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Building Inner Strength and GO AS A RIVER by Shelley Read

Cover of the book Go As A River by Shelley Read used to teach the mental health skill of building inner strength

Victoria's life was a study of facing challenges and coming out stronger. She first experienced loss as a young girl when her mother died.  Despite this tragedy, Victoria was a steadfast primary caretaker for the remaining family members she lived with, including her emotionally distant father, menacing brother, and depressed uncle. This was her life until she fell in love with Wilson Moon, a Native American man. The relationship was short-lived as their racist society tore him away from her. Again, Victoria felt profound loss and heartbreak. As before, Victoria found strength within herself to persevere against seemingly insurmountable odds.


Victoria was one of those people who life continually hands lemons, and somehow she always makes lemonade. Her inner strength helped her find happiness.


Inner strength, also known as resilience, is the quality that enables people to persevere in the face of adversity or make the best of a difficult situation. It's not an inherent trait. Fortunately, developing inner strength is a skill that can be cultivated through mindset-oriented strategies. When implemented, these strategies enable individuals to navigate challenges and emerge stronger.


Here are strategies for building inner strength.


Identify What You Can Control: Many people feel overwhelmed and out of control when faced with a crisis. Help yourself by identifying what is in your control (almost always, something is), managing those things, and accepting what you can’t control.


Engage a Growth Mindset: Reframe challenges as opportunities to grow and learn. You can accept that a situation is negative while seeking and validating positives, no matter how small.


Confront Fears: Avoiding uncomfortable feelings allows them to morph into worse problems. Ask yourself why the challenge occurred, what you can do to prevent it from re-occurring, and analyze the changes you need to make.


Live According to Your Values: It’s impossible to prioritize everything. Identify the values that are important to you and behave accordingly. This prompts you to be proud of yourself.


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