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Time to Solidify Yourself


I don’t know why the concept of working to “solidify” oneself suddenly popped into my head, but it seems like the right term to describe what I wish for clients. Due to trauma and dysfunctional childhoods, so many of them seem to lack a solid core or center—without which it’s hard to negotiate life successfully. 

My musings on the subject: Solidifying involves pulling all the parts of you together to make a coherent whole, one that makes sense to you. You can be a tough as nails parole officer and still fawn all over the grandkids or be a cautious banker who adores rock climbing. When you’re solidified, you embrace all parts of yourself.

You want to be solid like the steel girders that hold up buildings, but also have flexibility to withstand stress and not crack. You don’t want to have a squishy center because then no one, especially you, will know what you believe or stand for. If you’re mush, people won’t take you seriously and will walk all over you.

Alternately, you don’t be to be frozen or you won’t be able to connect with others (or yourself) emotionally. Frozen cores tend to eventually melt and then everything drips or drains out of them causing a puddling effect. However, if your core is molten, you’re liable to boil over and overreact way too often and push people away.

So, here’s my take on ways you might move toward solidifying yourself: 

  • Know what you believe and why you believe it: Make a list of your core values with an explanation of why each one is important to you. Your values and self-talk should cohere with each other, making you feel more emotionally firm and whole.
  • Have firm boundaries: Recognize your responsibilities as an adult and the responsibilities of others. Bend your boundaries only occasionally for exceptional reasons which you determine with your logical, rational brain, not your emotions.
  • Plug up emotional leaking: Experience all your emotions, then choose when and how to express them. Avoid a steady drip or your dam suddenly bursting.
  • Snip off your ragged emotional edges: Consider how you present yourself through everything you say and do. Does it give people the idea you have a solid core?

Study people who seem to have a solid, strong core and note their traits and habits: They’re confident but not over-confident, say yes and no in healthy balance, enjoy socializing as well as solitude, rarely get themselves into trouble, are self- and other-oriented, and are grounded in reality. Consider how it would change your life for the better if you had a solid emotional center, then take steps toward solidifying yourself.