We give away our power every time we believe in something that is not true i.e., a delusion. Here are 10 ways to stop giving away our power:
- Learn to become aware of our thoughts through mindfulness. Our greatest power is our mind and what we think about. What we think about takes up a huge amount of our inner space. Most of the time we are not aware or conscious about what we are thinking about and why. It is like a stream of consciousness that runs our life in the background. But if we turn around and actually learn to watch the thoughts that pass through our mind, we will realize our delusions and why we give away our power.
- Stop living our life with guilt. Guilt about what we did not do and what we should do can stop us from living life in the present moment. Guilt makes us give away our power. We tell ourselves we ‘should’ do things we don’t really want to do. The chronically guilty live from a sense of obligation and try to please people. We could waste a lot of time trying to get approval from people who are incapable of appreciating us.
- Stop needing other people to be different. Sometimes easier said than done, if we are in the habit of giving away our personal power, then we will complain about small and large ways that people let us down and did not meet our conditions for friendship and love.
- Accept responsibility for our feelings and make a happy list. When we ignore our feelings, we subconsciously project them on others. We may want other people to change, but the only person we can rely on to make us happy all the time is us. Make a happiness list of all the things, people, events, books, hobbies that spell happiness in your life. Put it up where you can see it and make the conscious choice to pay attention to the things that make you happy.
- Establish healthy boundaries. Limits help relationships. If we get enmeshed with another person, we lose ourselves in the relationship. This can destroy our peace of mind. Boundaries means that you keep your power to yourself. Boundaries are about you listening to your instinct about what you want to do and who you want to spend your time with. Not everybody knows how to respect other people’s boundaries and they may communicate in a way that is disrespectful towards your individuality. People who want power may have a habit of crossing boundaries and they may criticize, be overly empathetic or aggressive in an attempt to take your power.
- Daring to speak up when hurt. Suffering in relationships and letting things fester is probably the worst way we give up our power. When we speak up about how we feel in relationships, we risk being judged, but we also take back our power from the people who have hurt us. It is true that we can’t change things about themselves and our past, but sometimes sharing how we feel can mean that people stop taking us for granted.
- Making your self worth independent of others’ approval. We may need validation and approval because we may want support for our ideas and our selves. However, our self worth needs to be solid enough to not require other people’s validation.
- Be willing to be different and stand out. Living from a herd mentality makes us hide ourselves, whereas personal power is about the willingness to stand out and do our own thing without needing approval or validation.“We judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame, especially picking folks who are doing worse than we’re doing. If I feel good about my parenting, I have no interest in judging other people’s choices. If I feel good about my body, I don’t go around making fun of other people’s weight or appearance. We’re hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived deficiency.” Brene Brown. To expect support from people more broken then us, is extreme naivete.
- Keep listening to the victim but make your own choices. The victim is the archetype of the part of us that we hate the most. The victim keeps count of all our failures in life. The victim will tell us that we had no choice in our current state of powerlessness. Well, the victim’s message often is to make more conscious choices and keep our power.
- Affirm what you want. Say it 10 times a day. Whether its love, a better job or belonging, say that you have this and believe it. Our mind is the most powerful thing that we have.
Saima Shah is an organizational and personal happiness coach, speaker and author. You can get in touch with her via her website www.saimameditation.com