In the silence we find our greatest strength.

Jen Xu
2 min readJan 31, 2020

Silence. Waiting. Breath.

Uncertain. Unsure.

Have you ever asked someone a question and they have to think before they answer, probably how most of us should do things instead of blurting everything out? (Me). And you sit, and wait, and you itch, and want that answer faster because what if it’s something you don’t want to hear? You don’t want that discomfort of the unknown, not even a few seconds, because it’s terrifying. There is a chance for disappointment and that chance, even a minuscule one, is enough to paralyze us for a little bit.

But that silence and that breath you are holding is exactly how you find out just how strong you can be. The waiting, no matter how long — a few seconds to a few years, is the true test. Can you be patient enough to get what you are meant to? Can you stay strong even when you’re only 1% sure of something?

Or…can you do something even when you have absolutely no idea of the outcome? Can you do something because you want to, because you believe in it, because it is so strongly one of your values that you absolutely must? Can you be so incredibly vulnerable that you terrify yourself, but in the end it is the only thing that makes sense?

Sometimes you don’t get the answer you want when you put yourself out there and have to wait. But it may be what you need. Most importantly, you will become even stronger sitting in pure silence, because that discomfort is what gives you the strength to endure everything.

Being vulnerable is by far the hardest thing to do because someone has to be the first to offer the olive branch, but if you wait forever, you’ll be waiting forever, plain and simple. And in those few seconds where you can only hear your own breath coursing through your airways, and feel your heart pounding through your throat, and feel your palms dripping in sweat…but you just allow it to happen, that’s where you’ll find your strength.



Jen Xu

Athletic trainer, PhD student, coffee lover. I write about fitness, mental health, being Asian-American, and personal growth.