Have you ever had someone try to take your personal power away in a social or a-one-on-one setting?? It isn’t always a grandiose act, but can be a small comment here or there that only you hear. Standing in your personal power is different than standing up for yourself, though both are very important. Personal power isn’t something that is given to you, like a job promotion, and it can’t be found externally, you need to dig deep inside to find your power and to stay in it. When you stand in your own power, you have a strong knowledge of yourself and you hold self-confidence.
Over the years I have come to notice when someone has tried to take my power in certain situations and in some cases they did. Here are a few examples:
During my teenage years, I was at an outdoor family gathering. I had left the party with a few relatives to go for a swim and then returned back to the party. Around that time in my life was when I started to worry and care about how I looked. Being that this was a party and a milestone was being celebrated, I remember trying to put my best foot forward, even after going swimming. Upon my return to the party, my hair was wet, but I still remember that the rest of me was put back together. The hostess of the party came up to me after I had returned and said: “Wow! You really look like sh*t!” (I recall thinking to myself, “Gee, thanks, I was actually feeling pretty good about myself until you said that.)
I recall another time when I was a young mom. I had just had my second child and we took a family photo and used the photo on our holiday card that year. I had just had my second child a few months previous and I thought that the photo looked decent enough for just having a baby and a toddler in tow. In the photo, I wore a necklace that was attached to a ribbon. The cards were sent out and Christmas Eve rolled around. We gathered with relatives on the Eve and I had one tell me out of nowhere, (with no mention of the card), that she “really can’t stand those ribbon necklace things that people wear.” And that she “finds them so annoying.” (I remember feeling surprised by the comment and then feeling crappy about the photo. To this day, it’s not one of my favorite family photos and I hardly look at it because I still remember the comment that was made.)
Then there was the time that I was in my child’s classroom where there was a substitute teacher. I knew who the substitute was though I didn’t hang out with her, or the crowd she ran with. Upon my arrival there weren’t any children in the room yet. She started out friendly, but then told me that I had something on my mouth or face. I checked myself out in a mirror in the classroom and didn’t see anything. She tried insisting that it was still there, that it looked like toothpaste or something. I looked again. Nothing… I remember realizing what she was doing to me right then and there, but let it go as children were starting to walk in. I am not sure if I would have said anything if we were still alone at the time, as I remember feeling a bit shocked that “this game” was being played by an adult, in a classroom, where she teaches young children.
Another time when sitting out on my patio with a beverage waiting for my husband to join me, a lady from the neighborhood walked into my yard with a drink in her hand and pulled a seat up for herself. (I didn’t offer her one.) Other people I know see nothing wrong with this gal, but from what I have observed, I keep her at an arm’s length. That night, I remember thinking maybe I’m wrong about her, let’s see where this goes. Well, she proceeded to do most of the talking (and my husband didn’t come out and join me so I was on my own). Right when I thought, well, this isn’t so bad, she proceeded to tell me that “If she worked from home all day, she’d gain wait too.” (By saying the word “too” she was insinuating that I was gaining weight since I was at home, though at that time I hadn’t put on any extra weight.) Then throughout the remainder of her stay, she kept weaving in and out the words “Her financial adviser…” into the conversation. Her financial adviser this, her financial adviser that… she was eluding that her and her husband’s monetary situation was better than mine and my husbands. I kept my mouth shut as my husband works in the financial industry therefore we DON’T need a financial adviser, but I recall that I couldn’t wait for her to leave and once she did, my head was spinning due to the fact I was (and still am) right about the type of person she shows me that she is, and other’s don’t seem to see it.
In each of these situations, someone tried to make me feel less confident about myself, or tried to make me feel less than them. Each time I noticed that something was being said, but in my younger years I didn’t associate the actions as someone trying to take my power away.
Here are some ways to regain or to maintain your personal power:
- Be aware that you are the co-creator of your reality.
- Be honest with yourself and how you feel around certain people and situations.
- Don’t play the victim to anyone or any situation, and don’t play the victim in your head.
- Don’t seek outside approval, or validation from others.
- Don’t spend time thinking, feeding, or going over negative interactions in your mind.
- Don’t let other people’s behavior dictate your emotions.
- Focus on what YOU are doing (or not doing), and don’t waste time focusing on what OTHERS are doing or not doing.
- Forgive wrongdoers. Forgiving someone is the best way to take back your power. Not for them, but for you. By holding a grudge against another person they are stealing your joy.
- Know your worth, acknowledge your values, and live true to what’s important to you.
- Learn to shake off disrespect.
- Learn to stand out in a crowd and dare to be different.
- Practice self-care on a regular basis. Self-care such as meditation, yoga, or a spa day, can help you to replenish your energy. Regular self-care will help you to stay in your power long-term.
- Practice using some positive self-talk, or mantras, on a regular basis or in necessary situation.
- Realize that people who are not yet awakened to their own power may find yours threatening.
- Recognize that NOT all people are YOUR people.
- Remember that not everybody needs to like you.
- Take responsibility for everything that you experience – your job, the parties you attend, the people you date or hang around, etc.
- Understand that the outside world is a reflection of you inner world.
- Use experiences where you’re power has been challenged as an opportunity for growth.
- Use physical and emotional boundaries. People who have strong boundaries radiate more confidence and self-respect. Boundaries can also help you to bring the right people into your life.
- Walk away from people, conversations or exit the room.
- Watch your internal dialogue. Our thoughts become our reality.
- Your self-worth does NOT depend on other holding you in high regard.
As I have gotten older, and a bit wiser, I have learned to hold on to my power, or at the very least, recognize when someone is trying to take it away. The more we stop giving away our power, the more quickly we can evolve on our spiritual path.