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Mental strength is key!


“The ability to continue moving when you are feeling scared, fearful or lazy is the sign of true mental strength.”- Matthew Donnelly

It’S the first day of the second month of the new decade and I think the first month went by pretty quickly. January is well known as one of the “slowest” months of the year because that’s the month right after the holidays and felicitations, and getting back into the swing of things after the long holidays can be a drag. But this seems to be the fastest January in the history of Januarys. Some would argue that the month was slow though, but I blinked and now we are here!

Did you start the new year with resolutions, affirmations, declarations and maybe some physical changes but haven’t been able to hold up? Did you at some point over the course of the last month adopt the “I can’t kill myself” approach as your excuse to fall back into mediocrity or the comfortability of the lifestyle you promised yourself you’d improve on? Guess what? Until you train your mind to stay focused and work on your mental strength, you’d keep running around in circles with no way out of the merry-go-round you created yourself.

On the Her Network platform not so long ago, a post was shared by American Artist, Missy Elliot, which read “I am a walking testimony. Those who know me know through God’s Grace I Am Still Here. I Cry every time I get honoured because I remember the days that were so hard and heavy! So I Encourage who may feel like Quitting, Don’t Give Up! Keep the Faith, it will turn around.”

This post shared on the platform got some comments but two stood out for me- one from a Lady who thanked Her Network for “Continuously Saving This Girl” and another from one who wasn’t so encouraged. She said, “We keep seeing and hearing this every time. I am tired. This minute you are happy, the next minute things get harder.” Two comments, different responses and perspectives to life.

You see, I shared that with you because from where I’m sitting, one person drew strength from Missy’s words and resolved to keep going, and perhaps, keep pushing through whatever it is that she is going through privately. This is an expression of someone who understands that life doesn’t get easier, we get stronger and just as we work on our physical body, it’s essential that we work out our mental muscles as well, regularly. Mokokoma Mokhonoana once said: “Increasing the strength of our minds is the only way to reduce the difficulty of life.” and this is so apt.

If you’re like the other lady who could use more than some encouragement, here are a few things you can try in order to build your mental strength and maybe, reduce the difficulty of life.
. Don’t dwell on what’s not going right, right now, because what you focus on magnifies and dwelling on “issues” only magnifies them. See whatever it is that is currently not going the way you’d like as a learning opportunity.
. Take a break and do something for you. It’s okay to take a break and treat yourself. What makes you feel good? Watch a movie, go see some friends, travel, sleep, go to the spa, go for a walk. Whatever helps you clear your mind so and give you more headspace. Prioritise you.

Finally, be content. Yes, you don’t have all you’d like to have right now and that’s okay. Don’t waste time being envious of anyone else’s accomplishments. Focus on what you’ve achieved and what you’re going to achieve instead and be grateful for all that is, and all that is yet to come, instead of looking over your shoulder and being envious of what someone else has.There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to building mental strength as it comes in many forms. So, practice daily, be mindful and stick to what works for you. Remember, Mental Strength is Key and there’s no gym for that.

In this article:
Nkem Onwudiwe
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