Updated: May 15
What does it mean to reclaim personal power and how can we take practical steps to do so?
When we are powerless we might feel helpless, defenceless, dependent, insecure, weak, vulnerable and stuck! By contrast, inner power feels independent, confident, self-assured, courageous, resilient and free.
Sometimes we lose our inner power. We might be stepped on by others or at the whim of their mood, opinions and behaviour. This might cause us to play small and minimise ourselves (we don't want to rock the boat) or we might find ourselves lacking the ability to fully express who we are or to show up as ourselves.
Personal power also links in with self-esteem, if we are low on self-esteem we might allow others to dominate us or we might lack the fortitude to stand-up for ourselves in certain situations.
At some point, we've all given someone else power over how we think, feel and behave and it doesn't feel good! The good news is you can take back your power. But maintaining control in your life requires that you make a conscious decision to do so, and take conscious action.
Here are five ways to reclaim your personal power...
5 ways to reclaim personal power.
1. Take control of your domain.
We cannot control the behaviour of others but we can control how we behave towards ourselves and how we choose to respond in situations. Show yourself love, respect and kindness. Speak to yourself in a way that you'd like to be spoken to. Practice self-care. Set boundaries around how you choose to spend your time and where you choose to place your energy. Be aware of negative self-talk and move away from thinking that others "waste your time" or that they are "making you do something" or "making you feel something". This suggests that others hold power over your feelings and actions. Instead, take control of your domain, decide how you are going to think, feel and act. If you are reliant on something or someone in your life, think about how you could become more independent?
2. Centre yourself.
When we are off balance, we are emotionally vulnerable, we are also prone to stress and that lends us to overwhelm, confusion and weakness. But when we centre ourselves, we approach life from a clearer and more confident position. This is essentially about "keeping your head in check" - finding ways to remain calm and stable despite what life might throw your way. When we are centred, we feel much more mentally and emotionally strong and there is power in that. What do you need to do for yourself on a regular basis to help you to feel your best in situations? It might be exercise, balancing work with down-time, getting a good nights sleep or taking quiet time to connect in with yourself.
3. Trust your inner guidance system.
The answers we seek rarely present themselves when we attempt to use our smarts to think them. There is a wisdom within us all that seeks to guide the way. Slow it down. Take time to enjoy life. Get out of your own way. Trust that the answers will reveal themselves in perfect timing. When we listen to our inner guidance system, we are more aligned with the truth of who we are and with our values system. From this vantage point, we are more likely to steer our own ship in life and not become a passenger to others people's ideas and opinions. Know what's important to you and how you want to live your life. Show up with conviction.
Inner power feels independent, confident, self-assured, courageous, resilient and free.
4. Take responsibility.
It’s easy to appoint blame to outside influences (people, jobs and circumstances) but it’s important to accept responsibility for your situation and how you feel. Those who lean more towards an internal locus of control (I have the ability to take charge of my life), as opposed to an external locus of control (I am at the whim of the world and others), have been shown to lead more content and fulfilling lives. This doesn’t mean that we each haven’t met unjustified experiences or been wronged in life, just that we hold the power to forge change.