Do you know your SUPER POWER?
Imagine you could have a superpower - what would it be? Personally, I would like the ability to recall any situation in the past and replay on a screen for all to see. I would be the “lie busting” hero that shows up when people tell atrocious lies or have selective memory loss about their activities. With such power, I would revolutionise the justice system!
POWER word is common in the field of personal development. We are encouraged to ‘take back our power’ , ‘not give up our power’ and how to engage in ‘power struggles’. But the understanding of what that power is, may not always be clear. I hope to shed more light on the meaning and the application of this word particularly in the context of your PERSONAL POWER.
Power is associated with authority, an ability to influence or even to wield force. We can easily recognise when people are exercising power and when they are abusing it. At work, power is always at play. It determines who makes decisions and who influences the direction of things. We are very familiar with the role of power even in relationships. Remarks like he/she ‘who wears the trousers’ in the relationship are not uncommon.
Back in high school, when I measured myself against all the other girls, I knew I wasn’t strong. Although I was tall, I was very light weight - I didn't have much physical strength. Yet I believed that if I got into a fight, I could seriously hurt someone. I got to test that theory once when I got into my first and last fight in Form 1. Let’s just say that personal power is NOT physical strength.
In my early twenties, I was fuelled with passion and energy and a strong belief that I can achieve what I set my mind to. But over time circumstances caused me to feel powerless at different points. I doubted I could do what I desired to do, I did not speak up because I didn't want to rock the boat. I bought into the belief that I was powerless to change! And eventually I gave up trying.
When I reflect on both experiences I recognise the importance of the MIND in feelings of power or powerlessness. Personal power is the MENTAL toughness that you bring to any situation, good or bad in order to influence the outcome.
It begins with the recognition that you always have a choice and the decision to exercise your choice. Personal power shows up in the decisive and deliberate actions taken to change the direction of your life.
What are the benefits?
Taking responsibility for your life... If you know me, you’ll know I am big on directing your own life, driving your own life. IF you have not already downloaded my FREE ebook with that title. There I share my story and some ways to drive your life forward with intention.
Realising and maximising your potential... Just by exercising my personal power I have found myself realising my dreams such as launching my coaching practice, writing my first eBook, maintaining a daily spiritual routine, and a weekly exercise routine. The limits and heights of your achievements are affected by how much you exercise your personal power.
Discovering your purpose… When you exercise your power, you will uncover a purpose that is beyond you. Most successful people we know and admire have similar stories. When they have removed limitations for themselves, they are want to impact other people’s lives in a meaningful way.
These benefits and more could be yours if you follow these 3 simple steps.
1. Get clear on what you want
Knowing that you have a choice to decide what you want is the foundation of personal power. Our choices are always driven by our values so we need to be clear on what those values are before its decision time. Perhaps even drill it down to a value hierarchy. In what order would you place the things you value e.g. wealth over relationships.
2. Follow this with action
Our actions are usually driven by the desire to avoid pain or to pursue pleasure. If we attach too much pain to something, we will avoid it at all costs. We are sometimes not even aware of this...again because of conditioning over time. It is not necessarily a bad thing because it keeps us safe. We can explore the pleasure/pain psychology by exploring pain a bit deeper. There is a surface pain associated with difficulty of taking action but also a pain that will result from not taking action. Though that pain is hidden in the moment, it will surface in time. A simple example is the pain of health problems in the future which resulted because the pain of exercising and being disciplined was avoided. We can also begin to develop pleasure associations to the choices by visualising the outcomes.
3. Evaluate results and adjust your approach
Personal power starts with the mind and ends with the mind that is why being reflective is crucial. It is what helps you decide whether your efforts are leading you in the direction you want to go. Evaluate how the actions you take on a daily basis are contributing to the outcome you desire. Celebrate the wins - no matter how small they are. Be honest with yourself and be flexible to adjust your approach if you have to.
Is there a situation in your life that you would like to change or an outcome you would like to influence in your life? Perhaps you desire a lifestyle change or to pursue a dream despite so many barriers. Exercising your personal power can make a difference. Try it, you have nothing to lose and plenty to gain.
You’ve got the power.
Image by Engin Akyurt