Emulate an image of inspiration and strength
Motivational speaker and life coach Anthony Robbins frequently points out that the most successful figures in society have usually had an inspiring role model that they have tried to emulate (Robbins, 1997). By studying the behavior of inspirational figures, and then incorporating those qualities into our own life we can rapidly bring about change in ourselves and cultivate inner strength. Furthermore, we can use that image to sustain our inspiration over time, even through periods of difficulty and challenge. Such a role model will most likely be in the form of a person, perhaps a well-known figure or someone special from your personal life. However it needn’t be a person; an image from nature can also have the same effect, such as a mountain, or the sea.
To discover what image you or your client could emulate that inspires and gives strength consider the following questions:
- What qualities would you like to have more of as a part of yourself?
- What strengths would you like to develop more?
- What person/character/image can you think of that embodies all the qualities you would like to have?
- Imagine yourself as this ideal, completely embodying and manifesting those qualities. How does that make you feel in this moment?
- What can you do in your life to mold yourself to that image?
Activate your inner strength in any given moment
As humans we are susceptible to the ups and downs of life, and we may not always find ourselves in a state of heightened inspiration and strength. But if you have been able to identify your source of inner strength through some of the steps previously discussed, then it can be relatively easy to activate that strength at any moment when the need arises. Like a switch your inner strength can be turned on in down moments to give you a boost and bring you back up to peak performance.
Drawing on concepts from neurolinguistic programming and psychology Anthony Robbins notes that it is possible to “snap out” of a depressed or low inspiration state (Robbins, 1997). He points out that the triad of physiology, mental focus, and language, can influence our state. When we recognize that we are not in the state we want to be we can consciously change these three things to produce a more inspired and energetic state. Physiologically, some movement and simple changes of posture can help to energise us. This, combined with focusing the mind on something inspiring, and using positive, empowering language to vocalize what we want, can all together act as a switch to activate our inner strength. The way in which we employ these three things will vary from person to person, and may involve visualization, affirmations, chanting, or even prayer.
To explore how to use this triad to activate the inner strength, consider the following questions:
- When you have been depressed or angry what was your physical posture and breathing like? What were you mentally focusing on? What sort of language were you using verbally?
- Now compare that to a time when you felt elated and inspired. How did your physiology differ? What were you mentally focused on? What sort of language were you using verbally?
- In light of the answers to the above questions, what could you do with your physiology, mental focus, and verbal language the next time you are in a negative mood, that would lift you to a more inspirational state?
- Is there anything extra you could add that would also help you to switch on your inner strength?
A Personal Shrine: Creating a battery where you can recharge
When your mobile phone’s battery runs low you just plug it in to recharge. This is the principle behind the concept of having a shrine in your home. It doesn’t need to be something religious or even spiritual. The idea is simply to have a physical location that is special and treated with reverence, where you can go to recharge your own battery. It doesn’t need to be big and fancy; it could be so subtle that even the people you live with may not be aware of its existence. It would be a small area of your home which serves as your outward focus of inner strength.
It is a place where the small objects that are sacred and meaningful to us can be gathered together and treated with respect. A shrine can be placed anywhere, on top of a dresser, a windowsill or small table. Simply create an empty space and slowly, carefully, place upon it the items which are special to you. Maybe a crystal, a cloth of inspiring color, flowers, a white candle, or whatever feels appropriate. When you light your candle and gaze upon your shrine, it will help you to remember who you are and why we are here. As you nurture it over time it will quickly acquire an energy of its own which can act as a power source for you to plug into and help you to re-connect with your own inner power. As described in the book “Invoking your Celestial Gaurdians” by Solara, a personal shrine “reminds us that there is far more to life than the everyday striving for survival and success” (Solara, 1990).
Here are some ideas to help in setting up a personal shrine:
- What small objects inspire you and give you a feeling of peace and calm you when you look at them?
- Where in your home or work could you create a sacred space?
- What could you do to treat that space with reverence and make it special?
Whilst each of these 5 steps is in its own right a useful exercise, when they are taken together they make up a highly effective tool for discovering, cultivating, and sustaining a connection with your inner strength. Having a readily available access to your inner strength compliments the external sources of outer strength which are useful in creating momentum.
Chopra, D. http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Reconnect-with-Yourself-and-Discover-Your-True-Needs-Ask-Deepak
Katz, W. H. 2003. Opening the Inner Eye: Explorations on the Practical Applications of Intuition in Daily Life and Work. iUniverse.
Leah, S, http:// www.defythebox.com
Robbins, A. (1997) Unlimited Power. Free Press.
Solara. (1990) Invoking Your Celestial Gaurdians. Star Borne Unlimited 10th ed.
Thibodeau L., 2005. Natural-Born Intuition: How to Awaken and Develop Your Inner Wisdom. New Page Books