Powerless – the feeling that arises when we find ourselves in a bad situation, yet we don’t see any doable solutions for improvement, or we can’t find any escape. If we do see answers or escape, they seem impossible, and we lack the courage, energy, and wherewithal to take action.
We may have attempted to change the situation in the past with little to no success, or we may have tried to walk away, but we became discouraged and eventually, in resignation, we said, “this is just how things are.”
Deep on the inside, however, we are desperate for and crave change. We daydream of a different life. We tend to look at others, especially on social media, and slip into “compare and despair.” We think, “Man! Look how great they look and how well they are doing! I am such a loser!”
It’s something we think belongs to things outside of us.
A powerful business person.
A powerful high-speed vacuum.
A powerful TED Talk that moved me to tears.
A powerful leader.
A powerful ‘guru’ who everyone listened to.
But we don’t think about power as something internal inside of ourselves.
And that, my friends, is one of the keys to a healthy life.
It’s time to take back your power from all those years of giving it away to everyone else is one of the biggest shifts you’ll have in your life.
Many situations in life make us feel powerless: Loss of jobs, failed relationships, lost friendships, physical illnesses…there can be so many that sometimes we feel overwhelmed, depressed, and anxious. But in reality, each one of these “losses” is actually leading us into a transformational cocoon of sorts: transformation of our thoughts, location, lifestyle choices, or relationships. Universal energy WANTS us to be ultimately happy.
Identify your pattern
While language patterns are easier to identify and change, it’s often much harder to catch yourself when these statements stay contained up in your head. If you find your inner critic saying things like, “You look huge in that dress” or “You look so awkward,” I want to share with you this super important message:
Your body hears everything your mind says.
I don’t share this with you to incite panic or induce a shame storm, but I want to lovingly remind you that you are allowed to reframe your thoughts, rephrase your statements, and reintroduce new language habits.
“You’re so awkward” becomes “You’re so elegant.”
“You’re fat” becomes “You have great curves.”
Say these things over and over and over to yourself. Use empowering language until it no longer feels forced, but rather becomes natural. Change your speech to enforce new thoughts and beliefs.
Cultivate kindness to empower yourself and set an example for all women and people all over the world.
Shift your perspective
This is a crucial step to taking back your power. Change your perspective by imagining that the snide remarks and cutting emails come from someone you trust and respect. Then noticing if the remarks are as snide or the emails as cutting. In addition to changing your perspective, try these steps to regain your power…
- Make a choice – Remember that you have a choice whether or not to take offense at what someone does or says. You can choose to get riled, you can choose to counterattack, or you can choose not to let their comments or actions upset you.
- Take the higher ground – You not have to take offense to what is thrown your way. You can choose to not respond or even choose to respond with kindness, collegiality, and respect. Just because they play dirty doesn’t mean you have to as well.
- Watch your back – At the same time, you need to be careful that your nemesis is not actually hurting your team, your reputation, or your ability to do your job successfully. If you believe this person is truly out to get you, you need to make sure that you’re not the only one aware of the situation.
- Learn from your “mistakes” – Just because you gave away your power once doesn’t mean you have to do it again. Do some internal soul-searching to get a better read on why you react to this person in this way. How you could have set up your relationship differently from the outset? If you watch yourself and your interactions with curiosity and an open mind, you can most likely notice when you start to give your power away to someone else, so that you can choose not to from the start.
Start with gratitude…real, honest gratitude. Thank the universe for what is present in your life that is good and pure (this part is easy!) “Thank you for….the roof over my head, the rain for my garden, the clothes I am wearing today, running water”. Next thank the Universe for the things that you are expecting – imagine that you have them right now and say, “Thank you for… my fulfilling job, relationships that let me shine, feeling healthy and whole”. Trust me, it gets easier the more you do it!
Giving your power away is not a good feeling. But it’s a feeling you can work through and hopefully avoid for the future. Take back your power now.
How do you gain back your power when you’ve given it away?