Personal Power

Power can never be taken, only given.

This is about personal power, a discussion of human psychology. Don’t confuse this topic with physical or psychic attack. This will only address the psychological side of recovery and daily living.

Our society has engrained victimization so deeply, that most of us don’t even have a reference to what personal power looks like. We all have good days and bad days, we all retreat into blame at some points. It is through awareness that we escape the programming, and find the ability to act instead of react. The more awareness we bring to our lives, the more power we cultivate. Victim mentality simply gives power away, while manipulators find a sense of power from convincing others to give up their own. The exchange is always voluntary, if unconscious. Bringing our behaviors to light is what’s needed to allow for change.

Personal power is the ability to own your thoughts, take complete responsibility for your actions, and see life as a series of choices.

When we play the victim role, blame is the focal point. “It’s his/her fault” “the government did this to us” “if those people would just straighten up”… including self-blame “I can’t help the way I am” “I’ve never been good at this” “I’m not good enough”. Every time a situation is out of your control and you feel like life is just happening to you, you are in victim mode. Yes, lots of things happen outside of our control, but we always get to choose how we think and act. The initial trigger just happens, but pausing before you act is where power lives. Consciously creating the story you replay in your head is the greatest act of power, and will change the course of your life forever. That may seem like a bold statement, but it’s worth trying, isn’t it?

Your self-talk defines your personal power, because our stories are the boxes we live in.  It’s the job of the ego to maintain the story we’ve chosen, even if it is chosen subconsciously. These stories are changeable, with the awareness to do so. Awareness is the key, without it we are destined to repeat old patterns at every turn. Humans are creatures of habit, and would generally prefer to stay the course, no matter how bad it is, rather than change. In addition, awareness takes focused attention, and then change is definitely more effort than most are willing to put in. This is why it usually takes a crisis (death of a loved one, serious health issues, etc.) to motivate people into awareness.

Addiction is the ultimate victimization. Addiction can involve any substance or behavior, and always includes some form of guilt or shame. Addiction is different in every case, but the first step out is to choose something different, to choose to get help. I would also venture to say the process of recovery is aided by removing guilt at every opportunity. Instead of feeling too weak to say no, simply change the situation to an empowered choice. “I choose to do this.” Once you own it, you can change it. “Last night I made a choice I didn’t like, ” instead of “I failed, and now I hate myself.” Remove the negative emotional response, and it leaves room for empowerment.

Personal power is a matter of radical personal responsibility.

How do you begin the process of empowerment? First, evaluate your life. Find what areas and circumstances make you feel empowered or disempowered, then figure out why. Why do you feel disempowered in certain areas? It will always involve a sense of lack of choice. Second, change the script. Look at how your self-talk in that area can be changed to an empowered choice. Instead of “I have to keep this awful job because I have bills,” try “This job allows me to pay my bills, so I choose to keep going.” Third, stay aware. Be aware of your inner dialog, and be willing to change it whenever necessary. To be empowered you must be willing to take control of your thoughts.

As your awareness grows, you begin to take responsibility for your actions, your words, your thoughts, and even your energy. When you reach the level of taking responsibility for how your very energy affects the world around you, you are ready to take the next step into esoteric power. This process takes time and dedication, but being truly empowered is a rare and wonderful thing.