What are the qualities that define a strong character? Some would say bullishness, aggressiveness, loudness and fast-talking. But these are typical of bullies and, as we all know, bullies must be opposed, not admired. How about unwillingness to compromise, or to listen to other viewpoints in the interests of achieving their policies? Well, these are the ways of a person who lacks empathy and who wants the world to conform to their beliefs. Strength should not be confused with such selfishness and rigidity. These people are not really strong, they simply have a fixed mindset, which makes them brittle and ultimately insecure.
True strength of character can be found in people who embrace and believe in a growth mindset*: they keep an open mind and are grateful for their good fortune; they are willing to listen and to compromise for the greater good; they are eager to seek out the things that really matter, always learning, able to live in the moment, adapting and evolving to face the challenges of life. We call this resilience: and it's resilience – not rigidity – that defines strength of character.
The good news is that it is your choice to decide how you want to be strong – I know which one I work on daily.
As Seth Godin, author, writer, speaker – marketing guru (I’m a big fan) says:
“Strength begins with unwavering resilience, not brittle aggression”
*Growth Mindset – to find out & understand more check out Carol Dweck’s brilliant Ted Talk – The power of believing that you can improve.