, or simply deep thought, you can center yourself in the universe and understand your role in something bigger and worthy. Connect your core with the world around you, and greatly amplify your inner strength.
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss a post.
- Want more Kevin? Here are 3 more columns by Kevin available on Inc.9 Ways to Build Your Inner Strength
- 9 Ways to Identify a Strong Work Ethic in Millennials
- Writing Shouldn’t Be Painful: 5 Ways to Channel Your Inner Shakespeare