(originally published in issue no.9 of http://producitivemag.pl) There are actually more characteristics that make the emotionally strong people different from the weak. However, based on my observation of the world, I can name 10 top ranking ones, and all of them can be worked on and developed.
There are different levels of emotional strength, and to be able to get done what one needs, you do need to pass through all of them. The most crucial seems to be emotional resistance. Sadly, we are not born with it. It is true that we do get some ‘pre-set package” of abilities, but it is up to us what kind of “billing plan” we choose. Emotions run us and make us “human”. The difference is that emotionally strong individuals can tame their feelings and make them be of help in realizing the dreams they have. Here is 10 characteristics and behaviors making such individuals stand out. Check which you already have in your grasp, and on which you wish to work a bit more.
1. Not craving attention of others
I used to be a cry-baby. It was my means of getting attention of my surroundings. I soon realized that it indeed get me the attention, but of bullies… so I un-learned it quite fast. Self-assured individuals do not try to be recognizable, they do not attempt to be better then others or to pull their attention…Such humans know their own worth and have no need to proving themselves at every step.
2. Resisting negative influence
Long ago someone told me, that “I should not try to bring myself down, for other will happily do that for me”. Jealousy and envy are very powerful and can motivate even those closest to us. The better we are at something, the more ‘haters’ in given field we’ll “attract”. They will do anything to detract us from our path and to discourage us. The best way to be free of them is to eliminate them from our surroundings. It is also the hardest way. When getting rid of them is not possible, the only way is to grow a thick skin.
3. Do not harbor grudges
Encoding wrongs experienced is a waste of time and energy. Everyone can make a mistake, but only the strong can admit to them and apologize. It is human thing to err, but divine to forgive.
4. Honestly doing your job
Emotionally strong people, when undertaking a task, do their best to get it done well. If they know they can’t perform they simply won’t take such responsibility on. One of the key traits of a strong person is the ability to say NO. It is a gained trait, so you also can learn how to be assertive. I admit to having a great problem with it in the past. One of my professors (James Trainor) noticed it and took me aside saying “from now on I will teach you how to say NO”. I was shocked… everyone can say ‘no’, right? …but it turns out not many know how to use it properly. ” I have been watching you and I know that you are kind soul that would love to help everyone, but you just take too much on yourself. You have to start to limit that, else you will soon burn out” – he added. He was SOOO right. So do learn to say NO!
5. No self-doubt permitted
You are worth as much as you yourself believe you are. Recognition of self-worth is a life long process. Once you have discovered at least a good portion of it, you will have no need to prove it, to verify it, test it.. and others will notice that. I know my worth, and I know that whatever I plan I can achieve.. not today, not tomorrow, but if I do set my mind to it one day I will prevail.
6. Respect for others
Only the weak have to constantly boast, prove their own worth by making others miserable. By the way of respecting others, their work you are showing your true colors…and only when you do that wholeheartedly you can be appreciated and respected yourself.
7. Ready?! Go!!!
We all have better and worse days, but those that are emotionally strong rarely allow feeling blue or torpor to sink in. They are above and beyond that. They do not spend their days on a couch or in bed afraid of the day – they go out to meet and embrace it.
8. Precise and conscious selection of surroundings
The strong ones are able to cut themselves off even from their own flesh and blood, when that flesh and blood turns out to be the damaging factor. They are very meticulous in choosing friends and in relationships their rules are very precise. Strong humans are not afraid to love, and when they do their love is unconditional.
9. Courage to take a break
Maintaining of crazy speed is not sustainable in a long run. So do not be fearful of breaks or slow downs. Such moments are much needed to regenerate and to check if you are keeping on track and what can be done better on the way ahead. The key is to stay focused on your goal and firm trust that you will achieve it.
10. No need to fit in
Over time I have gained some ‘queer’ customs. For instance I like wearing publicly my top hat. Years have passed when I avoided doing so in fear of opinion of others. Not long ago I have matured enough to arrive at the conclusion that what others think or say is none of my business. Let them think whatever they like. I am a general in my own life. Be your own general. Everyone can become strong, self-assured person, but it requires work. Do keep in mind that it is your life, your choice and you have to live with them.. none else can do that on your behalf, so their opinions do not matter really. You are your own leader. There was a nice line in the movie “Sucker Punch” which I will paraphrase here ” Who decides why we live and what we die for? Who limits us? Who holds the key that can set us free? – You. You’ve got all the weapons you need. So fight”