\”You\’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.\” Glinda the Good Witch, the Wizard of Oz

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a client who was floundering under an avalanche of work. Although she is an upper level manager, with authority and a budget at her disposal, she reported feeling helpless. I asked her “What stops you from using your power?” She was shocked speechless! She began to recognize that somewhere along the line, she had given her personal power away!

Has this happened to you? Sometimes we get caught up in the idea that there’s nothing we can do, but this is not true. Just because there are challenges and limitations, it doesn’t mean we are powerless to change things.

Some people see themselves in the driver’s seat of their lives while others feel they are in the passenger seat being taken for a ride! Which one are you? Stop being frustrated with how your life is going , climb into that driver’s seat and take your personal power back. The first step is recognizing how you are giving it away.

Let’s take a look!

1) The way that we talk to ourselves.

Do you recognize some of the statements below? If so, you are giving away your personal power just by the way you talk to yourself!

– “they never let me”

– “Jim was doing it so…”

– “ I never get to do what I want to do”

– “I can’t do it”

– “It’s not fair”

If you hear yourself saying one, or all, or these things, ask yourself “ is this really true?” For example, let’s imagine you catch yourself saying “they never let me do it the way I think it should be done”. Now ask yourself whether this statement is true. Have you ever presented a plan? Have you put your idea forward? Have you tried to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and effectiveness to those who would ultimately “OK” the idea? To regain your personal power it is imperative that we change the way we talk to ourselves and focus on what we CAN do!

2) The way we choose to perceive things.

Do you ever view things in this way?

– You feel like others control your life

– You try to be like others, thinking that this is the pathway to a better life

– You feel someone is holding you back from reaching your full potential

– You believe you lack the support to be successful

If you have any of these perceptions, ask yourself if the perception is true or merely a point of view. We CHOOSE how we perceive the world. There are many alternative world views for any event- good, bad or indifferent! Choose to see each event as an opportunity and the world will open up for you.

3) Inaction.

– You always wait for directions

– You don’t set any personal goals

– You give up if you are not immediately good at something

– You resist change

If you are waiting for someone; your spouse, significant other, boss, teacher, etc. to hand you the ticket to success, it’s going to be a long wait. Get into that driver’s seat we were talking about and start steering!

4) The need to always be viewed as nice.

Seek to be strong AND nice. It is not an either or situation. In my work I have seen too many nice people get the doormat treatment because all they had was a need to be nice and they have given up all of their personal power. Endeavoring to keep everyone happy in your world is an exercise in futility, frustration and exhaustion. Besides that, it never works!

It’s not your job to make people happy; it’s your job to be “you”. Not the person others want you to be but your authentic self. One who has clarity about your own values. One who is willing to accept that not everyone will like you, or agree with you, and that’s ok. That is claiming your personal power!


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