Women’s History Month serves as a great opportunity to reflect on the impressive achievements of women who no doubt faced trials and roadblocks that could have stopped their dreams in their tracks.
But they didn’t — women like Cleopatra, Margaret Fuller, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Billie Jean King, Oprah Winfrey, and thousands throughout history, knew the secret for greatness. For each of those women, and so many others, greatness began with inner strength.
Inner strength often sounds like one of those nebulous, esoteric terms that is difficult to wrap your brain around.
But it’s actually pretty simple. And when you understand it — it can be empowering on a grand scale.
It begins with the voices in your head… sounds kind of scary, right?
Conflicting whispers of fear and self-doubt argue with declarations for justice or entitlement, while the voices of love, respect, and creativity get shut out.
Truth be told, we all have dueling voices within. It’s totally normal. Sometimes it’s even perpetuated by family dynamics and societal norms.
Each one of us has the capacity to shine or shrivel from our own inner monologue.
What a tremendous realization about the state many of us find ourselves in — that our thoughts can so directly affect our motivation, health, happiness, and success in life!
Women’s History Month is dedicated to celebrating and recognizing the vast possibilities that can unfold when we are empowered to greatness.
Female role models throughout our history have shared that their success began with inner strength and the belief in themselves. While social support has evolved and helped pave the way for women, in reality, it all starts right between those pretty, little ears.
Here are 4 Ways to Strengthen Your Inner Monologue:
- Become Aware: Awareness is absolutely critical for behavior change of any kind. Start by writing down both your recurring negative and positive thoughts. Observe the rabbit holes they send you down — keep these lists handy as you approach the next steps.
- Create an Interruption: Once you’ve become aware of your negative thoughts you will need to interrupt the process that follows — typically, if it’s a negative thought, it will spiral into some kind of self-sabotage or paralysis that loops back into a nasty cycle (a.k.a. the rabbit hole).
If it’s a positive thought, identify how it leads to your success and inner fortitude.
Interruptions can be as simple as a verbal, “STOP” when you catch the demeaning thought in action or a, “YES!” in agreement with your positive traits.
Try placing a sticky note in plain sight asking, “What are you thinking? Why?” so you can be curious about what’s coming up and how it may best serve you.
- Identify the Affirmative Opposite: Replace old patterns with new constructive ones. Affirming your positive traits or the ones you desire to emulate is a powerful, yet simple, way to shift toward a more productive and positive mindset. “I am… Capable, Wise, Creative, Business-Minded, Healthy, Achieving All My Dreams,” etc.
- Verbalize: Say the affirmations aloud. Do this several times per day until it’s your new normal. You will begin to behave according to what you think. Inner strength is forged through the practice of empowering thoughts that culminate in action!
It is well known in psychology that verbalization triggers areas in the brain that control emotional pain. Expression not only decreases stress and anxiety but reduces depressive symptoms that can keep you feeling stuck.
Go ahead — talk to yourself. It’s the smartest crazy thing you’ll ever do!
These 4 tips are not only valuable and useful in creating the life you desire, they also provide a powerful opportunity for each of us to reach out and connect with one another.
As strong, successful women, we have an opportunity to inspire each other and younger generations by our example.
The courage of facing your inner fears, then replacing them with empowering truths leads to remarkable triumphs.
This is the key to building your inner strength so that you can:
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” —Golda Meir