We all want to command respect. We all want to be seen, heard, and valued.
Strong personalities seem to more effortlessly be able to do this.
How do I develop a stronger personality?
Keep reading for some practical tips.
1) Consider your existing strengths
We’re all different.
It’s important when we seek to develop ourselves that we still do it in our own way.
What I mean is this:
You don’t have to pretend to be something you are not. You have strengths in your personality already.
You may not have noticed them. They may not even be the ones you were expecting.
But trust me, they’re there.
- What do you like about you?
- What do other people value in you?
Think of what your friends and family would say your best qualities are.
It can be easier to try to see yourself from the outside, as we often have a tendency to be our own worst critics.
Then turn your attention to your potential flaws or the things about yourself that you want to work on.
There’s no shame in it as we all have them.
Sometimes when we look closely enough we see that some of the things we like less about ourselves are also attached to the things that are great about us.
Traits tend to sit on a spectrum.
For example, it’s because you’re so shy that you are also so observant and thoughtful.
Or it’s because you are so enthusiastic and passionate that you can be too loud and talk over people.
Why do all this?
So it really sinks in that there isn’t only one type of “strong personality”.
It shows up in many ways.
Don’t minimize your existing strengths.
You can be a strong person who is outspoken and vocal or a strong person who is quiet and reserved.
I want you to examine some of your preconceived notions of what makes someone a “strong personality”.
I want you to question certain traits you might be quick to judge as “weak” and maybe start to see them in another light.
It’s all about building upon your own character traits and gifts.
Because what actually defines being a strong person isn’t a particular personality. It is the inner foundations that help you to feel strong within.
That’s why you will become stronger the more you can appreciate yourself.
Before you do anything else, go digging for the many treasures you already have buried within you.
Having said that, neither is our personality static.
Research shows that although certain traits are fairly stable others tend to change as we mature.
So that means we always have the ability to grow and develop throughout our lives — to become strong and happier people.
2) Understand your values
So, staying true to yourself is super important to developing a strong personality.
And so in order to make sure you do that, it’s good to get to grips with your own values.
Even when we sort of know what is important to us, we rarely take the time to get specific.
Understanding your core values helps you to create a life based on what you think is most important.
And it’s so easy to end up chasing things because someone else thinks it’s important.
We quickly fill our time with priorities that we don’t even particularly care about.
Understanding your own values gives you a stronger personality because:
- It stops you from following the crowd and accidentally going along with other people.
- You know what is right and wrong for you. So it’s easier to assert yourself.
You can refer back and check in on your values to help guide you to stay strong in a variety of situations.
So when you do something you can ask yourself does this align with my core values?
Will this take me closer to the person I want to be or further away?
Strong personalities are forged by having greater self-awareness and understanding of yourself.
3) Build your confidence
At the end of the day, a strong personality is a confident personality.
It’s that confidence that helps people:
- Stand up for themselves
- Speak up for themselves
- Have faith in themselves
It’s really easy to look at confident people from the outside and assume it’s just a natural part of their personality.
And yes, some people may well be more naturally self-assured than others.
But nevertheless, confidence is something that is created.
It is not something you either have or don’t have.
It’s something that you can practice and build through doing.
A combination of things like:
- Improving your self-talk
- Questioning your inner critic
- Pushing your comfort zone by trying new things
I’ll level with you:
Because true inner confidence takes time to build, there is a certain amount of “fake it till you make it” that is required.
For example, let’s say you feel super self-conscious at the thought of volunteering an idea at your work’s morning meeting.
Don’t wait until you feel ok at the prospect.
Do it despite of your nerves or fear.
This is how confidence is built.
4) Check-in on your boundaries
What we consider “weak” people are usually those who are simply lacking in:
- Firm personal boundaries
We’ve just covered the importance of strong self-esteem.
Well, boundaries are how we show ourselves the respect we deserve.
Because sadly we can’t wait for other people to always treat us well, we have to show them how we expect to be treated.
I often explain boundaries as the “rules to your club”.
You are the president of your club. You set those rules. If people can’t abide by them, they can’t be in your club.
Creating and upholding clear boundaries is really important in life.
This will mean you don’t get walked all over. It will also help to reduce people-pleasing behavior.
It can be scary to stand up for yourself.
But that’s when you fall back on the self-esteem you’ve built, the values you want to live by, and the boundaries you have decided upon.
These help to give you the framework to stand your ground.
5) Be authentic
Perhaps that should read:
Because like pretty much everything on our list, it’s not something you are, it’s something you do.
And that takes practice.
We all wear masks. We learn to in order to protect ourselves.
And with good reason. From an early age, we start to worry it’s not safe to be who we are.
We fear exclusion or judgment. Our differences make us nervous.
Standing out can feel like a risk. But authenticity is a vital element of a truly strong personality.
Otherwise, you’re always just faking it.
It’s a bold move to dare to be yourself.
Authenticity demands that you:
- Know who you are
- Are truthful with yourself and others
- Are vulnerable enough to show the real you
That requires a whole lot of courage.
The more you build your inner self-love, the easier it is to show up authentically.
6) Keep on learning
Strong personalities are passionate, curious and interested in life.
That’s why people with strong personalities tend to be life-long learners.
Go and seek out your own passions and explore them.
Stay curious and follow your desires and interests.
Make time and put in effort to always learn new things.
Whether that’s by:
- Keeping up on current affairs
- Trying new hobbies
- Learning new skills
- Doing an online course
- Taking a class
The reality is that there are countless affordable, and even free, resources to help us to keep on learning throughout our lives.
Learning not only builds your skillset and abilities, but it also builds your confidence in the process.
As you expand your mind you will broaden your horizons and your potential opportunities in life.
I’d also encourage you to learn for the sheer you of learning.
It’s so much better when we focus on the doing more than any particular desired outcome.
7) Be mindful of your body-mind connection
Ok, this one sounds kind of vague, so let me explain:
It’s true what they say, a strong body makes a strong mind.
The more attention we pay to our body the more comfortable we become in our own skin.
And I’m certainly not talking about conforming to unrealistic body norms like being size zero or giving The Rock a run for his money.
What I mean is:
Showing your body the respect and attention it deserves.
- Watching your negative self-talk and judgment about your body
- Exercising and moving your body
- Fuelling it right by eating a balanced diet
- Getting enough sleep
It’s so much easier to cultivate a strong personality when it’s housed within a strong-feeling body.
In fact, countless research studies have confirmed the powerful connection between our mental health and how well we look after our bodies through diet, sleep, and exercise.
Body language is a way you can instantly become more mindful of this body-mind connection.
Pay attention to the way you hold yourself. This is one way in which we subtly convey a strong personality.
Just straightening your spine (rather than slouching), pushing your shoulders back, smiling, and looking people in the eye can instantly make you feel and seem more confident.