Make Mental Health a Priority by Taking Personal Responsibility! 

4-Core C’s to Strengthen Self-Knowledge and Inner Power

A Unique Perspective on Mental Health 

Mental health improves when each one of us takes personal responsibility to engage in healthy behaviors to know oneself. There are three levels of core competencies to gain inner power:

  1. Care: Why do you care? Why is it so important?
  2. Comprehension: Do you understand the situation?
  3. Capability: Do you have the capability to address the situation?
  4. Courage: Do you have the courage to take action?

Many of us can understand our own personal needs. However, the greater challenge that most of us face is balancing our needs with the needs of others while focusing on collective objectives and managing expectations assertively.

Adverse situations emerge when needs are not fulfilled, objectives are not achieved, or expectations are unmet. When one of these elements falls short, most often negative feelings and thoughts begin to percolate. Negative feelings and beliefs over prolonged periods of time cause frustration, depression, or anxiety due to uncertainty (not knowing) and results in deterioration in one’s mental health.

Humans have an innate need to know and understand, and when an individual does not understand or doesn’t know how to resolve an adverse situation, it induces distrust and a loss of self-confidence.

When people are stuck, in shock, or in the dark, they feel helpless, powerless, and incompetent. It is all because they care but they are in the state of not knowing.

I care about something or someone, but:

  • “I do not comprehend/understand the situation.”
  • “I do not know how to address the situation.”
  • “I do not have the courage to take action and change the situation.”

Negative beliefs arise leaving one feeling powerless:

  • “I do not care anymore.”
  • “I am not good enough.”
  • “I have no control.”
  • “I [hate] everyone.”
  • “I hate everything.”
  • “It’s their fault. I hope [something bad] happens to them.”
  • “They are mean, rude, and [other negative descriptive.]”
  • “Why bother?” “No one cares.”

Some of these sentiments may be true. But what if we can transform these sentiments into a source of knowledge, hence power?

What can you do when you feel stuck, in the dark, or in shock?  We should ask ourselves:

  • Who should prioritize your well-being?  ___________________________
  • Who has control over your beliefs, actions, or emotions?  ___________
  • Who has the capabilities to express and satisfy your needs? _________
  • Who is responsible for advocating for your well-being? _______________
  • What kind of knowledge is required to overcome the challenge?

People that possess qualities of resilience, grit, and tenacity are often those who take personal responsibility and advocate for themselves responsibly willing to accept potential losses for an opportunity to improve their wellbeing. They do not shift blame. They do not wait for random outcomes. They try mindfully until they succeed.

Let’s pause for a minute and reflect: Do you agree that “knowledge is power?” If you agree, then what do you think is the most powerful source of knowledge to strengthen one’s well-being? Ancient philosophers to modern day psychologist promote the power of ‘know thyself.’

Without self-knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.” George Gurdjieff

The most powerful source of knowledge is self-knowledge. We must first and foremost understand ourselves before taking any action or blaming others for our situations. Each of us is responsible to understand how their V-BASE™ [Values, Beliefs, Action, Speech, and Emotion] impact their wellbeing. It is equally important to know that there is much we do not know.  So, what are the signs that you know that you do not know yourself?

Negative feelings are one of the indicators that signals that we care about something or someone and there is something that we did not know, did not foresee, or did not accurately assess. They signal “You’ve got an opportunity! Are you willing to seize it to strengthen your inner power?” Challenges are a way to gain knowledge.

We developed four core elements to identify and recognize the 4-pieces of knowledge that are essential to boost one’s mental health. However, the responsibility is on you! If you are not feeling well, have negative emotions and beliefs, then be proactive, search for answers, and persist until you succeed in satisfying your needs, attaining your objectives, or resetting expectations.

The 4-Core-C’s help individuals to inspect their knowledge base and expand it to gain control over the situation and make progress towards their goals.

Let’s Speak Up’s Tool to Strengthen Mental Health

The Four Core C’s to Strengthen Oneself:
Care Comprehend Capable Courage (Confidence)

CARE (I care about someone or something):

“I care about someone or something because …” Ask yourself:

  • What need or objective am I trying to satisfy?
  • Why is it important to me?
  • In what other ways can I satisfy that need or objective?


COMPREHEND (Evaluate to understand the situation):

To understand a situation, one should understand what hinders or helps positive change or progress.

Comprehending the situation element helps to evaluate and gain clarity of behaviors to ARC (Accept, Reject, Change).

“I do not understand”, “I do not know”, or “I don’t know why.” Ask yourself:

  • What behaviors, barriers, or blind spots hinder my wellbeing or better outcomes?
  • What shall you ARC™ (Accept, Reject, or Change) towards my wellbeing or better outcomes?
  • What boundaries can be beneficial towards better outcomes?
  • What is the disparity between my needs and others?
  • What is the balance between my personal needs and collective objectives?


CAPABLE (ability to address the situation, the “how”):

Understanding your limitations is as important as knowing your capabilities and resources.

“I do not know how to address or manage the situation,” “I do not have the capabilities or resource,”

“I cannot do it,” or “I have no control.”  Ask yourself:

  • Which option is the right one to improve your wellbeing safely and responsibly?
  • What capabilities do you have to address the situation positively?
  • What skills and resources do you need to improve your wellbeing?
  • Who else do you trust and have the expertise for you to gain the capabilities?


COURAGE TO CHARGE AHEAD (willingness to accept responsibility for potential calculated risks):

“I understand, I am capable,” and “I know how, but I don’t have the courage to take action;” “I fear something/someone …”

One can gain courage by assessing and mitigating potential risks responsibly. Ask yourself:

  • What is the best solution to address the situation safely?
  • What are the potential risks?  What can you do to mitigate potential risks?
  • Are you willing to accept responsibility for potential risks in hope of improving your wellbeing?

In Conclusion

Not taking any action is a risk to itself. It is a risk

of getting stuck, in the dark, and being in shock.

Instead of focusing on what is missing, one should focus on utilizing the capabilities and resources that they possess to fill in the gaps and fulfil their needs in a satisfactory manner.

Through the 4 Core Cs, we don’t only gain self-knowledge, but knowledge about the people in our environment. Such awareness can help us make better decisions and resolve any situation in a constructive manner.

Everyone has a voice. Each one of us is responsible to seek, shape and set our VBASE (Values, Beliefs, Action, Speech, Emotions). The 4 Core C’s tool enables you to understand your VBASE, gain self-knowledge, and ultimately, the power to speak assertively to achieve objectives, satisfy needs, and realign expectations.

If we each prioritize our wellbeing and self-care constructively, with compassion for others, it will foster a healthy, open, and honest environment. The world will certainly be a better place for us all.

About Let’s Speak Up and 4Cs

The 4 Core Cs is one of our proprietary tools extracted from the SELF-Ex Guide, an awardee of the 2021 USC EDGE Center’s Educational Solutions Exchange. The SELF-Ex Guide is a method to address adverse situations responsibly and confidently focused on one’s purpose.

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