personal power

Who doesn’t want to be in control? We spend a tremendous amount of effort and energy in controlling our lives and our environment, only to be “surprised” when our efforts fail. Even though we convince ourselves that we are in control of our life and environment, the reality is that we aren't in control of either.

Much of our stress and anxiety is caused by our failure at controlling life. So, finding where we do have control in life reduces our stress and anxiety. We do have control over our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. How I think and feel about myself influences my view, or perception, of the world.

Learning to gain personal power starts with an understanding of power. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, power is defined as “the ability to act or produce an effect”. In other words, our power is in our action. Power is not an outside force acting upon us, power comes from within. If we want to have personal power, we need to believe in our ability to control our thoughts and feelings, then to take action.

Many of the clients who come to me for life coaching are not only seeking inner peace, but also personal power. We spend much of our sessions talking about empowerment. Empowerment is about self-sufficiency, the ability to act on our own. We have the power to take action for our good and the good of others, therefore, we are empowered through our actions. Empowerment challenges our assumptions about the way things are and how they can be. We can change the status quo.

Challenging our assumptions about our situation allows us the freedom make changes. The purpose of personal power, as I see it, is in taking the actions necessary to make changes in our life. When something negative happens to us, dwelling on the negative only serves to make us feel stuck and a victim. The reality is that we may not be able to change what happens to us, but we do have the power to change how we feel about the situation. Therefore we have the power to take action in coping with the situation.

How do we gain personal power? Take these steps:

  1. Spend at least 10-20 minutes daily in quiet (or at least with minimal distractions) so as to gain insight about yourself. We need to learn about our thoughts, feelings, and desires without judging them. Simply spend the time to get to know yourself.
  2. Practice daily changing those thoughts which lead you away from your happiness. Recognize how the changing of your thoughts change your emotions and your behaviors. Use the experience to believe in your power and ability to control your thoughts and emotions.
  3. When adversity happens, and you find yourself stressing over the situation, make two lists; one list for those things in the situation you have control over, and another list for those things in the situation you have no control over. Focus your actions and energy on changing those things you have control over, ignoring the other list. Ignoring what we can’t change and taking action where we can is empowering. Don’t focus on changing the situation, keep your focus on changing your thoughts and actions.
  4. Repeat steps 1 - 4.

A key to gaining personal power is in believing that we can’t change the situation, but we can always change our outlook, or our thoughts, on the situation. Trying to control what we cannot control causes anxiety as we don’t have the power to control what is outside of ourselves. Keeping perspective on how I feel and what I can do on the inside makes all of the difference. Keeping our perspective on what we can change and control empowers us to take action, therefore lessening anxiety as we experience the change.

Understanding the power we have within, and taking the actions needed to make changes in life, allows us to overcome the obstacles we face. When life’s obstacles happen we will no longer fear them for we believe in the power that we have to make changes within us which will change our perspective on self and the world around us. We have not only gained personal power, but as a result, we are now empowered to face ourselves and the world.

If you're ready to explore life coaching, I would be honored to help. You can read more here about my life coaching practice or call me directly at 301-850-2177. 

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© Christopher Shea and Lifesjourney, 2015- present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Christopher Shea is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Shea and Lifesjourney with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. | Site Map