About This Book


We're all stronger than we think, and we often discover our inner strength and resilience when a problem arises. The 101 empowering and uplifting stories in this collection by people who have overcome challenges, solved problems, or changed their lives will help you find your own inner strength, resilience, and remind you to think positive, count your blessings, and use the power that you have within you.

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Five ways to find your inner strength Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength by Amy Newmark; foreword by Fran Drescher

We are all stronger than we think… when we have to be. The 101 empowering stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength will encourage you to overcome your own challenges as you read stories from role models who have found an inner strength they didn’t even know they had, used positive thinking, and changed their lives. Here are five ways to find your own inner strength.

  1. Figure out what makes you tick. Overwhelmed with her son's autism and violent outbursts, Wendy Letterman Hoard started using alcohol as her coping mechanism. She writes that "the pain and grief would slowly disappear and I wouldn't have to think about what I was dealing with on a daily basis." After a year of self-medicating, she hit bottom. In treatment, Wendy realized why she drank — she blamed herself for her son's autism. "I had admitted out loud what had been eating away at my soul for years. And it felt good," Wendy writes. "I still struggle with those thoughts… But they don't control me anymore. I can push those thoughts away by giving myself grace instead of reaching for the bottle."

  2. Find a support partner. Shortly after Alice Muschany's daughter Jill was diagnosed with a blood disorder, Alice was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer! Mom and daughter went through treatment together, buoying each other with optimism, laughter, and a fair amount of teasing too! One time when Jill, on steroids, felt self-conscious about her puffy cheeks, Alice lightened the mood and teased her with '"Chipmunk!'" Jill retorted with '"Baldy!'" "All's fair in love and pettiness," Alice writes. "Most teenagers bonded with their mothers on shopping trips. Jill and I bonded at the cancer center."

  3. Turn your pain into purpose. Despite being told to lie about how her 20-year-old son died, Ginger Katz believed in telling the truth. "He made an unhealthy decision to use drugs, but I was not ashamed of him," Ginger writes. "I would not bury him with a lie." In speaking out at her son's funeral, Ginger was determined "to devote myself to ending the silence surrounding addiction." Thus The Courage to Speak Foundation and its drug prevention programs were born, as was a kid-friendly book about addiction. "I believe I have a mission to fulfill," Ginger writes. "Addiction crosses all age ranges, economic and ethnic backgrounds and races, and I will never stop speaking out until I see changes in our world."

  4. Look for the silver linings and you will find them. Just as her multiple sclerosis symptoms were worsening, Valerie D. Benko was fired. "Discouraged, depressed and confused, I spent my days on the couch crying and blowing my nose," she writes. But a week later, when there was a big snow, her husband helped her notice an unexpected blessing — she no longer had a one-hour commute! "My spirits lifted just a little as we high-fived, and a tradition was born," Valerie writes. "Any time I felt sad about my situation, I found a little blessing in my life to celebrate." Whether it was no longer getting up at 5:30 a.m. or the ability to try new recipes — those were high-five moments. "My world expanded as I saw the full scope of possibilities in front of me," she writes. Best of all, her MS symptoms disappeared. High-five!

  5. Let other people help you. Two days before a series of major surgeries, Debra Ayers Brown was more concerned about clearing the poison ivy overtaking her rose garden than the surgery. "It was as if the operations were just another chore on an endless slate of things to get done," she writes. Her husband and friends offered help, but Debra didn't want to accept it. Once home from the hospital, though, she didn't have a choice. Her husband and daughter picked up the slack as she recovered. "I'd always thought that depending on others would be tantamount to admitting I was inadequate," Debra writes. "Yet there was something incredibly generous about asking for help." Even as life got back to its normal hectic pace, she let others help. "I'd allowed responsibilities and obligations to strangle the life out of my relationships," she writes. "Accepting help turned out to be the cure."

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