What does being strong really mean?


The other day as I was scrolling through Facebook I came across a post that said "In my lifetime I will....." for some reason when I saw this my brain automatically added 'be' to the end of it, don't ask me why. It just did. I read it as "In my lifetime I will be...."

So I naturally went through all the things I wanted to be; happy, successful, free, joyful, fulfilled, content, loved, strong and so many more.

But it was really strong that stood out in my mind.

Why did I want to be strong and what does being strong really mean?

I believe that over time my definition of 'strong' has changed and for the better I may add. My old definition of being strong was really not healthy, and got me into a fair bit of trouble

What being strong used to mean to me

In what I like to call my 'old life' I thought being strong meant:

  • pushing through

  • doing everything on your own

  • never asking for help

  • not expressing your negative emotions

  • pretending everything was ok

  • never falling down

According to my definition I was one of the strongest people going around!! I had pushing through down to a fine art, as well as pretending everything was ok. I had this warped idea that asking for help, saying that everything wasn't ok was a sign of weakness. I thought that to be strong I had to be able to cope with everything, to do it all and do it on my own.

Where I got this from I don't know, but it couldn't have been further from the truth.

It was this definition of strong that really took me to my rock bottom, it took me to breaking point.

What being strong means to me now

After months and even years of hard work I now see being strong as:

  • asking for help

  • expressing how you are feeling, the good and the bad

  • stopping

  • slowing down

  • being honest

And do you know that doing what is mentioned above is so much harder than just pushing through and pretending everything is ok.

I will admit that I am still learning how to do all this, it definitely does not come naturally to me. I am so much better at slowing down and resting when I need to. Working from home has definitely helped with this one. What I am not so good at is expressing how I am feeling. I am getting better, especially with certain people, but I do still find it easier to keep it all to myself and pretend that everything is ok. I will keep working at it though, as I do believe expressing how you are feeling is so important. With this one it's also important to express yourself in a way that works for you.

Over the years I have found that I express myself better through written words, so whether that's writing in my journal or sending a friend a text. I find it so much mush easier to express my feelings that way. Go with what works for you, there is no need to make it harder than it already is.

What does being strong mean to you? What is your definition? If it's like my old definition then maybe it's time to make some changes, before you hit rock bottom. Learn from my mistakes. Don't associate being strong with pushing through, trust me it doesn't end well.

I would love to hear from you, share below what being strong means to you.

If you know someone who may benefit from this post, then please forward it on, let's share the love.


Ali ClyneComment