Personal power is about taking responsibility for ourselves and our choices
The process taking back our personal power begins when we stop looking at ourselves as victims, and begin to participate in crafting our own lives. We cannot wait for someone else to set us free as only we can truly liberate ourselves. We don’t really need to wait for anyone else’s approval or permission to craft a meaningful life. Giving away our personal power robs us of mental strength and the ability to solve problems. However, taking back control of our lives requires that we make a conscious choice to take back our power.
5 tips to help develop our Personal Power daily:
1. Focus on gratitude
There’s a big difference between complaining and problem-solving. Keeping our attention on what is wrong tends to attract more of the same. Even though venting to friends, family or co-workers can seem satisfying in the short term – it keeps us focused on our problems and prevents us from finding a solution. Complaining implies that we have no power over our situation and limits the power we can exert over our attitude. Gratitude is the fuel that helps our brains find solutions, whereas feeling sorry for ourselves blocks our creative problem solving ability. What can you be grateful for today? Start small and build the habit of seeing what is right in your life, not just what is wrong or missing.
2. Be responsible for how you feel.
Don’t let the behaviour of other people dictate how you feel. We may not be able to manage other people’s behaviour, but we can manage how we act in response. We can react, or take conscious action. Saying someone else makes you feel bad about yourself implies they have power over how you feel. A more helpful approach is to accept that it is up to us to manage our emotions, regardless of how others behave. This shift in perspective takes practice but yields great returns as we get better at it. It can be incredibly valuable to shift our perspective from the “victim” (happens to me) mentality to the “empowered” (this is an opportunity) mindset.
3. Discover the power of forgiveness.
Holding a grudge against someone else who has hurt us doesn’t punish them—it only punishes us. It requires valuable energy and attention to keep thinking about a person we feel wronged us, and takes away our ability to enjoy the moment. Forgiving someone is one of the best way to take back our power. Forgiveness isn’t about saying what the other person did was OK, it is about deciding to let go of the hurt and anger that interferes with our ability to enjoy life and see what we can be grateful for. Probably the most important person to forgive is ourselves. We tend to be our own harshest critics. It is important to take the time to forgive our mistakes and move on.
As human beings we are not perfect, we will all make mistakes, this is why forgiveness of self is so essential for growth.
4. Knowing and owning our values.
When we are not clear what our values are, we are at risk of becoming a helpless passenger on our life journey – rather than a confident driver. We run the risk of living someone else’s life and may miss out on living our dreams. Part of taking back our power is acknowledging our values and living a life in line with what is important to us. It is far more comfortable to live a life in alignment with our values than one crafted for us by someone else. Living someone else’s version of our lives tends to lead to resentment and helplessness. Living our own values and dreams is more likely to lead to empowerment and greater satisfaction.
5. Keep thoughts positive and avoid victim language.
It becomes essential when we take back our personal power to take control of our thoughts that occupy our attention on what we are grateful for – so we don’t end up giving more energy and attention to areas of our lives that don’t deserve it. Saying things like, “I never have any money” or, “I have no choice in the matter,” implies that we’re the victim of unfortunate circumstances. These negative thoughts also block our ability to see potential solutions. Though there are always consequences for our decisions and actions, acknowledge that we always have choices – and the greatest choice is to manage our attitude. It is easier to live with choices made in line with our values and beliefs than those made by others. Owning our motivations and attitude go a long way to helping us live an empowered life.
Our self-worth depends on how we see ourselves, our attitude and the actions we take. Don’t wait for others to make you powerful, start taking back your power today.
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