“Come into your power.”
We hear this type of phrase often to encourage us to be true to ourselves. When we speak of personal responsibility and blossoming, we speak of “empowerment”. When we discuss the importance of educating women around the world, or developing countries, we speak of knowledge, tools and confidence that lead to empowerment.
I didn’t use to understand why often, life coaches and motivational speakers would say
“find your power” or “stop giving your power away” or “empower yourself”… I didn’t think I was ever handed a spell book or a magic wand. How could I, of all people, have a power? I wasn’t an X-Men mutant or Wonder Woman. I wasn’t born an heiress of any hotel chain or car company (I know, my name could fool so many!). So I always thought power was something outside of myself. Power was something I didn’t own; it was something I could reach for but I needed others to give it to me.
The other misconception I had about power, is that it was synonymous with control.
Somehow, in my head, I’d registered that to be “in control” or to “have things under control” meant that you had power over something, as if an external force decided that you were worthy of control and authority over a dominion. You were then awarded power to do with what you pleased. And obviously, everyone had to be cool with that, right? Well, no.
So what does empowerment mean? How does one come into their power? Do we have personal power and if so, how does one tap into it?
It recently came to my awareness that power is something intrinsic to each person. Every single one of us is born free and powerful and unique. You don’t have to be popular, rich or democratically elected as “special” to be powerful. Power isn’t found in your title, your net worth, the size of your social circles or the magnitude of your following. Power isn’t receiving unwavering obedience from underlings. Power isn’t manipulation and deceit. Power isn’t aggressive and it isn’t something you need to acquire. You do not need anyone’s permission to be powerful.
The only person’s approval you need is your own. That’s the key.
I’ve come to realize this through a lot of personal work on codependent issues and spiritual work on agreements. I’ll get into codepency and agreements in future posts, but for now, what’s important to remember is to separate Power from its insecure cousin, Control.
Here’s a little table I made of the two, very different relatives.
|Self-Acceptance||Self-love, Feeling Worthy||Self-rejection, Feeling Unworthy|
|Attitude||Positive, Confident, Accepting
|Negative, Insecure, Controlling, Pushy, Overbearing|
|Decisions||Love, Intuitive & Reasonable||Fear, Analysis-Paralysis|
|Feelings||Trust, Peace||Doubt, Unease|
|Approach||Assertive, Open, Honest and Kind||Aggressive, Stubborn, Abrupt or Deceitful|
|Focus||Process, Present Moment||Outcome, Past or Future|
|Personal Strength||Internal, Infinite, Energized||Projected Externally, Burned Out|
|Relationships||Healthy, balanced, Harmonious, Respectful, Clear Boundaries||Dysfunctional, Co-dependent,Unequal, Disrespectful, Non-existent Boundaries or Lax|
|Perceived Power||Leadership, Reputable, Recognition||Authority, Notoriety, Fame|
|Impression of life||Grateful||Victim, Fighter|
When you tap into your power, you’re accepting yourself. You’re confident in who you are, in your place in the world and in how life unfolds for you. You’re not delusional in thinking you’re perfect, because you’re not but you’re self-aware and you embrace your darkness as well as your light. Your decisions come from a place of love – for yourself and others.
When you’re exercising control, your decisions come from a place of fear, you feel insecure and you doubt your path. You are either not accepting yourself or the situation. There’s this fear of lack, or of being unworthy and so when in “control-mode”, we tend to be more aggressive as we feel the need to fight others for relationships or things we do not feel we deserve. Our relationships often become dependent or codependent; we feel the need to control our surroundings because we feel we have little control on what’s happening to us. This feeling feeds our fears and our distorted way of seeing ourselves (i.e. as unworthy, unappreciated, unskilled, unlucky/unsupported…).
When you find your power, you’re in tuned with who you are, you are present in the moment and your life feels meaningful. In the moment, anything can happen. In the moment, every possibility is at your finger tips. The strength of your power is sourced internally; you have every answer, every ability and an universe full of love inside you. Therefore, your focus is not on any outcome but on the process. Of course, there are things we want out of life and that’s part of being human, but when we’re too focused on having things in just such a way, we outline to a point where we fail to see the beautiful art outside the lines…
“Life is what happens when we’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon
Finding your power means that you becoming free-er; everything that isn’t you seems less important and you no longer feel sorry about not fitting into this box or the other mold. It’s no longer about rejecting these ideas out of spite, but letting them go in love, knowing where you want to be, exactly how you want to be at that moment, with the people you want to share this experience.
Your boundaries are clearer to you and you take very little personally. Your relationships become harmonious because you draw the people who feel similarly and share your values and compatible ways of expressing them. Your projects benefit from support because you call upon your passion and leadership, instead of trying to command authority and respect. Everything flows a bit more organically.
When you know who you are, you are HERE NOW to experience being you, and you’re unapologetically yourself, you are your truest, strongest self. Nothing is impossible (except becoming a mermaid, or a unicorn – I’ve tried!).
I hope you dig deep and start recognizing your power – it’ll change everything!