This month, we’ve been talking about inner strength. We’ve seen how inner strength is about going back to your roots, how it’s an anchor within you as long as you make space for it, and how being present or connected is a quality that needs to be nurtured.
Today I want to wrap up this month’s discussion on inner strength with one final theme: consistency.
Our actions & subsequent results are a product of consistency
The extent to which we’re able to take consistent action towards something, is directly correlated to whether we’ll reach that goal or not. Seems obvious enough, but this can be tricky.
This is why I often cite Henry Ford’s quote, especially in the context of language learning:
“Whether you think you can or can’t, either way you’re right”
Learning a language proficiently takes time. If you believe you can learn it, you’ll keep trying and pushing through thousands of mistakes. If you don’t think you can, you won’t bother trying much at all and feel discouraged (instead of encouraged!) by every mistake.
This is why it’s important to know what you believe, to know what you stand for, and to make sure your actions align with those beliefs and intentions – even if you have no idea how things will unfold.
Otherwise you’ll give rise to so much frustration and self-resentment that you’ll weigh yourself down and hold back your progress.
We so often give the power we have away, because we don’t really believe that we have it. In a sense, we need the first two themes/steps: to create space and connect, in order to fully step into the power that we have. To acknowledge it, before we finally claim it as our own, and stop giving it away.
On taking back your power
We say we know what we want, but then we turn around and do the opposite. This is giving away our power. Instead, taking back our power is a practice that nurtures you instead of depletes you. A practice of consistently putting one foot in front of the other and walking towards something we believe in.
A practice of acknowledging and feeding your sense of strength, by consistently making adjustments, a little more of this and a little less of that, to gently guide you towards where you want to go.
Many of us practice this concept in the areas of our lives where we are most proficient, but we don’t realize that it’s exactly what we need in the areas of our lives that our yearning for our attention (you’ll recognize this yearning by the dissatisfaction you feel in this area).
I like to bring this stuff home with an example or two from my own life, so here it is:
Practicing strength: an example of consistent progress
Learning Finnish has taken time and dedicated effort. But I’ve done it through consistently problem solving enough of the issues that stood in my way to get to a point where I can operate quite fluidly in the language. This process took many years, and a whole lot of presence and focus, by no means a small feat. I chose the long route and taught myself, so that now I’m also able to coach others through the process (and I’m working on making sure the way is better paved for you!). I like the strategy, the challenge of figuring out what’s standing in the way and helping someone move through it. But still, I would say this process has always made sense for me.
Maybe you did this with a musical instrument or a sport or a job in a new field! Maybe you did it to heal from a health problem that you were told wasn’t solvable or you taught yourself a new skill, just because you said you would and you couldn’t bare the thought of not keeping your word. You did it consistently, and you didn’t give up, despite the endless issues which kept popping up. You just kept pushing through until you found your way. Chances are you may have never thought of it this way before.
Spend a moment thinking of something you’ve done consistently and accomplished, where others have failed. Say it out loud to yourself!
Practicing strength: an example of inconsistent progress
Now what hasn’t come naturally or unfolded in a ‘logical’ way for me has been starting my own business – the medium through which you’re hearing from me right now. It’s been a frustrating push and pull between my intentions for the work I want to put out into this world and a whole mountain of fear and limitations. I’ve spent a lot of time, money and energy into it with a lot less progress than I saw on the Finnish learning front.
Then at the end of last year, I decided to scrap languagecatalyst.com and start over with irinapravet.com. I’ve sought to learn from business-owners who share my outlook and values, and better understand how their businesses come together. These days, I’m learning to let go of things I can’t control and focus on trusting that if I keep showing up, things will gradually fall into place.
What’s helped me the most when it came to staying consistent are the tools I share in an email course for inner strength – a practice to help you walk your talk. And I’ve noticed from those who have succeeded in this area, that they too share this quality of consistency in their work.
Regardless of how much (or how little) progress I’ve made on this front, I don’t have any plans of giving up – my convictions are just too strong. I’m consistently moving towards the life I love abroad, a vision that includes my own business, and even if I don’t know how the path to it will unfold, I trust that consistent action will bring me there.
Consistency requires trust
While discussing inner strength and consistency, we need to mention trust. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to be consistent, when you’re lacking trust.
Trust that your to-do list will get done and that the people you’re counting on will pull through. Trust that the worst-case scenario won’t happen… and in the unlikely event that everything goes to shit, trust that you’ll be able to handle it.
Trust. Notice any judgments, feelings or sensations that come up when you hear this word.
Trust is the bedrock on which you can rest your worries and your monkey-head thoughts, and set off on a clearer path without them – consistently putting one foot in front of the other. This too, is a practice. You can’t be present if you’re constantly planning for the worst-case scenario. Trust helps lighten the load.
I have a post-it note up in my bathroom that reads:
I trust that everything is as it should be.
I trust the process.
I trust myself.
I’m not exactly sure where the message came from, but I have a suspicion it’s from my yoga teacher. The best inspiration of trust and consistency and inner strength in action is everywhere in nature. Trees and plants and wildlife living and growing freely without fear or worry of thinking they can or can’t. They just do.
Wrapping up May’s theme ‘Inner Strength’
When we trust, we’re able to connect.
Connected, we are at our best.
At our best, we can align with our intentions.
When we act with intention, we are strong.
Thank you so much for reading! If this month’s posts spoke to you, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below let me know. I love to know when stuff sticks or resonates. If you feel pulled to go deeper on the path of uncovering your inner strength, you can find more information about An Email Course for Inner Strength course here or in the box right below.
Consistency is the practice of aligning your intentions with your actions. In an Email Course for Inner Strength, the final theme we cover is taking back your power. You’ll be guided with writing prompts or simple exercises to help you explore and personalize your inner strength practice.
For more details and to sign up, click here.