Whilst the definition of personal power in the dictionary is; the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others or a person or thing that exerts influence. For me, personal power is not my ability to control others but rather an internal function of self-control and discipline, rooted in my own strength. Let’s face it, we have very little control over others, however as we master our own personal power, through our thoughts, beliefs and emotions, we begin to understand that this is the only power and control that we have over our life, but also the only one that is needed.
As I have said, personal power is internal to you. It is the skill set that you gain through constantly challenging yourself to grow, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. True strength is flexibility in your everyday experiences. Like Bruce Lee said, “be like water.” Water will conform to any container, yet it’s strong enough to wear away the hardest elements. Human beings are not meant to atrophy into a solid, unchangeable mass, we are meant to be like water, always flowing, growing, and learning about ourselves. Personal power is not about clinging to the known stubbornly, it’s about having the faith to step into the unknown and know that even if we take on a new shape, the soul of who we really are is indestructible and will not desert us.
”Be ever vigilant to never give away your personal power to anyone or anything, value it as your greatest gift!” – Belinda Snyman
Typically, power has been viewed with suspicion or given a negative or evil connotation. The specific types of power that people tend to develop over time and the methods whereby they accumulate and utilize this power to either inspire, dominate, or destroy other people, can be evaluated from an ethical point of view.
According to Robert Firestone, PhD in his book The Ethics of Interpersonal Relationships there are two forms of power, negative (which can be covert or overt) and positive, and I quote, “Personal power is based on strength, confidence, and competence that individuals gradually acquire in the course of their development. It is self-assertion, and a natural, healthy striving for love, satisfaction and meaning in one’s interpersonal world. This type of power represents a movement toward self-realization and transcendent goals in life; its primary aim is mastery of self, not others. Personal power is more an attitude or state of mind than an attempt to manoeuvre or control others. It is based on competence, vision, positive personal qualities, and service. When externalized it is likely to be more generous, creative and humane than other forms of power.”
Each person has personal power to exert over him or herself. While that’s obvious, I think many people fail to see the depths of power inherent in that truth. Beyond choosing the clothes we wear, the food we eat, and other fairly mundane things, this sort of power is about making important choices, actually choosing how to respond in any given situation, how to feel and what to value, as well as how to think and act thereon.
Very often we give away our personal power and sabotage ourselves, by responding to the words and actions of others, instead of standing rooted firmly in our own strength. I believe that when you know who you are, having taken into account both your strengths and weaknesses, you are far more likely not to be affected by the “negative” comments and actions of others, thereby becoming a victim of the influence others have over us. Abdicating responsibility for one’s emotions, giving your personal power to others, not only allows victim-hood, it drastically slims the likelihood of positive change taking place, repeating patterns and cycles life after life.
By taking complete responsibility for your life, without self-judgment, you can easily raise your level of consciousness, thereby accessing greater intrinsic power. When you use your life as feedback and adjust your inner world accordingly, until the outside world lines up in the ways you most desire, you can make a quantum jump in spiritual evolution. In this way, owning your power could be a shortcut to awakening.
History is littered with lessons from those who have used power to advance selfish agendas. However, if you use your personal power with humility, to free others to lead, you can build a lasting legacy, because humility resolves the problems posed by power. How you build up your personal power is as important as why you are building it, for it is an integral part of personal happiness, fulfilling connections and achieving your potential. True leaders empower others, rather than manipulate and control, recognize the difference and know when to assert your own personal power into action. You give your power away when you make someone or something outside of you more important than what you hold inside of you, remember that!
“As your personal power is a reflection of the creative, universal force within you, be strong enough to exercise, protect and boldly own it!” – Belinda Snyman
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