How To Stop Giving Away Your Power

“You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we’re not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power.”
― Louise L. Hay

We might not be in control of our lives and fate, but we are in control of the narrative we build around it. However, to build a strong narrative requires mental strength and consistent action. Once what we think of our lives and ourselves is what matters most to us, we claim agency and power. The moment this narrative shakes, and the opinions of others crawl in, we begin to lose inner peace and often our power as people. You might wonder, what does losing your power look and feel like? What are the signs?

Giving away your personal power can manifest in low confidence, being constantly overwhelmed, or being preoccupied with what others think of you. This might hinder you from taking risks, expressing yourself and living actively. This begins to affect your relationships and world views at large making you a passive and reclusive person who is unable to fully exercise their agency. A good starting point always is to start thinking about what makes you feel powerful, energised, and good about yourself and do more of that. Cancelling out bad habits is not enough, building good habits is key. Habits that hold us accountable and force us to take responsibility of our lives no matter what the situation or circumstances may be.

This article offers a range of ways in which one can claim their personal power:

1, Self-Reflection

Complacency is a sin. Going with the flow is fine until you find yourself having become a completely passive person who fails to actively make an effort for what they want from life. Take a piece of paper and write about the things you wish for. All your dreams that you had when you were 17 and were unfazed by the world. Do this when you are in a good mood, and you feel like a dreamer. Reflect not only on your desires and wishes but also your habits and the person you are. Keep these in mind to reflect on what you would require becoming the person you wish to be. Do an in-depth analysis of your values and goals in life. This practice has to consistent; however, for your list to feel most authentic to yourself and not be contaminated by what others want you to be.

2. Practice Gratitude

Self-reflection goes hand in hand with gratitude. If you want to achieve things in life and want your dreams to come true, you need to first be fully present with what you already have in life. You must not take it for granted and use the opportunities and love you have to the fullest. This gives you a sense of abundance in life and the narrative shifts from scarcity mindset to growth mindset which gives you back the steering wheel of your life as now you think of your life as a positive experience happening in your favor and never against you. This helps you claim power, feel less overwhelmed and like your life more.

3. Read More

Frederick Douglass, a famous civil rights movement activist once remarked, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” The power of words and ideas is beyond imaginable. When you read and write (in whatever form), you become invincible as you become more aware of your own stories and how you look at the world. You write yourself into the world and understand others better. This helps you reach a more holistic understanding of life but more importantly makes you a person who believes in the power of words and how they can change your life. Words and especially the words we use to describe ourselves and our lives contribute greatly to the way we experience our life. If you become friends with words and know how to express yourself better, your life becomes easier and you have a conduit of change in your life.

4. Quit Comparison

Quit competing with others. You will and never become someone else. It is completely okay to want to imbibe other people’s qualities but detesting yourself is the worst way to go about it. What you like in other people is a sign of what inspires you about life in general. Take it as a guide in your life and what you can build out of it instead of being threatened by others. Never make the focus of your life other people instead of yourself and watering your side of the grass. Remember what you focus on grows; hence, if you focus on other peoples’ lives and how great they are, this takes away from how beautiful our own lives are.

5. No More Complaining

Do not get me wrong. It is okay to sulk at times in all your problems and sorrow sometimes. It is okay to vent to someone and get things off your chest during a conversation, if you notice a pattern of focusing more on the problem and less on the solutions, it may be a sign that you are complaining (and you don’t want too much of that to turn into whining). Therefore, complaining means your focus is constantly on the problem and you are giving up your power by not thinking about what you can do about the problem at hand.

6. Learn To Say No

Establishing boundaries with other people is a huge power of claiming your power. We are so many times occupied by other people respecting us, but the truth is often times, we ourselves do not respect ourselves. The famous saying goes that people learn to treat us the way we treat ourselves. If people see us not taking care of ourselves and always be at their disposal, they take us for granted. In addition to this, we need to understand that to be able to give to others or be available to them, we need to first fill our cup and be content with our lives. We must cultivate the habit of politely saying no whenever we can not afford to do something because of mental health or time constraints.

7. Let Go Of Your Ego

Oftentimes, the need to have control over everything and being addicted to feeling dominant is what robs us of our personal power. Being malleable and adjusting to whatever life brings us is a sign of intelligence. On the contrary, fighting reality to make it fit the ideal world in our head is a sign of low emotional intelligence and makes us feel powerless internally. Hence, one should let go of their ego and embrace life as it comes making the best out of their abilities trying not to emulate someone else’s life.

8. Re-frame Your Idea of Success

People often feel powerless because they feel like a failure. They do not have their dream job, body, a romantic partner, or they are not as cool as their co-worker. They deem themselves conventionally and objectively unattractive as people. People seem to not like them. Notice something? The focus here is completely external. The focus is on material success and on what other people think of us. What we think of ourselves is measured in the eyes of other people; hence,

it would always fluctuate. To avoid this, one must as they evolve through life come up with their own idea of what being successful and happy looks like to them. It might not entail having the best job, or the best body, but focusing on oneself and being authentically who one is. If one is comfortable with who they are and their weaknesses, there is no one in the world who can make us feel small or powerless.

9. Develop A Sense Of Humour

Developing a sense of humour is an advanced version of not taking things personally. If we take life too seriously, and have unreal expectations of ourselves, we can fail at life miserably. Do what is necessary and leave the rest. Do not engage with things that make you feel bad and when confronted with them, meet them with humour and the understanding that everyone is coming from a different place in life and does not always intend to harm you in any way. Beware! This does not mean you have to try to be funny! This just means, you have to take things lightly and always see the best in people. True humour is seeing the best in people and finding a comical aspect to as muc h as possible.

10. Forgive Yourself and Others

As the famous Chinese Proverb goes that the person who is most evolved is the person who blames no one. Neither themselves nor others. If you have made a mistake or if someone has wronged you in some way, there is no need to hold on to that. Most of life is about learning how to fail better, embarrass yourself more graciously and if try to always be perfect and hold grudges against other people, we fail to grow as people. We do not need to be hard on ourselves to do better in life, we just need to hold ourself accountable.

For this, we need to understand the difference between guilt and shame. Letting go of shame and offering ourself is a crucial step towards building a better life for ourselves. Research shows that there is a direct connection between improved living and forgiving ourselves. When we look at ourselves as fallible humans and do not associate our worth with our actions but at the same time take responsibility for them, we strike a balance as people that is essential to our ever-changing lives.

Final Word

To get through life and to truly thrive in the process, one must be in control of the narrative they have of their life. This narrative gives one a sense of personal power. Personal power can be claimed through taking responsibility for one’s life, being grateful, and forgiving oneself and others. One should be a lifelong learner letting go of their ego, always ready to adapt to change. However, making these changes in life require consistency and keeping ones promises to oneself. This also includes having a sense of humor about life and not making anything more serious than it is. To never take anything personally, assume the best of people, to always assume the best of people and just be yourself.

“Ultimately, and this is where true power lies: no one can cast you out of the home in your heart.”
― Vanessa Osage


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