Personal Power, Excerpt from “Self-Esteem: An Inside Job”
Jun 15th, 2012 | By Sandy Abell | Category: Recommended List
By Sandy Abell –
It’s a basic human need to feel you have some control and personal power over the events in your life. When you were a child, this control may have been over things as small as whether you drank milk, juice, or water. As you matured, the need for personal power grew to the point where now, as an adult, you want to have the final say in almost everything that affects you.
Unfortunately, at times other peoples’ need for power and control may overwhelm your own, and you may give away your individual rights for the sake of peace and harmony, or to feel loved and appreciated. When this happens, you may feel resentful, bitter, taken advantage of, angry, and impotent. If experienced often, these unpleasant feelings can erode self-esteem and undermine personal growth.
Sometimes people make the mistake of trying to regain control by focusing on changing those around them. This is usually a futile exercise, and one that will end in your feeling anxious and frustrated, since the reality is the only person you have control over is yourself. Trying to change someone else puts you in the role of victim, since your happiness depends on the actions of others. The victim stance is one of being powerless. If you find yourself saying “everything would be fine if only he/she would…” it’s a sign you’ve given away your power and are concentrating on changing the wrong person.
You can regain the feeling of strength and power by taking charge of the situation and stating your ideas, feelings, and needs, thereby exerting your personal power and improving your self-esteem. Even if the other person refuses to meet your needs, you can still take care of yourself by changing how you view the situation, what you expect, or removing yourself from it.
Some things you can do to maintain your personal power and strength are:
- Look at all options available to you.
- State your ideas, feelings and needs clearly to yourself and others.
- Act to change, remove yourself from the situation, or accept responsibility for the decision if you choose to keep things as they are.
The bottom line is to always put yourself into the equation, consider what will work best for you, and act in a way that does that.
- You are a strong and powerful person
- You have control over how you choose to respond to all events in your life
- You do not have the power to control or change others
- If you try to change others you may feel anxious, frustrated and victimized (in reality you’re victimizing yourself)
- You can regain feelings of strength and personal power by taking charge of the situation and meeting your own needs I whatever way possible.
Sandy Abell is an International Coach Federation Certified Coach and Licensed Professional Counselor who has been in private practice for over 20 years. Sandy received her undergraduate degree from San Jose State University in California, her graduate degree from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, and is affiliated with Coach University in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is a certified coach with the International Coach Federation and the International Association of Coaches, and specializes in working with business owners, professionals, entrepreneurs and people in transition. She concentrates on helping people move ahead, accomplish goals and maximize their potential in every aspect of their lives. For fun she enjoys spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren, motorcycle riding, traveling to warm tropical places, hiking, camping, and any outdoor activity. Sandy can be reached at email@example.com