Creating a Circle of Strength

We all know that life can throw many curve-balls that can leave you overwhelmed and ready to give up.  When we have so many things going on in our lives the last thing we need is unhealthy behaviours from either friends or families.  Don’t for one minute think that you are “allowing” their behaviours in your life.  When you are going through difficult times you won’t have the strength to deal with any added issues from friends and families and you shouldn’t have to.  It is not wrong to have expectations that people should know how to behave towards you when you are dealing with a lot of stress.  It is basic expectations to expect others to be understanding, sensitive, compassionate and empathetic. 

Sadly, not everyone was socialized in basic human behaviour when it comes to dealing with others who are going through a difficult time. Matter-of-fact, they have the audacity to behave as if you are inconveniencing their lives with your difficult time.

  And instead of them having the good sense to stay away if they are not going to be genuine and loving, they impose themselves into your life and expect you to chin-up, suck it up, don’t inconvenience them and be on call when they want something from you.  Or they might be nice, caring for a few days and then suddenly they start being nasty towards you.  That’s because they were faking their concern.  They just did enough for you to think well of them and then they go back to being their true self.  They may even have the temerity to accuse you of not being understanding of their life and their busy schedule.  This kind of about turn behaviour can leave you feeling drained, aghast and shocked.

  You may even find yourself apologizing to them for inconveniencing them when you are the one going through a difficult time.  These are not the kind of individuals you need in your life.  Unfortunately because you are going through a difficult time their behaviour makes it worse for you and creates more of an emotional stress for you.  However, this is the time that it is important that you create your own circle of strength.

But how do you go about developing the tools necessary for creating your own circle of strength?  While creating a circle of strength does involve surrounding yourself with strong, compassionate and empathetic friends who are socialized in the norms of civilized human behaviour, it is important that you surround yourself with people who love themselves.

  People who do not love themselves and have a deep internal hatred of themselves won’t know how to genuinely be there for you.  Those individuals will have you on an emotional roller-coaster ride that will have your Mind twisting and turning and have you wondering what you did to them and why they are behaving that way towards you. 

 Their behaviour will seem sociopathic.  One minute they will pretend that they care for you and will go through all the motions and then when you have opened your heart to them they turn around and abruptly change their behaviour.  If you do not have a strong mind, their abrupt behaviour will crash you, especially if they have been doing it for awhile.  It will cause your mind to flip-flop.  These individuals will seek you out when you are the most vulnerable and strike at that inopportune time.  That is called emotional and mental abuse.

Unhealthy emotions contribute to a weak mind.  In order to strengthen your mind, examine how you feel about yourself.  If deep within yourself you hate yourself and feel that you don’t deserve anything good then your mind will reinforce those feelings and turn them into thoughts.

  Those thoughts become powerful weakened thoughts that are open for the self-hatred of others.  When you hate yourself any difficulty that you experience in life will be magnified.  However, when you love yourself deeply and know that you deserve the best, whatever difficulties you go through, you will have a circle of strength that surrounds you.  So while you won’t initially be able to necessarily stop someone from behaving a particular way towards you, when they do begin to behave insensitive and manipulative towards you, you will be strong enough to stand up to them and if they still do not change their behaviour, then you will be strong enough to walk away from them because you love yourself way too much to stand for that kind of emotional and mental abuse.  You know deep down within you that you deserve the best. It is your birthright.


Keep your focus for longer

Being focused is powerful and attracts success. For many people their focus only lasts a short while before slipping away. When you’re clear about what you want to focus on*, the next step is to keep that focus. Do whatever it takes to maintain it.

Discovering what you’re going to focus on may or may not have been the easy part, depending on you as an individual. Now comes the really challenging part, maintaining that focus. Being focused for a day or two is easy; what is difficult for most people is to continue day after day. This commitment is required so that momentum builds, progress is made and you see the results. If you don’t maintain the necessary focus, your effort will be half-hearted and your use of all resources will be ineffective, including your time. You made a decision about what to focus on and now you can choose to maintain that focus.

There are likely to be many things which side-track you. You may have doubts: “Are these the right things to be focusing on?” Or distractions, interruptions and things that seems to get in the way. Loss of enthusiasm, lack of confidence or information overload can all cause you to question your focus. At least every day and when any of these things take you off track, re-connect with your focus in order to maintain it.

What does it take to keep focused? Write down your specific areas of focus as a clear reminder and keep them prominent. Spend time regularly visualizing and journaling about you being focused and the things you’re focusing on. Bring this alive for yourself. You need to see yourself as someone who is focused and continually practise it. Believing yourself to be a focused person is a crucial step and this belief will encourage you to take the action necessary to support this. Be aware of any negative self-talk and beliefs that hold you back from being focused and move beyond them. Remind yourself of the big picture, your vision and take steps each day that are aligned with it. It’s one thing to say that you’re focused and another to do it. As they say, actions speak louder than words, so take action every day, however small. Remind yourself regularly of your compelling reason. If at any time it’s not compelling enough to inspire you naturally, go back and reinforce it.

Focus can often be seen as hard work but it doesn’t have to be that way. Plan your time to do something totally different, to revitalize you and to leave you free to hear the clues your intuition is giving you. Listen to your intuition for feedback about being focused and appreciate the need for feedback from others. Be open to receive feedback as encouragement and clarification. Accept that being focused is a journey and keep learning and practising along the way.

Maintaining your focus comes from seeing progress. Measure this progress by the steps you take each day. Make each action step a doable task and be consistent. A little done every day soon adds up to lot. Set performance goals each day for the things you’re focusing on. Celebrate these steps and celebrate yourself when you are focused. Build on the successes of being focused and they will increase. At times, go back and discover what you need to focus on again and use this as an opportunity to re-assess and gain clarity.

Staying focused is easier with a partner, someone who will encourage and challenge you to be focused. Find a focus partner you feel accountable to, who is willing to have fun yet still challenge you. Be willing to do whatever it takes to be focused and find ways to keep it fun, outrageous and treat it as a game. The game may be to record how long you’re able to stay focused and to challenge yourself to increase it each time.