If you’re anything like me, you’ve been told you’re strong… more than once.
This is good, but it can sometimes feel a little bit overwhelming. I don’t want to be strong all the time! It’s good to have a support system in place and reach out to them once in a while.
However, once you realize you have a lot of mental strength, you know you can get over any difficult situation in your life.
I know I did!
So… how do you know you’re strong?
Read on and find out!
1) You accept your failures
Believe me, accepting yourself takes time and effort.
There isn’t a single person on this planet who loves being flawed.
Most of us hate the fact that we can’t be perfect all the time.
However, if you’re strong, you can recognize that, even though you’re not perfect, you have inner value, and you matter in this world.
You show compassion when you fail, and you celebrate your wins, however small they may be.
Of course, you can always improve. That’s the challenge, and kudos to you if you’ve found joy in that process.
2) You have a well-developed personality
Meditation, journaling, and even yoga or other spiritual practices: these are the things that keep your mind healthy.
If you consider yourself spiritual or self-aware, you’re a lot stronger than you think.
There are lots of people who go through life without asking a single question about their purpose or the world that surrounds them. Isn’t that strange?
All the decisions they make are based on anxiety, a basic need, or strong and uncontrollable emotions.
If you’ve worked on becoming a better version of yourself, you recognize how to navigate through life with a calm mind and clear vision.
3) You know when to follow your intuition
Your heart won’t always take you in the easy direction. It takes guts to go after your dreams and trust yourself.
To follow your heart, you must:
- Trust yourself against the judgment of others
- Face your fears
- Consistently take action towards your goals
- Think of yourself before others
- Bounce back from rejection or failure
If you think you’re not strong, but you’ve managed to follow your intuition, you’re on the best possible path for yourself.
4) You find joy in the little things
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around the world and enjoy life in many different countries…
But let me tell you a little secret that nobody else will talk about: I don’t remember everything about every place I’ve been to. After a while, things kind of blur together.
You don’t need a spectacular experience or a five-star hotel to be happy. You don’t need a high-end cellphone, or the best clothing money can buy.
I’ve had the best experiences in my life, and I’ve seen the most beautiful things too, but the emotions I felt wore off pretty quickly.
I’m not ashamed to admit that, more than once, I’ve traveled thinking my problems would just fade away and get replaced with new, positive experiences.
But it doesn’t work that way…
When I came back to my home country, I faced the same struggles I left. So, I had to learn to find joy in the simple things in life.
I don’t have to post a picture of a fantastic place every day to feel worthy. I love being with my cat, getting up and drinking my instant coffee, and then getting to work.
Of course, I travel occasionally, but I’m not addicted to it. Ordinary life in the same place doesn’t stop being beautiful just because it’s simple.
Life doesn’t have to be adrenaline-filled to be worth living.
5) You prioritize yourself without neglecting others
For men, it’s usually the first one. We’re good at saying “no” and standing our ground. But for some of us, it’s also an “ego game.” In other words–we put ourselves first, regardless of other people’s feelings.
However, you don’t have to push people away when you decide to prioritize yourself. Men who’re stronger than they think are true masters when it comes to being both–practical and empathetic.
So, if you feel like you can equally divide your attention between your needs and the needs of others–you’re doing a great job!
6) You know when it’s time to take action
Having a lazy day is okay, but being unable to make a single decision or even get out of bed may indicate there’s a bigger problem there.
I’m not talking about clinical stuff like having depression; that’s no joke. I mean, when you’re just tired of everything, and you just want to chill.
But people, who’re stronger than they think they are, know when it’s time to take action.
They don’t stay in the “apathy mode” for too long. They can rest and then get up, get dressed, and do their thing.
Getting out of your comfort zone is stressful, but it’s always worth it.
The main benefit? You learn pretty quickly that you can manage stress, and then when bigger problems come–you’re already experienced in tackling them.
Challenges become new and exciting adventures.
7) You can be happy when others succeed
It’s sad when you experience a moment of happiness, and some of your friends feel jealous of it
Some might give you a fake smile or even try to bring you down.
If you aren’t like this, you know the drill: you’re stronger than you think.
You’re the kind of person who genuinely celebrates your friends’ success and happy moments, and you’re appreciated.
There’s no need to compare yourself to others: everyone is on their path.
8) You’re a good friend
Not everyone gets to make and keep healthy connections.
If you’ve managed to have a few good relationships in your life, you’re a strong person.
In fact, there’s more than one study that suggests that interpersonal relationships is what makes people happy in the long run.
Every relationship has challenges and requires effort. Being able to maintain that effort makes you strong and also gives you other skills that are useful for life in general:
9) You’re very adaptable
Some people just hate the change.
They would much rather stay in a situation that doesn’t bring them joy than risk and hope for the better.
This can make them cruel or resentful towards others and actually prevent them from experiencing the most exciting things that come with a change of environment.
Of course, every day is different, and some days you won’t feel like taking action.
That’s more than okay!
But if you’ve managed to change for the better at least once, you can do it again.
You’re stronger than you think!
10) You’re not afraid to stand alone
I’ve been single for the past two years, and let me tell you: it’s been a learning experience and a very positive one.
I’ve learned to become independent and to fulfill my dreams whether or not I have someone next to me to support me. Of course, I can count on my family and friends when I need them!
But most times, I can trust my judgment without fear.
If I’m ever afraid, I only have to look back and recognize how far I’ve come.
If you’re the same, kudos to you!
11) You’re a reliable person
Does everyone around you trust what you say and even ask for your advice?
Sometimes you might even feel like they give you special treatment: is that right?
Congratulations, people trust you.
If you receive good feedback from people and they ask for your input and advice, it means that you’re a strong person. And others can see and feel it, too. That’s why they’re reaching for your opinion.
12) You welcome criticism
Now, this doesn’t mean you like being criticized. I know I don’t!
Once past the initial shock and instinct to defend myself, I tend to reflect on my words and actions: where did I go wrong?
I don’t do this to torture myself over “spilled milk”, so to speak. I can be better thanks to accurate criticism.
Unfortunately, sometimes people project their insecurities instead of giving you constructive feedback. If that’s the case, I don’t take it personally: it’s simply not my problem.
So, if you can avoid being overly emotional when someone’s giving you their negative opinion about your words or actions–you’re stronger than you may think you are.
13) You know you’ve changed over time
We tend to get stuck in the stories we tell about ourselves: I’m chaotic, I can’t keep a partner, I am never getting fit, I’m not that smart…
However, most of the time, these are just that: stories.
It’s not true.
We can learn and overcome a lot more than we give ourselves credit for.
The pandemic changed us, didn’t it?
We’re not the same people!
If you learned your lessons, you’d know this is true. We are not the same at every moment of our lives. And the strongest of us appreciate and embrace change because we know that we can become better over time.
To sum up
I didn’t write this article to lower your self-esteem. On the contrary!
I want you to recognize all the things you’ve done right over the years. I want you to know that you’re a lot stronger than you think.
If you’ve learned and changed, however small you feel these improvements to be, they mean something: you’re adaptable, and you are better than you were before.
We’re all a work in progress, and that’s more than okay!
Appreciate yourself, your accomplishments, and your life. You only get one, after all.