“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself, Therefore all progress is made by the unreasonable man.” ~George Bernard Shaw
Personal Power is your ability to take action. It is the use of your life force to affect the universe in a way that suits you.
We are not born with much personal power, yet, we attempt to assert it as soon as possible. We cry, we grasp, we refuse, in an attempt to meet our needs. As soon as we are able, we touch what we want, take what we want, put it in our mouth, bang it on a table, and throw it away when we lose interest.
Our personal power is dependent on our belief systems.
Our ability to use our personal power to get our needs met is soon limited by our socialization. We are taught from an early age what we cannot and are not allowed to do.
Eventually, we see ourselves at the effect of the universe, instead of the other way around. We blame circumstances outside of ourselves for our inability to get what we want. Soon, we come to believe that to exercise our personal power, we must be reasonable and act according to established rules about “how things work.” We accept these rules as facts, but for the most part, they are beliefs.
At a seminar I was attending, the seminar leader held up a 20 dollar bill. “Who wants this 20 dollars?” she asked. Everyone raised their hands. “Who wants it?” she asked again. Some people started answering “Me! Me! I do!” She continued to hold up the 20 dollar bill. “Who really wants this 20 dollar bill?”
I stood up and grabbed the 20 dollar bill out of her hand and immediately felt like I had done something wrong. In my belief system, grabbing something out of someone’s hand in public is not acceptable. Turns out she was waiting for someone to come and take it.
Our personal power is depleted by our emotions.
Often when we act on an intention, we’ll encounter resistance or obstacles. These trigger emotions of frustration, anger or futility, which rob us of our personal power and keep us from attempting in the future. We have thoughts that “This shouldn’t be happening” or “It should not be hard”. We then end up in the weakened position of not being able to accept what is right in front of us, robbing us of the opportunity to learn and increase our personal power.
Our personal power is depleted by other people’s energy.
Other people’s opinions, comments, approval or lack there of can drain us of our personal power if we let them. Negative ways of being that other people exhibit regularly can suck our personal power like vampires. Even more inhibiting can be “no-possibility” cultures existing at work or in the family.
Ten ways to increase your personal power.
- Adopt the belief that you can affect the universe. Why not?
- Cultivate the habit of taking an action immediately when the need hits you. This might be writing something down, making a call, sending an email or making a plan.
- Declare yourself blocked and immune to other people’s negativity.
- Decide to do something boldly audacious or unreasonable. Tell everyone you intend to do it “As God is my witness’ or “Come hell or high water.” In spite of their opinions and/or nay-saying, deliver.
- Start doing something worthwhile every single day that you are not doing already. Resolve to do it daily until the day you die.
- Practice saying no to petty distractions or obligations that promise to derail you.
- Practice asking repeatedly until you get what you want at the risk of being annoying.
- Decide on something you want that will be not worth the inconvenience to get it. Be willing to inconvenience yourself just to get it.
- If you find yourself unable to exercise your personal power because of some “rule” or “fact” tell yourself: “What if this is just a belief? How do I know it’s true?” (Note: all facts are beliefs and no belief is true.)
- Take an action that will require great effort and accomplish it without emotion. Refuse to get emotional about any of it until you accomplish it. Then celebrate.
“Everything we do, everything we are, rests on our personal power. If we have enough of it, one word is enough to change the course of our lives. If we don’t, the most magnificent piece of wisdom can be revealed to us and that revelation won’t make a damn bit of difference.”
~Don Juan, from Tales of Power by Carlos Castaneda