By Oriana Guevara, MHR, MBA

Life & Personal Performance Coach, Certified Relationship Coach, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker, and co-host of the Edgy Entrepreneur Podcast

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series on growing your inner strength, I discussed how setting intentions and eliminating indecision are key to growing your inner strength and becoming more resilient, gritty, and persistent. By now, it’s clear that inner strength is more like a muscle that can be grown over time by engaging in certain helpful practices.

While there are many ways to grow your inner strength, the purpose of this series is to give you three meaningful practices to accelerate your ability to grow and direct your willpower, self-discipline, and staying power for the long haul.

If you’re looking to become a more high-performing individual, then inner strength is the fuel to the fire inside of you and is key to creating the life you want. If you haven’t already, be sure to go back and revisit Parts 1 and 2 of this series.

Begin implementing any or all of these 3 practices right away to support your ability to improve and grow your inner strength. Here’s the third and final:

Prioritize Decluttering

When people think of decluttering, they almost automatically think about their external environment. However, decluttering your external environment is just a start. More importantly, decluttering your internal environment – the one made up of your mind, heart, and spirit – for most people, is a mess in there! This entails decluttering every aspect of your life or “personal ecosystem” – including your relationships.

Decluttering is important to your ability to create space to receive something new. In order to create more space, you must first clear out old, stagnant energy, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and relationships. Here’s how: 

Declutter Your Mind – 

Create conscious awareness around your negative self-talk, recurring thoughts, irrational fears, disempowering personal stories and projections, and your limiting beliefs. I’m not saying these things are easy or quick to accomplish – what I’m saying is that your peace-of-mind, emotional freedom, and ability to live in harmony with yourself after engaging in this type of deep self-work is an extraordinarily worthwhile endeavor. 

Declutter Your Heart –

Prioritize releasing your emotional baggage, forgive yourself and others, and follow your triggers in order to heal your trauma.

Right now, you have no context or idea what it’s like to live without your emotional baggage so you’re not connected to how much it’s weighing you down or what it’s costing you. It’s not until you release that weight that you’ll realize how heavy it’s been and how exhausted you are from carrying and hiding it for so many years. 

You may have become really good at hiding it behind fake smiles, “I’m fine” responses, and other numbing behaviors or addictions – such as excessive drinking, smoking, working, sleeping, sex, spending, television, social media, video games, or whatever else you may have used in excess to escape the experience of feeling emotions.

Many people lack context and understanding about the cost of their emotional baggage because most of us were socialized (and deceived) into believing that following the spoken and unspoken rules, norms, and expectations of our social environment will get us where we want to go in life. In the meantime, we fail to realize that it comes at the expense of our dreams, peace, health, and our true-self. Many people eventually awaken to an existential, mid-life crisis and realize, “I can’t live like this anymore!” An extraordinarily painful, yet necessary, realization that can finally lead one to conscious healing and change.

Declutter Your Spirit –

Engage in practices and experiences to connect with God, nature, and yourself with greater depth and intimacy. Just as it takes great effort to get to know another person, it takes great effort to get to know yourself. What I’ve found, in my experience as a coach, is that “Who am I?” is a simple, yet complex existential question that most people can’t answer with substance. It’s time to get clear on who you are and what you want. Ask yourself, “what do I want, and why?” – allow yourself to dream – allow yourself to want what you want!

Declutter Your Relationships –

Take an honest assessment of your relationships and whether or not they are serving you. Are they adding meaning and value to your life experience and specifically, how? This includes assessing whether or not the relationship is aligned with your values. If you’ve been feeling disconnected, like you don’t fit, or don’t belong in a particular relationship, it’s likely because there is a significant values-mismatch that you’ve yet to acknowledge. You may be resistant to acknowledge that there is a mismatch because, 1) you are unclear on your values and/or, 2) you fear the finality of relationships and have not yet realized what staying in the relationship is actually costing you.

Too many people hang onto relationships that not only ran their course and expired long ago, but are actually draining you of precious time, energy, emotion, and resources due to the overbearing expectations, obligations, or simply, your inability to assert healthy boundaries in those relationships. When will you decide that enough is enough?

Create space and experience peace in your life by correcting or ending these relationships. If it’s worthwhile to engage in relationship repair, then do it wholeheartedly. Be willing to do the work to save and evolve the relationship into something that’s mutually fulfilling.

Otherwise, set yourself free by setting them free. If you have no inclination to wholeheartedly work on the relationship, stop making excuses and end the relationship respectfully and responsibly – with the least amount of collateral damage possible.

Grab your journal and get to work exploring the questions below:

  • What relationships are no longer serving you and why? What’s changed or has always been missing?
  • Is there an ideal circumstance that would make remaining in this relationship worthwhile? If so, are you willing and able to do the work to create that circumstance with or without the other person’s involvement? Even if that means getting help?
  • In which relationships do you need to show up more powerfully (with clarity on your needs, wants, boundaries, values, & personal convictions)? What do you need to learn to do this?
  • In which relationships is it clear that you need to distance or remove yourself?

These are tough questions – I know. However, once you’ve decluttered your mind, heart, and spirit, the decluttering process of your relationships actually becomes inevitable. You may as well go about the process with conscious intention and care to minimize the damage to any innocent bystanders surrounding the relationships you will evolve or end.

Can you get support from any of these bystanders for what you must do next to evolve or end a relationship? Otherwise, from whom do you expect to experience push-back and where do you need to mitigate conflict? Consider children, extended family, mutual friends, co-workers, business colleagues, etc – it is your responsibility to conduct that assessment and address concerns.

Conscious awareness of what needs decluttering is only the first step. If you do nothing with your new awareness, you’re still at the mercy of the mental blueprint that has been running your life up until now – the one that’s created undesirable outcomes for you. Your initial mental blueprint for life was created when you were a child. This child-like context includes a limited understanding of the world. It also places your need for survival as primary. Your initial mental blueprint was not designed to help you thrive. Therefore, it is no longer serving you!

While your initial mental blueprint served you earlier in life and ensured your ability to cope and survive, it is no longer suitable for you as an adult, and is not supporting your ability to meet your needs and wants in meaningful ways. Here’s the thing, your inner child is happy to wreak havoc in your life using the only mental blueprint it knows how. If you’re not getting the outcomes you want in your life, relationships, or business, it may be because your inner child is in the driver’s seat in some or all of those areas, while you ride shot-gun without a map or blueprint for the conscious life experience you want to create.

When you prioritize decluttering these aspects of your life, you heal your inner child and create the space necessary for your adult self to consciously construct what you desire out of your life and relationships.

Using these three practices to grow your inner strength will also grow your self-love and self-confidence until you realize that you are worthy of your desires. See yourself in the self-image of a person who deserves to receive greatness. Become a person whose heart soars in celebration when others receive great things in their lives.

Decluttering your internal home is the most important of all when it comes to growing your inner strength. I strongly suggest working with a coach and attending an immersive personal development retreat experience if that’s feasible for you as a jump-start. I promise you’ll never look back. You’ll wonder how you ever operated with so much clutter and wasted energy. It’s not easy and at times it won’t be pleasant, but there is no endeavor in life that is more worthwhile than reuniting with your true self. Think you’re ready? Let’s talk.

I’d love to hear from you! Let me know your takeaways in the comments! Send me a message @coachoriana on Instagram and let me know your biggest takeaways from this series!

Coach Oriana is a Life & Personal Performance Coach, Certified Relationship Coach, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker, and Co-Host of the Edgy Entrepreneur Podcast, available on all major podcast platforms.

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