What exactly is personal power, you ask?
So often, when we think of power, we think of people who we deem influential; celebrities, authors, politicians, CEOs…
Personal power, however, is different. According to Psychology Today, “personal power is more of an attitude or state of mind than an attempt to maneuver or control others. It is based on competence, vision, positive personal qualities, and service.”
So, what does personal power look like in a person? Well for starters, it might seem quiet. People with intact personal power probably aren’t boasting about it to others, but rather quite the opposite. They are likely people who you view as confident, comfortable in their own skin, respectful and respectable. They don’t need to drag others down to feel good about themself. They might be your neighbor, your boss, your babysitter, your Uber driver…what about you?
You’re probably wondering by now, “how can I attain this mystical personal power?” First, let us make clear that we all have personal power already. Whether or not we’re making the most of it is a different story. Luckily, there are several ways that you can work towards enhancing and strengthening your own personal power. Here are a handful of them.
Do what you want.
Life is too short to get caught up in what you “should be” doing. Instead, do what makes you happy. Of course, from time to time we all have to do things we don’t want to do, but don’t make a habit of living a certain way just because others deem it the right way to live. Maybe that means entertaining a hobby that your spouse finds boring, or eating dessert every now and again just because it tastes good and you want to. Whatever it is, don’t apologize for it, just enjoy it.
So often, we get wrapped up in what we see as our faults. We beat ourselves up for being too slow at work, too stressed on the weekends, too this, too that. We are constantly holding ourselves to impossibly high standards, and then tearing ourselves down when we don’t reach them. Stop doing that. You are worthy, you are deserving of kindness and love, you are human, you are allowed to make mistakes.
On a similar note, it’s important to forgive yourself. We all mess up, but it doesn’t do anybody any good to hold a grudge, especially if the grudge is against yourself. Learn from your mistakes and try to improve, but be kind to yourself like you would a loved one.
Speak up and communicate effectively.
Communication is powerful. If you care about something, don’t sit back and stay quiet out of fear. Too often, our fear of saying the wrong thing leads us to remain silent. This extends to nonverbal communication, as well. Let your actions reflect your beliefs.
At The Humphreys Group, we’ll never dissuade you from leaning into your emotions. While conventional wisdom leads us to believe that thinking and feeling are two separate processes guided by different regions of the brain, modern neuroscience research has shown that they are actually highly interconnected, making it nearly impossible to completely disentangle thoughts from feelings. It might make you feel vulnerable, but strength is often born from vulnerability, so allow yourself to feel.
Live your values.
While core values look different for each of us, one thing we all have in common is that when we live our values, we are much more likely to feel aligned, fulfilled and at peace with ourselves, resulting in a stronger sense of personal power.
At the end of the day, personal power is not about controlling others, it’s about building an internal power that acts as your guiding strength as you set out to live the life you want. Reach out to The Humphreys Group if you’d like to learn more about aligning your values, goals and finances in order to fuel your personal power.