5 ways you may be losing your power
Part 2 of Personal Power – the Watt, the How and the Why
My awareness and journey around personal power (and how I was so freely dishing it out) started a few years ago. It was a simple yet profound moment for me…
I was texting an ex-boyfriend, trying to convince him that I hadn’t done what he was accusing me of doing. After many swapped messages backwards and forwards, I went for a walk on the beach and started thinking: “Does it matter if he thinks x when I actually did y? I know I did y so why do I need to hand it over to him to decide whether I did y or not? He’ll still claim x and even if he eventually had to go, ‘okay you’re right, y it is’… Why on earth do I need him to decide whether or not I did what I know I did!?” (I mean this was my EX boyfriend after all, why did I even care?)
I thought, I’m literally handing over my own power and getting him to decide what my reality is and how I feel based on whether he believes me or not. Instead, I’ll honour myself and what I know to be true for me, and what he thinks is his business. What a freeing feeling not needing someone else to be happy with me in order for me to be happy with me!
The penny had dropped, yet keeping my fingers off the keypad was the toughest part! I had to walk up and down the beach several times, as though walking out a bad cramp. I was amazed by the strength of our emotional addictions and how we can reactively be placed in such disempowerment without even realising.
Awareness is the first step to transformation and through consciously resisting unconscious behaviour, we build the muscle of creating new ways of being. It begins with acknowledging the areas that we tend to hand our power over… these being some of the common ones:
1. Being the victim of your circumstances
Whenever we’re in effect of life, we’ve given our power away. We tend to say “this happened to me” or “he or she did x to me”… and blame others or the outside world for where we’re at. Being the victim of circumstance puts us in an extremely disempowered and stuck place. We’ve handed our power over to the other person or situation by unconsciously stating. “If they change, or if the circumstance changes… only then can I be OK again.” There’s a lesson in everything and an opportunity to grow. When we’re the victim and relying on something or someone else to fix our problem, we’re blinded to the solution and the gift that person or situation is bringing us.
2. Holding onto resentment and anger towards someone…you’ve given them free board and lodging inside your head, constantly feeding them your thoughts and energy while you continue to suffer. There’s a saying, “it’s like eating poison and expecting the other person to die.” All you are doing is creating dis-ease within your mind and body. You are fuelling a story about someone else, causing only you to feel unhappy, stressed, angry and bitter. This may be someone you don’t even want in your life, yet you’ve given them free board and lodging inside your head, constantly feeding them your thoughts and energy while you continue to suffer. The reality is all of that negativity is affecting you the most. It’s creating havoc within your body and probably impacting every other area of your life. The question is, how could this possibly be serving you?
3. Relying on validation from the outside world to affirm you
We all enjoy validation, and it’s natural for us to want to feel loved and affirmed. The problem is relying on external validation to determine how we feel about ourselves. We so often need to be right and even though we may intuitively know we are (relative to our own truth of course), we’ll fight so hard for agreement and affirmation from others. We needlessly waste energy trying to get people to see things our way, and for what? It’s as though we don’t feel good enough unless someone else makes it so… as if we’ve made some unconscious contract that our truth is only valid if acknowledged by the outside world. We’re handing all our power over to someone else to determine our value and decide how we should or shouldn’t feel about ourselves. Honour your truth, honour your self and choose to feel the way YOU WANT to feel.
4. Being triggered and giving in to your emotional reactions
Often people or situations will trigger us. Someone will do or say something that will push your buttons, increasing your adrenalin and engaging your fight or flight responses. You either shut down and run, or react in a way that serves no one but your ego. You’ll feel your power dissipating as you’re left feeling deflated. You may have had an instant surge of energy initially, but like a light bulb with no resistor, that extra charge of voltage shatters the bulb and you’re left in the dark. Often it’s not about that other person, it’s what that other person has brought up in ourselves that we don’t like. We feel shitty because (a) we’ve run from a situation that we never had enough courage to face. Or (b) we’ve reacted in a way that has exposed our least redeeming qualities, leaving us feeling vulnerable and deflated. In blaming others we get to shift the focus onto them, missing the opportunity for growth and further depleting our power.
5. Going against your own integrity to please others
You have values and morals that are your compass in life. When you go against them you’re creating inner conflict. Inner conflict is like having your wholeness broken up into different parts that are all at odds with each other. Perhaps you get satisfaction from pleasing someone, but at what cost? We are all responsible for our own happiness and by trying to make others happy, we’re unconsciously stating, “if they’re happy, only then can I be happy.” You’ve handed over your power to the other person to decide whether you have permission to be happy or not. I think subconsciously a lot of us believe that happiness is conditional, that it has to be earned or we need something or someone external to give it to us. We need to know that we are worthy enough to give it to ourselves, and by doing that we automatically spread that light to others who are open to receive it.
Other ways you may find yourself losing power are by:
- Negative thinking and talking, including gossiping.
- Taking other people’s perceptions of you personally.
- Relying on someone else to make you feel a certain way.
- Constantly worrying or being stressed.
- Addiction and any form of habit or behaviour that doesn’t serve your highest good.
- Making promises to yourself and others and not fulfilling them.
- Blaming anybody or anything for how you feel.
- Trying to control people or outside circumstances.
- Having someone else constantly occupying space in your mind.
- Tolerating toxic relationships.
- Living in the past or the future.
POWER IS IN THE PRESENT MOMENT! Every time you are re-playing events from the past or worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future, you’re stepping out of your power.
Any chance you give your soul to express its freedom and truth, you claim more of your power back. Each baby step you take towards authenticity and integrity is one foot closer to the innate power within you.
You increase your power every time you:
- Stretch yourself a little further out your comfort zone.
- Choose differently to what your usual reactions or inactions would be.
- Face your fears and take action despite of them.
- Step into creator of your life and out of victim.
- Honour the guidance of your soul, despite the discomfort of entering unknown territory.
- Push through any limitations you may have previously placed upon yourself.
- Honour your truth and uphold your boundaries of what you accept and don’t accept for your self and your life.
- Connect with your Source, whether it’s through nature, exercise, mediation or prayer.
Read the follow-up article: The 5-step Process of Reclaiming your Power