Getting stronger is an admirable goal. Not in the physical sense necessarily, but rather with respect to your ability to handle adversity, solve problems, and overcome obstacles. Interestingly, there are a lot of parallels to the approach used to improve your physical strength.
Your muscles only grow in response to increased demands. Lifting a light weight offers no challenge. To make real progress, you must use enough weight to challenge your muscles. With consistent exercise, your strength grows over time. As it does, less effort is required to lift the same weight that used to be a struggle. Your progress continues as you progressively add more weight to your workout routine. Working out regularly is key to getting into better shape. Exercising only once in a while accomplishes nothing.
Your ability to deal with life's issues also improves with practice. As the challenges you encounter grow, so do your coping skills. We are taught to avoid conflict whenever possible. Although this sounds good, the reality is that conflict finds us. Success depends on being able to effectively handle whatever challenges come your way.
There are many people who are coddled throughout life. As children, they are not required to take responsibility for their actions. Their parents are always jumping in to fix their problems. Once they are in a situation where they have to fend for themselves, they have no idea what to do.
For example, someone who never has to support themselves financially will not develop any money management concepts or an appreciation for money. If they are bailed out each time they get into trouble, there is no motivation to develop any financial survival skills. Remove their safety net, and this person quickly goes bankrupt.
Each time you resolve a problem, your inner strength grows. Every adversity is an opportunity to further improve. Getting stronger begins with a change in mental orientation. Welcome challenges as an opportunity to improve rather than shying away from them.
The loftier your goals, the bigger the challenges you’ll face. Encountering obstacles means you are on the right path. If there is no resistance, you should reassess your direction. Anything worthwhile takes effort. Problems are an opportunity for you to improve your coping skills while getting stronger.
Any weight can be moved by breaking it up into smaller pieces. And as your strength improves, you will be able to lift heavier loads at one time. Challenges are approached the same way. Even the largest problems can be divided into smaller, manageable components which are then tackled one at a time. As you grow stronger, you can handle larger chunks.
There is real fear associated with obstacles in life. Ironically, we attract that which we are afraid of. So those people struggling to avoid problems seem to wind up with more of them.
Getting stronger starts with an attitude of, "I can solve this," when encountering a problem. All too often, the approach taken is to run away from adversity. The reaction to each problem encountered is then, "what am I going to do now?"
A shift in outlook is extremely powerful. Dealing with problems is a part of life. Recognize this fact and welcome each problem as an opportunity to grow stronger. Your results will improve almost immediately.
You can become stronger in your ability to successfully handle life's challenges through regular practice. As you improve, issues will shrink in their significance. Circumstances you used to think were a big deal will be reduced to a mere annoyance, if that. It will even seem as if fewer significant problems are in your path.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2013 Bryan Golden