What is Personal Power? (5 Simple Practices to Develop Yours)
What is Personal Power? (5 Simple Practices to Develop Yours)
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Hey there! I’m Brenda Terry.
I’m a Mindset and Business Mentor and an NLP master coach trainer who works with Coaches, Course Creators, and CEOs to build and grow successful, sustainable, and scalable 6-figure online businesses that run on autopilot.
I’m a way-shower for those who are ready to build businesses and lives they love.
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What is personal power and how does one get it?
In the Wizard of OZ, the only thing Dorothy wanted was to go home. After spending ninety percent of the movie facing danger head-on, Dorothy discovered she had the power to go home all along. Not only that, going home was as easy as clicking the heels of her ruby slippers just three times.
Generally, the rest of us are no different, looking outside of ourselves for answers about what personal power is and how to get it so we can achieve the things we want. But sometimes, we’re also looking to recover the power we think we’ve somehow lost.
After years of teaching, coaching, living, and breathing personal development, I’ve discovered that personal power isn’t something you acquire or can lose; personal power is something you tap into, exercise, and embody.
In this post, I’m going to share how you can reclaim your personal power and simple practices to live an empowered life every single day. Let’s get in there!
Being empowered means having self-awareness, self-confidence, and also a deeper understanding of who you are. It’s a power that gives you the ability to gain new skills, stay grounded, and influence your outcomes. Your personal power affords you the opportunity to lead yourself, as well as others, to make a positive impact.
Personal power comes from within. It’s something you’re born with and, therefore, not something you acquire. Tapping into your personal power makes us feel empowered and aware of your ability to make choices. And equally important, personal power includes taking full responsibility for those choices.
Ultimately, every choice you make will be in the form of thoughts, emotions, beliefs, language, and behavior. Consequently, we’re making choices all the time. You choose to get up at a certain time, eat a certain type of food, have a certain kind of business, or spend your money a certain way. The choices are endless, and only you can decide for yourself what you will do. Put all those decisions together, and you end up with a certain type of life.
In essence, tapping into our personal power is a choice we exercise and one that will undoubtedly open the door to higher emotional intelligence, knowledge, and a commitment to overcome the hurdles standing in the way of our personal success.
5 things to know about your own personal power
- You are powerful, and your power is hardwired into your consciousness.
- Nobody can take your power away, but you can choose to give it away, and the choice to give it away is usually unconscious.
- How you exercise your power will determine the overall quality of your life experience.
- Exercising your power is like exercising a muscle — it makes you stronger.
- Living from your power leads to self-actualization, fulfillment, and ease.
Now, unless you grew up knowing these things, it’s easy to learn to feel disempowered and let your environment dictate your experience. But the truth is that you are powerful, and you can choose to exercise your power in a way that supports your goals and the life you want to live.
What Personal Power is Not
Personal power is not controlling, manipulating, or overpowering others to get what you want. It is not passive-aggressiveness or dominance. These practices alienate and divide — the exact opposite of empowerment.
Therefore, the existence of your personal power is not in question; how you use it is. You can empower yourself and disempower yourself, but there’s more to personal power than that. Keep reading to learn how.
Personal Power: The Origin Story and How We Give it Away
Situations, people, and events influence our experiences and shape our reality, making an indelible impact on our consciousness, quality of life, and results.
A baby comes into the world whole, innocent, and optimistic. In her reality, love and affection reign supreme. And meeting her needs is her parents’ utmost priority.
She knows she’s provided for, safe, and loved. From her perspective, the happy life she knows is ordinary. Nothing else exists.
Her power is intact, integrated, and as much a part of her as the hair on her head. She doesn’t even think about it. Why would she?
Over time and with plenty of conditioning from her environment, the story begins to change.
As the baby grows into a child, she witnesses discord and inconsistencies in her caregivers, giving her a taste of uncertainty and confusion. Eventually, she questions her place in the world and doesn’t fully trust she’ll get the love, warmth, and emotional sustenance she needs.
Life is unpredictable and scary, and her circumstances feel beyond her control. Her sense of self erodes and, with it, her self-trust and self-worth. Disempowerment is now part of the landscape.
Fast forward to adulthood, and now personal power is something she lacks, fights for, or simply doesn’t exist, at least not for her. The void inside is palpable. She’s longing for more but doesn’t exactly know what and can’t figure out how to get it.
The disempowering choices we make to feel empowered
You’ve been making choices since you were born. As you developed, your choices were heavily influenced by your parents, caregivers, church, the media, and others. Consequently, each of those choices contributed to the matrix of your existence today, including how you experience your sense of power.
Personal power is such an integral part of who we are that we become emotionally and spiritually hungry when we feel devoid of it. That hunger spurs a primal instinct to seek, find, and reclaim the power we believe we lost.
