Note: Dr's. Kevin and Jackie Frieberg have strong thoughts about personal power. Read on. Enjoy. As always, you can find all my blog posts from 2013 to the present on my website at http://stevemarshallassociates.com/steves-blog/
Increase Your Personal Power
You were born with personal power; with the ability to THINK, to KNOW and REASON, to SENSE and FEEL, and the determination and self-discipline to ACT. These gifts working in harmony give strength to your life and give you the PERSONAL POWER to manage your thoughts and emotions rather than let them be dictated by outside conditions. Personal power is the combined strength of three forces—your INTELLECT, SPIRIT and WILL—collaborating to bring vitality to your life—even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Personal power enables you to choose:
- Knowledge over ignorance
- Wisdom over foolishness
- Courage over fear
- Hard work over entitlement
- Hope over despair
- Humility over arrogance
- Appreciation over ungratefulness
- Love over hate
- Justice over unfairness
- Grace over condemnation
- Inclusiveness over alienation
- Service over self-interest
These choices in turn, help you build stronger relationships, learn more, take more risks, bounce back from failure and adversity faster, create more opportunities, and get more done, all of which expands your personal power and brings goodness, peace, joy and vitality to your life.
Here’s the thing about personal power:
- Some people leverage and use it to the max.
- These people understand that their lives are their own.
- They choose to take responsibility and do something about their lives.
- These people are hard to hold down.
- Some people give it away.
- These people believe they are controlled by others.
- They choose to be victimized by being helpless and doing nothing.
- These people feel lifeless, they are hard to pull up.
What about you?
- Who controls YOUR emotions?
- Who dictates the terms of YOUR existence?
- Who is responsible for your happiness?
Six Enablers That Will Strengthen Personal Power:
1. Know what you stand for.
If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. Your personal power will evaporate because you’re not grounded, you’re not anchored to anything. Knowing what you stand for is about knowing what you value. Values are the emotional rules that guide your life, the fundamental basis for every decision you make. Values give your life focus and meaning and power.
2. Believe in what you are doing.
Many of us end up compromising our most deeply held values at work because that’s what we think we need to do in order to get ahead, whether “ahead” means more money, power, pleasure, status or some other lure. When we end up doing things we don’t believe in it saps our personal power and we slowly become DEAD PEOPLE WORKING.
3. Find your sweet spot.
When you find your sweet spot—the synergy between what you are good at, passionate about, and what needs to be done—you tap into the joy and enthusiasm that increases your personal power. If you are stuck in a job because it’s easy or safe or pays well, but gives you no sense of purpose and passion, you are in the most difficult job of all—a job that constantly drains your personal power.
Starting RIGHT NOW ask yourself:
- What would I be doing if I were engaged in work that leveraged my greatest strengths, work that I love, work that I’m good at, and work that makes an extremely valuable contribution?
- How would this kind of work make me feel? Would I have more energy and vitality?
- What’s holding me back, what’s keeping me from doing this kind of work?
- Given the number of working years I have left, what price will I pay, will my family or loved ones pay if I don’t live and work in my sweet spot?
4. Be authentic.
It takes GUTS to be yourself, to live your values out loud. Your values and deep-seated beliefs are what make you YOU. Authenticity requires putting it out there and being vulnerable. There is always the possibility that you or your ideas will be rejected. Yet, if you think about it, being rejected for being you pales in comparison to being a poser. Nothing drains your personal power like being someone you aren’t—living a lie. You are uniquely different from every other person in the world. When you honor and leverage your uniqueness by living your values out loud you strengthen your personal power.
5. Refuse to let people push your buttons.
Whether it is a boss, coworker, customer or supplier, people will push your buttons and you will be tempted to react automatically. When you do that, you essentially hand over your personal power to the person pushing your button. When you refuse to become engaged, people will change their behaviors. Change begins from the inside out. That is, when you stop going on autopilot (you change), people will stop pushing your buttons (they change). The locus of control is with YOU. The minute you take responsibility for your emotions your personal power grows.6. Choose NOT to be a victim.
Let’s face it. Life is difficult. Bad things happen to good people. If life hasn’t dealt you some serious blows you better ask whether or not you are in touch with reality. But here’s the deal. While life may cause you to be a victim, only YOU decide whether you are going to become victimized. People who become victimized live in a sanctuary of self-indulgence.
Kim Francom, a noted ski patrolman, was a victim of an avalanche that almost killed him and eventually took his leg. But, Kim became a victim without giving in to victimization. Rather than ruminate on the past and get wrapped around the hurt, Kim played to his genius. He took his gifts and talents and passion for being a skier, golfer, horseman and hunting guide and used them to address a need—teaching and inspiring others who have become victims not to be victimized. Ask anyone who knows about Kim and they will tell you his personal power is HUGE!
So, do you have enough personal power?
Next Week: Manage Expectations, Manage Communication