The Most Authentic And Lasting Way To Increase Your Personal Power
Alongside good health, your personal power is the greatest asset you have. Without it, you may be living a life that is unfulfilled and less than you truly deserve.
It would be easy for me to write a list of things that you can do to increase your personal power. It would include all the usual suggestions, such as:
Know what you want so that you can be clear. Make sure this sits comfortably with your values.
Set clear intentions and act upon them.
Be yourself, and believe in yourself.
Be flexible and adaptable, without losing sight of where you are going.
Be focused, positive and enthusiastic.
Know your own personal boundaries, and stick to them.
Be mindful of your thoughts, and reframe those that are negative.
Be aware of how you react emotionally, and learn to respond instead.
Let go of unhelpful habits.
Express yourself confidently and assertively.
Be kind, and be approachable. Consider how others feel.
Make self-care a priority. Set aside time for yourself, to relax or meditate etc.
Ensure that your own self-belief and self-worth is not tainted by the opinions of others.
Be willing to admit to your mistakes.
Allow yourself to go your own way. This may mean that you stand out from the crowd.
Ask for help when needed, but choose wisely who you ask.
Have the courage of your convictions. Make up your own mind, and stick to it. Asking too many people what they think can confuse you and robs you of your power.
However, this is a MASSIVE subject and it’s one that goes right to the core of who you are. So it’s important to really understand what personal power means for you, because once you get to grips with that, the rest will flow.
What exactly is personal power?
In some workplace situations, the term may be used when talking about managing teams and relationships with colleagues, and focusing on achieving goals, persistence and drive. This may include following detailed and timebound plans and strategies – or not.
Others describe personal power as the inner qualities, beliefs, attitudes and attributes that a person holds and develops throughout their life, that enables them to be strong, courageous and assertive, yet compassionate.
Certainly, there are various interpretations according to context, and some confusion. Also, research is readily available that explores the difference between personal power and positional power, and how one impacts the other.
In many ways your personal power is what you want it to be, according to your beliefs, attitudes and values - all of which can change.
I believe that the truest, most noble, positive and sustainable power starts with a deep level of self-awareness and a willingness to explore that.
This leads to profound understanding, to ‘light bulb moments’ and extraordinary transformation as you find yourself leaping into new (or forgotten), safe and joyful territory where you connect (or reconnect) with your inner self.
This gives you confidence and strength. As you effortlessly connect with your true nature – that part of you that is aligned with peace, freedom, curiosity, eagerness, vitality, ease, optimism and joy - you become inwardly strong and resilient. You learn how to work with your thoughts and emotions, directing them in a positive and helpful way. You gain true self-belief, and confidence in yourself and your abilities. You make courageous and inspired decisions, and you are likely to have the respect of others - because they value what you say and do.
Almost everyone has personal power, but it can be eclipsed by frailty or vulnerability at different times. Also, if you’re feeling ‘scattered’ you won’t be able to harness it properly. And sometimes your power becomes depleted to the extent that it doesn’t seem to be there at all. This is dangerous as ultimately it impacts negatively on your health - mentally, emotionally and physically.
Beware of lulling yourself into a false sense of security.
The thing is, you may tell yourself that you are living in your power - and whilst that may be true up to a point, it might be that you are choosing to overlook something, because you prefer it that way for now, or you're fearful of confronting it.
For example, it can be relatively easy to ignore or deny emotions that are uncomfortable by tucking them away, and then to develop all sorts of camouflages and techniques so that you don’t have to face them. Whilst in some circumstances this might be necessary for a time, in the long term it’s not helpful and can actually disempower you. Also, inflated ego is a great mask.
My client's story:
Several years ago, I had a client who told me she’d fooled herself for years. She said that up until her early twenties she'd felt strong and ‘in her power’. Even as a little child she'd known that she had some deep connection to 'something':
“I felt at one with everything somehow, particularly nature. Colours were so vivid, and the scents of flowers nearly blew me away - even then! I distinctly remember thinking that I had a secure place in the world and an absolute right to be here. I felt really part of something amazing. I felt – unstoppable!”
Highly creative, she studied art and became immersed in a world of colour and fun and experimentation – and recreational drug use.
She said that over the next few years she enjoyed the buzz of the life she was living, although deep in her heart she knew that she wasn’t being true to her inner nature, and she knew that she was losing herself a bit.
Then she fell in love, married and had children. She felt deeply fulfilled and was really happy. She knew she was being true to herself again.
But at the point where she contacted me, the years had passed. Her children had grown and left home, and she was going through the hormonal changes of menopause. She'd convinced herself that she was ‘fine’ for quite some time – until one day she burst into tears and told her husband she wanted to leave, because she’d never felt so lost and unhappy in her life.
Well, she didn’t leave, because she didn’t really want to. What she really wanted was to find that connection with herself, and reignite that inner sparkle and find purpose and joy again. And after we’d worked together for a short time, that is exactly what happened!
Make this your main focus:
If you want to function at your best in your personal and professional life, it's essential that keep connected with the inner you, the part of you that is naturally aligned with freedom, balance, energy, enthusiasm, fun and joy.
Once you are fully connected with that, you will leap into your personal power quickly AND STAY THERE. There will be no going back!
So make that your primary aim. It’s very simple.
*Self-awareness is key, and of course, this the bit where it gets more complex…
Find out about Find Your Oomph Coaching with Caroline Carr
© April 27th 2020 Caroline Carr
*You might like: How To Become More Self Aware Without Losing The Plot!
After working in the theatre and television for several years, Caroline taught drama, voice and speech in schools and prisons before becoming a life coach and hypnotherapist with a practice in Harley Street. Her personal and professional experience led to her developing a passion for teaching others how to find inner strength, confidence, positivity and joy. Hence she created Find Your Oomph. Caroline is the author of several books on mental health and women's health, and has been featured in the national press and interviewed on radio and TV.
Research studies that may be of interest:
Original image by Leon Ell (adapted by CC)