In the process, we can become rescuers, victims, and victimizers, all in an effort to find the missing pieces we think will lead to emotional and spiritual wholeness. However, it’s all counterproductive because what we seek is within, and it’s up to each of us to reclaim it and tap into it.
The first step in filling the void is identifying what’s preventing you from feeling empowered in the first place.
Here are 5 Choices That Limit Your Personal Power
1. You let your inner critic run the show.
Everybody has an inner critic. It’s that voice in your head reminding you of all the ways you’re not enough or are doing it wrong, or you’re too much of this or not enough of that. Your inner critic is nothing more than conditioning. It’s all the crappy things you grew up hearing and seeing in your environment. Your inner critic manifests as comparison, competition, and perfectionism. It’s rooted in all the ways you were led to believe you “should” be (thanks highly curated Instagram feed!).
The truth is that you are so much more than that. You are love, light, higher consciousness, and magnificence walking around. It’s okay that you don’t believe that just yet. What’s important is that you make it a point to remember that you are more than your body, more than your mind, more than your accomplishments, more than your relationships, and more than anything used to describe you. The more you remember, the quieter that inner critic becomes, and before you know it, you’re the one running the show.
2. You don’t speak your mind when it’s appropriate.
Speaking your mind when it’s appropriate means honoring yourself by letting the important people in your life know how their words and actions impact you.
This is about seeing the big picture, clearing the air, and offering perspective. It’s not about getting them to fix or change anything. Speaking your mind appropriately gives everybody involved a chance to learn and make improvements — including them, including you.
3. You put the needs of others before your own and then resent them for it.
You set the standard for how the world should treat you by the way you treat yourself. And as you do, you are also training your brain for what you can expect from others.
It’s not your partner’s or kid’s or client’s fault that you’re overextending yourself to make them comfortable or feel better or whatever. It’s also not up to them to set boundaries or decide what is “too much” on your behalf.
When you take the time to tend to your needs and feel good, you send a clear message to your unconscious mind and to the people in your life that you matter and that your time is valuable. The key to resentment-free support of others is doing only what feels right when it feels right.
4. You don’t set healthy boundaries.
Boundaries are like bowling bumpers that keep the ball out of the gutters and in the bowling lane. Imagine the disruption of someone jumping onto your lane to move the bumpers around or remove them altogether precisely as your bowling ball makes its way to the pins at the end of the lane. Imagine you doing that to someone else. This is precisely what many people do with boundaries — use them in a way that makes them disruptive or irrelevant.
Everything you consistently do sends a message and sets the tone about your integrity, trustworthiness, and believability — to yourself and others. Setting healthy boundaries means deciding what is acceptable behavior and living up to that through your choices. It also means being flexible enough to make adjustments when it’s appropriate as long as making those adjustments fits within the framework of your values.
5. You believe your beliefs even when they keep you stuck.
One of the big focuses of my group coaching program is to compel my clients to question their beliefs if those beliefs don’t support them in building the lives and businesses they love. You see, beliefs are biased neural efficiencies and the way your brain makes sense of the whole of your experience.
You believe your beliefs because, at some point, your brain decides that whatever you are experiencing is true. Then, your brain sifts your environment for experiences that match that belief, further proving its validity. Creating beliefs happens through a process called “pattern recognition,” which happens completely out of your awareness.
This is why it’s vital to scrutinize your beliefs and do the work to install improved beliefs by taking action that aligns with what you want instead of what you “know.” Do this enough, and soon, what you know will change to match the improved belief. It’s just how your brain works.
Awareness is power because it allows you to make choices. And with the help of your awareness, you can choose to honor yourself, set and honor healthy boundaries, and scrutinize your disempowering beliefs. Making those meaningful shifts will light the path that leads to the source of your personal power.
I’ve coached hundreds of people, mostly women, and predominantly female entrepreneurs.
Every one of them landed in my space looking for something they believed they had lost. Sometimes they’re looking for clarity. Other times they want to find their voice. And occasionally, they feel they’ve lost their entire identity to their partners, to their careers, or to something else.
Regardless of what they believe they lost, the journey to finding “it” is very similar. They often refer to it as a homecoming or a return to self. And the closer they are to wherever “home” or “there” is, the more powerful they feel, and soon after, their actions begin to reflect it.
The more they embrace the journey, the more they relinquish the need for control, and the easier things get. After a little while, opportunities show up, things fall into place, and life feels more effortless with each passing day.
Your Identity GPS
It’s as if we’re hardwired with an identity GPS, a soul-level connection that can bend and stretch a million different ways. Still, its unyielding roots remain firmly planted at our identity’s home base.
