Updated: Feb 25
I talk a lot about personal power and, indeed, when I think about identifying the core of my philosophy, although self-care and self-love are huge parts of it, personal power is what lies at the foundation of all the other important parts of my message
Personal power is not a phrase used as much, in the current conversation, as self-love or self-care. It is somewhat of an unsung, silent hero. It is the strong but sure character in a book that holds things together while the prettier and fluffier concepts, like self-love, are allowed to hold centre court.
And I think the reason why no one talks about personal power is that it is a little less of an attractive concept than self-care and self-love. A lot of people in this space shy away from the word 'power' because it sounds aggressive and suggests that what you want to do is to dominate other people, to have power over someone else, to behave in the manner of a tyrant.
And for the empathetic, kind and compassionate people that seek out information that will help improve themselves, usually, the last thing they want to do is add themselves to the abusive power structures that exist in this world.
People that want to take the time to improve themselves and their lives are usually sensitive, empathic and self-aware and many times will operate from the point of view that they are responsible for their part in a relationship and they are usually more than willing to take ownership of that fact and act accordingly.
Incidentally, this is also why so many people that would actually benefit from a different perspective and more insight into their toxic behaviours are the last people to accept that fact - it is a chicken-egg situation because it takes a certain amount of self-awareness and empathy to recognise you may be displaying a lack of empathy and self-awareness!
In any case, the point is that the people that access self-development are usually people that are gentle and kind souls who believe that other people operate from the same hymn sheet. However, this is sadly a mistaken assumption and this is where developing personal power is just as important as improving your skills of empathy, compassion and mindfulness
Because in this world, you would remiss to think that everyone shares your ideals and values, that everyone believes in peace and love, justice and equality. Simply put, there are people that still live in the world of the zero-sum game, they believe that in order for themselves to succeed you must be stepped over, annihilated, counted out of the game, diminished, destroyed.
And that is why for people who I talk to, the nice people of this world, the kind, sensitive hearts, that believe that most people play fair and that most people are good at heart, need to balance their personal growth education with a hefty curriculum of training in personal power.
Life requires, for you to operate at your best and contribute your special light to the world, to be able to exercise power when required, as well as display your gifts of understanding, kindness and service to others. Often that requires you to exercise it, not just over yourself and your choices (which is what we think of more commonly as discipline), but also to be able to exercise it in relation to another person, group or structure.
So that is why personal power is important. But what is it exactly?
Personal power, to me, is the ability to hold your ground when you are sure of the validity and integrity of your choices and convictions. It is the strength needed to be absolutely resolute in holding to your own vision and direction after you have taken the time to make solid, well-thought-out choices.
It is having the courage to speak your truth, to express your opinion, even when it may not be popular.
Sometimes, it displays itself in standing up for the weak, the bullied and unserved, even when no one else is doing that for them.
It is the courage to be yourself, even when it doesn't fit in with everyone else.
When you have developed personal power, you are not a scarecrow flailing about in the wind of public opinion (which we know is changeable and fickle) but are able to stand, as though rooted in concrete, with your whole being in alignment with your individual truth.
When you are in your power, you are not afraid to put your weight behind what you believe in and what you love, what or whom you have actively chosen to be loyal and committed to, and you will withstand any manner of opposition in its name, even if the opposition is loud, and you are outnumbered.
When you have personal power, you are not being swayed by what is shiny or superficial away from your truth and true direction and you are not able to be persuaded by the forked-tongued and the deceptive, because you don't need their approval and you are not desperate for everyone to like, love or validate you.
Personal power is to take the road less travelled when you need to do so - and it is about standing up for yourself when you know you are right and when there is injustice being done.
People that have personal power are not always liked as much as people that are more agreeable. But people that have personal power tend to like themselves more than people that do backflips to please everyone else. And that is what matters in the end.
When the lights are out and you are alone with the only person that knows exactly what you did that day (yourself!), the heavy judgement of feeling like a sell-out is sometimes just not worth the temporary platitudes and peace that comes from being a nodding head or a silent witness.
This is why personal power is so important.
It is not easy, it is not pretty, it is not all sweetness and light all the time, but it is absolutely vital to developing the wholeness and self-respect you need to be able to ground all of your kindness and empathy in reality so that you really are able to be an unstoppable force for good in the world.
So tell me, how would you rank your personal power on a scale of 1-10?
In what ways do you shy away from exercising it ... and why?
And, if you are interested in getting additional insight and support, I offer coaching and consultation services at the link below.