In Part 1 of this blog we explored the difference between power-over and personal power. In fact there is a third type of power… power-with, but that’s another blog post to come. In order to reclaim our personal power, we need to identify where we’re giving it away. Here are 5 ways we give away our personal power.
1. Letting others decide what you want.
You are the only person who truly knows what you want. If you’ve chosen your profession because of your parents, or you’re deferring to your spouse about your vacation location, then you’ve given away your power. Knowing what you want and intentionally going after it, is empowering.
2. Not knowing what you stand for.
If you’re unclear on your values, wishy-washy about your beliefs, and you’re not sure what your stake in the ground is, then you’re giving away your power. Know your stake and then make decisions from there.
The instant you blame someone or something for what’s wrong, you’re giving away your power. You’re essentially saying that you have no control, and all the power rests with your boss, your partner, the markets or whoever else you’re blaming. If this sounds familiar, “I can’t because so-and-so…” then you’ve given it away. Decide to believe in your awesome ability to create your experiences, and then take responsibility for getting the results you want.
4. Being deprived and depleted.
If you’re not aware of your core needs and actively getting them met, you’re giving away your power. Whether it’s a need for rest or recognition, or a need for alone time or connection, you must take responsibility for getting that need met, because no one else will do it for you. This includes keeping your energy up, and recharging on a daily basis, so that you only give your excess energy to your partner, family, work or community.
5. Letting ourselves be used or taken advantage of.
It’s crucial to recognize when someone is stepping over the line, taking advantage, or using up more of your resources (time, money and energy) than you want to give. If they are, then you’re giving away your power. To take it back, you need to set and enforce personal boundaries. This requires clear communication about what you will and will not do and the consequences. Set your boundaries and reclaim your power today!
Developing personal power is a life-long task, and you can start immediately by determining where you’re giving it away. Leave a comment and let me know where you’re giving your power away. I’d love to hear.
Until next time,