Power is usually associated with money, status and beauty. While these symbols might make us appear powerful to others, it’s not a substitute for the kind of power that lies within us. Learn how to cultivate your inner power by working on your strength and virtues. (Estimated reading time: 4 minutes)
“The most common way that people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”— Alice Walker
If you’re like most people, you associate power with one or more of these traditional signs of power:
- Money/financial success
- Physical strength
- Authority/political prowess
Our social hierarchies have been structured around these power symbols for centuries.
In almost every situation, the underlying dynamic at play is the negotiation of power – who does and doesn’t have it, and how can one get more of it.
Back in the day, it was the elite, autocracy, monarchies and religious institutions that held the key to the fates of peasants and the ‘common man’. In the more evolved society that we live in today, corporate giants, political parties, and the rich and famous are considered to be the power-holders.
Yet this shift in the power structure doesn’t change the fact that it’s still ego-based and materialistic-oriented. We consider a person to be powerful if they possess an abundance of the traditional power symbols. It gives them the authority and platform to influence a significant number of people.
But the pursuit of material forms of power can distract us from the development of a more subtle, yet vital form of personal power. The type of power that comes from embodying virtuous qualities such as love, contribution, kindness and integrity.
We’ve seen what happens when a person who is in a position of authority lacks this virtuous type of personal power. The Hitlers, Stalins and other radical and ruthless figures are real-life examples of this phenomenon.
The truth is that genuine personal power has nothing to do with what is happening on the outside world but everything to do with what is happening in our inner world. It is a function of how we feel about who we are and how we relate to the world.
According to medical intuitive Caroline Myss, personal power is essential to our overall wellbeing. She views the human energy system as an expression of personal power and believes that in order for a patient to totally heal from an ailment, the patient must understand the concept of power.
In fact, our sense of power is so integral to our vitality and health. When a person loses something that symbolizes power to them, such as a person, job or money, they can actually be drained of their power and have a physical breakdown within their system.
A person who depends on external forms of power can never be totally healthy, no matter how rich, famous, fit or attractive they are. This is because personal power is a product of a state of mind, heart and spirit. It’s based on our attitudes, thought patterns and beliefs.
If you want to increase your personal power, focus on cultivating your inner qualities. This doesn’t mean that you should completely withdraw from your material pursuits, but that you avoid relying on them.
Follow these four steps to manage your personal power:
1. Become aware of your energy patterns: Handling your personal power will require you to develop astute awareness to evaluate the dynamics of power within yourself. Look at your current attachments to both people and objects, and take note of what gives you power and what drains your power. You can tell by how you feel in your body and by listening to your intuition. Detach yourself from people and situations that are taking away your power and replace them with energy-enhancing activities and people who raise your vibration when you’re in their presence.
2. Build your self-esteem and emotional stamina: Personal power comes from knowing who you are at your core and what you stand for, and not being afraid to defend your beliefs. No matter what we own in the outside world, what ultimately affects our sense of power is how we feel about ourselves. Eliminate any limiting beliefs about yourself, develop your intuition and your emotional stamina. And don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help, support and guidance along the way. You don’t have to go it alone.
3. Make self-care a priority: You can’t be in your power if you’re ill and tired all the time. Personal power is fueled by a state of vitality, balance and health. Acknowledge the needs of your mind, body and spirit and prioritize those needs in your daily life. Also, when you honor your personal needs, you’re inadvertently letting your subconscious mind know that you value yourself and require to be treated based on that.
4. Use your power as a force for good: As you take steps to build your inner fortress of power, you’ll gradually feel more in control of your life. Use your personal power as a force for good in the world, through good deeds, contribution or simple words and acts of kindness that will raise the vibrations of those around you.
The next time you feel powerless in a situation, take a moment to pause, and take a couple of deep breaths. As you inhale and exhale, imagine waves of golden energy streaming from your breath. Connect with that energy, and the power that emanates from it. Realize that it springs every single cell in your body that’s filled with love and light.
All my best in your journey,
Question for you: What is the true meaning of personal power according to you? Is it something worth striving towards?
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“The most common way that people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any” – Alice Walker
This is me. This has been my entire life up till about 4 years ago when I first met my husband. I realized how much power I was giving up by letting others, especially family members, walk all over me and take advantage of me.
Sine then I’ve been making a consciously effort to not sell myself short and to not just give people power over me any longer! Thanks for reminding me about this again!
Wow what a beautiful quote Imani! I appreciate you sharing your story and I’m so glad to hear that you’ve taken your power back. You’re an inspiration to all. 🙂
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