10 Ways You’re Stronger Than You Think

10 Ways You’re Stronger Than You Think

So many of us focus way too much on our weaknesses.

That’s not entirely inappropriate, because if you can become more aware of your weaknesses and then do something about them then that’s actually self-help and self-development.

But just as we can learn from and improve by focusing on our faults and failings, so too can we grow and enhance our flourishing by being more aware of and building on our strengths.

The problem is, most people aren’t even aware of their strengths!

But this great Psychology Today article will help so many get started in a positive way; so keep reading below to discover your super powers …

Within each of us are powers and abilities we underestimate, but which can carry us through many challenges. You’re stronger than you think.

By Psychology Today Contributors published March 8, 2022 – last reviewed on March 11, 2022

1. Imperfection

Invulnerability is a classic superpower, but in real life pretending to have it tends to backfire. Instead, those who make mistakes, and let others know it, are better liked and often more successful.

By Marina Harris, Ph.D.

Connection has always been a basic human need. To achieve it, many people assume they need to put their best self forward, never make mistakes or blunders, and always know the right thing to say. This pressure can lead to stress as people second-guess their presentation, their actions, and their words. Research, however, suggests that such effort may not be worth it.

In classic studies on what came to be called the “pratfall effect,” social psychologist Elliot Aronson showed that people who demonstrated high levels of skill in trivia challenges but also committed minor blunders—say, spilling coffee on themselves—were rated more likable by others than similarly skilled people who made no such stumbles.

This research shows that it’s not only OK to be fallible, it can actually benefit us. Perfection is not something that other people find endearing. Being vulnerable is: When we see that others have flaws, we feel that we understand them better and can connect with them.

In your own life, this and other research suggests, it’s important not to get wrapped up in what you think will make you likable—because you’re probably wrong about it. Sometimes, in fact, the things we dislike the most about ourselves are the most endearing to others. (It works both ways: Sometimes what we like about ourselves isn’t necessarily a quality others appreciate.) Instead of acting in a way that you think increases your appeal, drop the armor, be your genuine self, and let people discover what they like most about you.article continues after advertisement

Marina Harris, Ph.D., is a specialist in eating disorders, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, sport psychology, mindfulness, and trauma-informed care.

Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

2. Generativity

We often imagine that putting others before ourselves is a sign of weakness, but research suggests it’s actually a stealth superpower: The most “generative” people have better long-term well-being than others.

By Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D.

It’s often thought that feeling good about yourself derives from being able to look back with pride on your accomplishments, no matter how modest or grand. This focus on individual happiness is often referred to as “eudaimonic” well-being. But there’s another type of well-being that may be more important: Generativity, based on the belief that it’s important to care for others, specifically the next generation. People high in this trait are able to put themselves second, and research suggests that it is this cohort who feel more profoundly fulfilled as they progress through life.

In a recent study of generativity and well-being, our research team studied 271 participants in the Rochester Adult Longitudinal Study (RALS) across a 12-year period, from 2000 to 2012. The findings supported our prediction that people who became more generative over time also grew in their sense of personal fulfillment. Those who didn’t, on the other hand, had a declining sense of overall well-being.

If your well-being hinges on your sense of generativity, what can you do to enhance it? By definition, when you are highly generative, you care for the next generation. But need those you care for always be younger than you? Couldn’t you express your desire to care for people of your own generation? What about caring for people older than you?

The benefit derived from putting other people before yourself counters the idea that well-being can come only from that eudaimonic feeling of achieving your own personal goals. Erik Erikson, who first proposed the theory, called the opposite of generativity “stagnation.” In his model, people who stagnate become more and more self-focused, spending money on endless home redecoration, expensive vacations, and beauty treatments. It may seem counterintuitive that the best way to feel good is not even to think about how good you feel, but our study suggests that it lies in a very different type of pursuit.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., is a professor emerita of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her latest book is The Search for Fulfillment.

3. Routine

Sticking to a daily routine can be viewed as rigid and unimaginative. To the contrary, research suggests that routine frees us from overthinking, improves mental health, and can, in fact, foster creativity.article continues after advertisement

By Steve Alexander, Jr., M.A., Ed.M., ARM, LMHC

Many people ignore the real successes in their lives and put themselves down for being, as they perceive it, unproductive, unmotivated, and unaccomplished. After multiple sessions of hearing my client Mike berate himself this way, I tried to be relatable: “Sometimes I also feel lazy and unmotivated,” I told him, but added that I was still usually able to get things done.

Motivation can be a powerful driver, but it is also fleeting and unreliable. Just consider the last time you felt motivated and how long it lasted. The truth is that it is more useful to have daily routines in place to help us achieve our goals. Imagine a heart surgeon who told you, “I can operate well—when I feel motivated.” You would not risk your health on the hope that this doctor felt motivated on the day of your procedure. Better to have your surgery done by someone who has routines in place that ensure her success regardless of how she feels.

Two recent studies tie both primary routines (hygiene, sleep, eating) and secondary routines (social activities, work) to better mental health. Studies of both athletes and nonathletes have found that routines benefit performance by reducing overthinking, which tends to foster stress and pressure. And research on rituals, or regular sets of actions that we do consistently, finds that they mitigate against stress and anxiety because they foster a sense of control. Observe some of the most successful people you know, however you define it, and you will probably notice strong daily routines that result in positive outcomes over time—and more robust mental health as well.

Steve Alexander, Jr., M.A., Ed.M., is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York who has worked in multiple outpatient clinics, psychiatric settings, and is currently in private practice.

… keep reading the full & original article HERE