Hearing the word “power” might conjure different thoughts or emotions for you depending on your life experiences.
Admittedly, power can often be misused to ultimately cause fear and destruction. Positive power, though, can be an incredible tool that will allow you to stand up for yourself and for what you believe in.
According to Psychology Today, “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.”
True personal power comes from within. It is something we all possess, but it takes work to develop and to practice. It requires a conscious choice to hold on to your power and not give it away.
Recognizing how you have maybe given your power away is an important first step in reclaiming it.
Follow these five steps to claim (or reclaim) your personal power.
• Carve out some time to spend in quiet reflection. Journaling can be a great tool to gain clarity. Where does your self-worth come from? Do you embrace your inherent value as a person, or is your self-worth connected to your accomplishments and external measures of “success.” Practice self-compassion, challenge the inner critical voice that tells you you’re not enough and stop comparing yourself to others. Treat yourself with the same kindness as you would a close friend.
• Develop self-awareness. According to Positive Psychology, “Self-awareness is the ability to monitor our inner and external world. Our thoughts and feelings arise as signals. Developing self-awareness allows us to keep from being swept away by those signals, and instead, objectively and thoughtfully respond to them. Self-aware people understand their internal experience and their impact on the experience of others.” Acknowledge thoughts and emotions, and observe them with open curiosity. Then choose your internal and external response to those thoughts and emotions carefully.
• Establish healthy boundaries in your personal and professional relationships. Boundaries define where you begin and end, and where others begin and end. Take ownership in what is yours and release what isn’t yours to carry.
• Be true to who you are, not being afraid to show up and let others see you. Practice vulnerability. Being vulnerable takes strength and courage, but will allow you to have a greater connection with your authentic self and those around you. Easier said than done? Each time you face your fears and move forward with confidence in your gifts, talents and skills your confidence will grow and it will get easier.
• Be clear about what you want and set realistic goals, always striving for excellence, not perfection. To be human is to be imperfect. Accepting our limitations, asking for help when we need it, and offering ourselves grace and compassion when we make mistakes will allow us to learn and grow rather than hide behind fear and feelings of inadequacy.
As leaders, it is our responsibility to first claim our personal power. Then to recognize that how we choose to exert our power will have a significant impact on our level of success as a leader.
Author Brene Brown sums it up well. “Daring and transformative leaders share power with, empower people to, and inspire people to develop power within.”
Own your personal power, and experience greater happiness and fulfillment. Share your personal power, and you pay it forward.
www.forbes.com/sites/bonniemarcus/ 2018/06/04/10-steps-to-ownyour-personal- power/?sh=2f740dc56488
www.psychalive.org/self-worth/positive psychology.com/building-self-awareness- activities/