I have spent so much of my life feeling powerless, I never knew why or what I could do about it. When RA arrived, I added helpless to my view of myself. To me, power and being powerful always seemed as if powerful people were strong and bulldozed their way through whatever obstacles stood in their way. As a highly sensitive person and brought up to be the “good, polite girl” I couldn’t see myself doing anything like that. Lately I have begun to understand I have given away my power all this time – then came the question “How did I do that?”. A foreign concept to a “good girl” because the “rules” said you had to play nice, be polite and as a girl, let the boy win.
Skip forward a few years and I read one of Dr. Phil’s rules – “You teach people how to treat you”. Once again, how did I do that? Since I came from a background and lifetime of insecurity, not all that hard. I ran across a list from Jenna Avery on how one gives one’s power away. What an eye opener!
You give away your power when you …
- Doubt yourself. Energetically other people sense this and take advantage of it.
- Try to be nice and polite, and make everyone else happy.
- Just go along so you don’t make waves, cause trouble, or disrupt the “peace.” Does the phrase “peace at any price” mean anything to you? Are you giving up your own personal inner peace to create the illusion of peace with others?
- Over-empower others by looking for approval and validation from them, instead of getting it from yourself. This gives other people the power to hurt you.
- Forget that you do know what you’re doing, and you are good at it.
- Have poor boundaries.
- Get energetically “mixed up” with other people by not staying in your own energy. Or, you let other people take over your energetic space by leaving your body or by pulling back.
- Allow yourself to be intimidated by bluster, bragging, or emotional assaults from other people.
- Don’t say what’s true for you and then honor it. You can do this without being confrontational.
- Energetically and emotionally buy into other people’s dramas, emergencies, and aspersions.
- Allow other people to run your life, or try to run other people’s lives.
Bullseye! That has been me so much of the time. It was not easy to read or to realize how much that described me, but it was a real eye opener. It has taken time for it to simmer on the back burner and really see how I have allowed this to happen. But I didn’t sit and beat myself up for not being aware of it before, normal SOP for a long time. I have been able to see a bit more objectively how it has happened and I now know I am not responsible for the whole world or making sure every one is happy. I care, but not so much. (Thank you Ike Pono) My biggest way of giving away my power has been looking for validation and approval from external sources. Especially one in particular and it has been such a sore spot for so long. But now I see that there is a gift in that – I finally realized that it has to come from within me, not from outside. If it is from outside, when that source is no longer there, I have to find a new source. When it comes from within me, it is always there and I love, accept, approve and trust myself.
Jenna has also given a list of ways to begin to take back your power:
- Remember to breathe! Focus your breath into your solar plexus and third chakra, which is your personal power chakra.
- Practice staying in your own energy, your own body, and your own skin.
- Learn energy skills to strengthen your energetic and interpersonal boundaries.
- See yourself as a whole, resourceful, and spiritual being, with your own best answers.When you choose to focus from the inside out in this way, you’ll be less susceptible to outside influence.
- Learn to say “No” and mean it. This means being firm — and not just with the tough people, but with everyone. Your personal power must become your habit, not a reaction, afterthought, or counterattack.
- Use your anger wisely – anger is the energy of personal power — and stand up for yourself.
- Stand on the courage of your convictions. Believe in yourself no matter what anyone else does or says, or how they behave.
- Ask for what you need and want. Give yourself what you need and want.
- Similarly, don’t burden others with the task of validating you. Use your own yardstick to measure your successes. Look to your higher self for validation and approval.
- Own this truth: Other people have their own path and you are not responsible for them. You might even be doing them a disservice by not acknowledging this.
- Claim your rights and place in the world. You do have the right be treated respectfully by other people.
- Be detached and practice detachment by observing other people’s behavior without attachment. Think to yourself: “Isn’t that interesting? I wonder what that’s about?” Remember that another person’s behavior has almost nothing to do with you.
Thank You Jenna Avery! I have come a long way, still have a long way to go – a journey and a work in progress.