“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do. “ – Eleanor Roosevelt –
Are you feeling that you just want to wake up and find out that this past year was a bad dream that never really happened? What did you learn about yourself and your ability to cope and adapt? Maybe you are proud of how you handled things and you had a lot of personal growth or maybe you just barely survived.
When I was growing up my dad would torture me with “character building” experiences. Do you have a parent like that?
Picture this: a college student walking around an Industrial Park going door to door and asking every company if they are hiring. Yup, that was me one summer back in the “dark ages.” I HATED having to do this, but it was summer and I was expected to get a job. Guess what? I did!
I was hired to work in the warehouse of a company that manufactured miniature fuses. This was NOT a cool job. Before long, the receptionist quit and they gave me her job. This was a cushy promotion. Suddenly, I had a good thing going, but it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t taken the warehouse job.
Over the years whenever things have felt really hard and challenging and I’ve gotten discouraged and wanted to quit, I think back to the summer that my dad taught me the meaning of grit. According to dictionary.com, grit is defined as “firmness of character; indomitable spirit.” Grit served me well in 2020.
Inner resources, such as grit, are the skills we have within ourselves that we can call upon when things get tough; for example, resilience, patience, and problem solving. In some ways, they are our superpowers.
Let’s face it, 2020 was the tsunami of character building experiences and our world has changed, so identifying and utilizing your inner resources can be a survival tool. What superpowers have you discovered during your own character building experiences that you have used this past year or might use in the upcoming months?
As you navigate your way through, the “new normal,” reminding yourself of how you dealt with difficult situations in the past can inspire you in the present. Don’t be afraid to search for your own stories and your inner resources. If you’re at a loss to think of anything, you can take the The VIA Character Strengths Survey for free. According to the VIA Institute on Character, when you discover your greatest strengths, you can use them to face life’s challenges, work toward goals and feel more fulfilled.
I hope you discover your superpower and use it in the best way possible!