Identifying Internal Resources
A few months ago, I was in the midst of a particularly emotional time. Things were just NOT going my way, and I was feeling a bit defeated. Then I experienced a particularly crushing disappointment, and I felt like I had reached my breaking point! I was SO frustrated, SO disheartened, and feeling like things were hopeless. I felt super overwhelmed and like I couldn’t handle the situation on my own, so I reached out to MY coach for support.
As I talked with her about what was bothering me, my frustration, and my feelings of hopelessness, I was able to step back and look at the situation with a more objective lens. Even more importantly, she pointed out something to me that I needed to realize: While I had reacted emotionally and negatively to the situation, I was able to quickly shift my perspective from one of “woe is me” to one where I saw the situation for what it was and could move on from it. What in the past might have taken me days or even weeks to process, make sense of, and accept had taken me only a few hours, if that! How AMAZING is that?!
You see, what I realized was that I was NOT hopeless and without resources. In fact, I actually had ALL the resources I needed already inside me! Once I recognized this, I was able to put them to use:
I used my perspective to see what the objective reality of the situation was, separate from my emotions about it.
I used my awareness of past experiences to recognize that I would recover from the current disappointment, even if I didn’t feel that way in the moment.
I used my resilience to stop dwelling on the negative event that had just happened and shift my focus forward to the possibilities of the future.
Often when we are navigating periods of transition and growth we feel like we don’t know where to go or how to get started. Or, we may think we lack the skill, experience, knowledge, or understanding to be successful. And yes, there are certainly times when information, training, and external resources are vital to success. But often, what we REALLY need is to tap into our internal resources and figure out how to apply them effectively to get what we need.
One of the things you can look at in these moments is what resources you already have that will help you achieve whatever it is that you are trying to achieve.
Sometimes we assume that what we need is external…MORE training, MORE resources, MORE tools, MORE help, etc. We focus on what we don’t have and approach our goals from a place of lack. But what if instead of focusing on resources that are external we took the time to take stock of the INTERNAL resources we ALREADY possess and that can help us on our journey?
So the question is: HOW do we do this?
Identify some of your chief strengths and positive qualities. If you are unsure what they are, ask a friend!
Think about things you have accomplished in the past. What qualities enabled you to be successful in those areas and endeavors?
Consider challenges you have overcome. Explore how the skills and qualities that helped you to overcome them can be used in your current situation.
The better able you are to identify your internal capabilities and strengths, the better able you can be at applying them as needed to any situation that arises. So next time you find yourself feeling unprepared, out of your depth, etc., take some time to review your strengths, your accomplishments, and the challenges you’ve overcome for what they can teach you about yourself. Then use those lessons to identify your inner resources and how you can apply them to best accomplish what you currently desire for your life.
As you can see from the experience I shared, in a very short time, I was able to tap into EXACTLY what I needed to process the situation and move forward. And the best part? EVERYTHING I needed was ALREADY INSIDE ME! Because when we take the time to reflect on our inner resources, we often find that we have more than enough to handle the situation, pursue the goal, or start moving forward.
So tell me…what is YOUR greatest internal resource?