8 ways to feel real strength … even when you’re feeling anything but strong

Strength doesn’t come from who can lift the most. Hustle the most. Or walk through fire the quickest. Rather, strength is really a sign of softness.

Many situations look stronger from the outside than they actually feel on the inside. What we see is not what we always get. Our friends might smile and say it’s all fine when they’re blowing up inside. Our family members might be having a hard day. Our colleagues could have an entire world of hardship happening that we know nothing of.

It might look strong to us. But it probably doesn’t feel strong to them.

Strength, isn’t about having it all together. Strength doesn’t come from who can lift the most. Hustle the most. Or walk through fire the quickest. Rather, strength is really a sign of softness. Can you stay open, and gentle and loving, and not let life shut you down? Can you stay warm, and hopeful, and resilient, even people tell you to do otherwise? Can you flow, and be still, and work with ease, as a way to your desired outcome?

There is more strength in softness than hardening up could ever provide. So the question lingers…what does it take to stay soft? Which is where all the real strength is.

To stay soft, you choose curiosity. Instead of being right.

To stay soft, you choose love. Even when you’re hurting.

To stay soft, you slow down sometimes. Even when slow feels scary.

To stay soft, you let yourself hope. And believe. Even when logic feel safer.

To stay soft, you laugh easy. And often.

To stay soft, you open yourself to emotion. Instead of building every one of the walls to keep it all out.

To stay soft, you do hard things gently. The hard conversations. The hard choices. The hard realizations. Be gentle.

To stay soft, you believe more than you criticize. You believe in yourself. You believe in others.

Staying soft isn’t the easy way. It requires vulnerability. It will demand that you open to life. It asks that you risk being hurt, because there will be no armor to keep it all out. But in it’s place you’ll have strength. Real strength. And that will make life far more colorful and wonderful and deeply powerful than hardening up ever could.

This article was originally published on MaxieMcCoy.