You can travel far and wide, but that call to come home is always there, ringing in your ears and tugging at your heart until you eventually and undoubtedly make your way home.
The irony is that when you get there, you realize that the thing that instigated the search and led you far away from home was with you all along.
One might say that reading this post means you’re making your way back to you. With that idea in mind, here are some simple practices to stay the course.
1. Take full responsibility for your decisions.
One of the foundational principles of NLP is Cause and Effect. The basic premise is that you create your reality – the good and the bad. The Cause and Effect principle states you create your reality through your conscious and unconscious choices. Consequently, most of our choices are unconscious. For many of us, it’s often because we notice the consequences of our choices that we realize we’ve made them at all.
NLP teaches that when you’re on the Effect side of the equation, things happen to you, but when you’re on the Cause side of the equation, you make things happen.
Making things happen is what leads to your empowerment. Taking responsibility for your actions and non-actions is how you do it. This is integral to being empowered because taking responsibility allows you to learn, grow, and change. In doing so, you exercise your personal power consistently.
It’s important to note that responsibility is different than blame. You’re training your brain with your every thought, every belief, and every word that leaves your lips. Beating yourself up is counterproductive and won’t support you in the least.
2. Practice self-care.
Self-care is primordial and includes tending to your physical, emotional, and spiritual nourishment. Your self-care practices have the power to set a tone for your life. The first thing that happens is that you make a statement about how much you value yourself, primarily to your unconscious mind and then to anyone in your life. A self-care routine includes nourishing your mind, body, and soul with nutritious food, exercise, mindfulness practices, prayer, meditation, and anything else that makes you feel good and is good for you long-term.
Taking good care of yourself also includes tending to your emotional needs by activating feel-good states and neutralizing negative states. The Ultimate Stress Relief Guide is all about that!
3. Learn about the power of your mind.
You have the most powerful and sophisticated computer between your ears. Your brain holds your memories, beliefs, every emotion, reaction, expectation, and event… everything is in there, and your brain uses the relevant parts to create your reality.
We create through thought; therefore, everything is thought first. However, your thoughts are based on what is programmed in your brain. However, your brain is highly coachable. You can teach it to believe powerful beliefs, have higher expectations, enjoy fulfilling relationships, love yourself, and believe in yourself. The potential of your mind is infinite.
You literally have the power to change your brain. Moreover, you have already taught it everything it knows. That’s how powerful you are. Imagine what you can achieve when you teach your brain intentionally. it could be the best thing you ever do. It certainly is for me.
4. Practice appreciation.
One of my favorite things to teach is how to cultivate an abundance mindset. If you’re wondering, the magic ingredients are focus, consistency, and appreciation. The beauty of appreciation is that your brain knows it well. When you appreciate the sunshine on your face or the look in your partner’s eyes, your brain knows how to catalog those experiences.
As you continue to focus on the sensation and consistently over time, that appreciation creates momentum and, soon after, can lead to real-world good-for-you manifestations. Appreciation also energizes the body, making everything feel lighter and more manageable. I always say that appreciation is the gateway to feel-good manifestations.
With a bit of effort, focus, and consistency, you can train your mind to notice the good things all around you because, again, your mind is coachable. You can learn to practice appreciation on command and even all day long. Make a game of it, make lists, find things to laugh about, squeeze your loved ones extra hard. Do it all and have a blast.
5. Focus on possibility.
Here, I go back to the power of your mind. The Reticular Activating System is the part of your brain that filters experience. It sifts through your environment at lightning speed to find circumstances, people, and events that align with your focus. Your RAS is the reason you can spot your partner in a crowded room or notice the car you just bought everywhere. Your focus is running the show in your life and dictating what experiences make it into your reality. The good thing is that you can take charge of your focus.
With practice, focusing on how things can work out for you will feel good, and in the process, it also programs your RAS to find all the ways things can work out for you.
Ask questions like “How can I make this happen?” or “What would achieving this do for me?” or imagine it all working out better than you planned, even if you don’t know how it will happen.
The key here is to focus on the actualized version of what you want. Your brain will get to work to align resources and give you ideas and inspiration to take aligned action.
The bottom line is that the sooner you embrace the belief that you are powerful, the easier it will be for you to replace disempowering behaviors with the simple practices that empower you every day. Now you know exactly what personal power is, what to do to reclaim it, and the choices you can make to live an empowered life. Ultimately, the choice is yours. It always has been. Now, it’s time to take action.
I'm Brenda Terry
I'm a Mindset and Business Mentor and an NLP master coach trainer who works with Coaches, Course Creators, and CEOs to build and grow successful, sustainable, and scalable 6-figure online businesses that run on autopilot.
I'm a way-shower for those who are ready to build businesses and lives they love.