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What Makes You Feel Stronger?

by jenny sansouci on January 17, 2016

The other day in the Hope Never Rests lecture, someone in the audience said something that I wrote down. I believe she was saying she works with kids in some capacity, and she said this:

“I focus on helping them unwrap their gifts, rather than treat their disabilities.

That hit me in a few ways and I haven’t stopped thinking about it. One, because that’s one of the things I hope to be doing with my blog – to help people unwrap their own gifts, rather than “fix” what’s “wrong” with them. That feels so much better.

The other reason I haven’t stopped thinking about this, is because I felt it was symbolic of how we can treat ourselves in our own lives.

I think most of us spend a lot of time focusing on what we’re not doing good enough, or where we’re falling short of our own expectations. What if we flipped that fixing mentality over and realized that instead of focusing so much time on wanting to fix all of our “weaknesses,” maybe we could try to focus on building our own strength.

It’s that slight shift from a lack mentality to a building and creating mentality that can really make all the difference.

I woke up this morning thinking about what makes me feel stronger. Because I can fret for a long time about what I didn’t do right, or what I need to improve on or “WHY” I’m feeling weak or less powerful than I want to feel. We all know how that goes.

Focusing on weaknesses feels like kind of a waste, though. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about working through problems and if people want to go to therapy and work things out that’s awesome and beneficial.

But I honestly think we spend way too much time focusing on what’s wrong with us and where we feel weak. It creates emotional upset and drama in our energy field and it’s really not fun at all. Dwelling in a problem for too long doesn’t get us any closer to strength.

Instead of focusing on fixing our weaknesses, I have a proposal: let’s identify the things in life that make us feel stronger, and consciously cultivate those things more, not judging along the way, just trusting that the process will strengthen us.

Just like yesterday when I suggested a new way to look at a traditional “to do list,” I’m just kind of over the mindset of harping on weaknesses all the time and focusing on what’s lacking about us. It’s boring.

When we feel stronger, everything feels easier anyway. Brighter. More manageable.

I feel stronger when I’m in a workout routine. I feel stronger when I’m learning (yay podcasts!). I feel stronger when I’m pointing out the good things in my life and going on a rampage of appreciation. I feel stronger when I’m constructively helping other people. I feel stronger when I’m taking action on ANYTHING. I feel stronger when I’m being solution-oriented. I feel stronger when I’m writing. I feel stronger when I’m outside. I feel stronger when I’m taking radically good care of myself. And I feel stronger when I’m laughing and loving. 

New idea for today: focus on building strength instead of fixing weakness.

I think it’ll be fun.

What makes you feel stronger? 

Also, what songs make you feel stronger? I’m making a strength playlist and I’ll share it here when it’s done. πŸ™‚


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica January 17, 2016 at 12:52 pm

I love this idea. It reminds me of a quote I saw on Jordan Bach’s Instagram “Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate”. I feel so much better when I’m building on something positive rather than focusing on the negative. This is super cheesy and a little on the nose, but Kanye West “Stronger” is totally my pump up song when I have to take on a challenge!!!


jenny sansouci January 17, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Yesss! First of all I love Jordan Bach and his instagram feed. Secondly I listened to that Kanye song yesterday!!! Also clichΓ© but awesome is Britney’s Stronger…hehe πŸ™‚


Laura Lawrence January 17, 2016 at 2:25 pm

This is awesome, Jenny! We talked a little bit about this at work a few months ago – about how people tend to either focus/work on their strenths or to focus/work on their weaknesses. And they were saying how there are pros to each. I remember thinking about how the con of focusing on your weaknesses/negativity would trump any supposed “pros”! Easier said than done tho πŸ™‚


jenny sansouci January 17, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Thanks Laura! I agree, there can be pros and cons to each. But for me, spending too much time focusing on weakness drains my energy, so I think it can be great to acknowledge them…but then move on to focusing on what makes you feel stronger. πŸ™‚ Not easy! But worth it.


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