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Daily Archives: March 20, 2024

Personal Power – Be Who You Are Without Compromise

Hello Everyone!

Happy Spring! I was humbled by the responses I received from my last writing. It was a good reminder of how much community I have in my life – it just takes reaching out! 

I love the vernal equinox – there are signs of life emerging from birds singing to shrubs and trees budding. As nature undergoes one of her biggest transformations, I have been thinking about the concept of personal power which is vital during times of transformation. It’s a term that we’ve all likely heard. Albeit an abstract one. If I asked a group of people what personal power means, there would be multiple definitions. Power is such a meta term, isn’t it? Everywhere and in everything.

My definition of personal power has formed over time through a lot of personal trial and error.  I’m going to differentiate some common ways I think about personal power to get started because the topic of power is so interwoven into life. Personal power differs from external power. External power is found outside of us — in the collective within societal systems and structures. Examples of external power are patriarchies, religion, wealth, the rule of law, and in the USA in particular, the gun lobby and celebrity. These systems and groups of people in the environment have enough power to make what they want happen at a large scale. Usually, it’s ego driven or not a power that is connected to the greater good or even the heart for that matter. 

There’s personal power in the workplace. The expert has personal power. As does the influencer who has referent power due to sharp interpersonal skills. Those are useful types of power that can be learned. I’m talking about our inner personal power. Something we all have and just need to pay attention to…

Inner personal power is individual and pure. It’s something we all have and it comes from within. Inner personal power in action is our agency and advocacy for Self, with a capital “S”. Personal inner power is also a stance: I am myself without compromise.

Personal inner power is also a stance: I am myself without compromise.

One way is when we follow our inner knowing or intuition. Einstein called intuition sacred and said it was our 6th sense. Steve Jobs said intuition was a higher form of intelligence – higher than intellect. Both of these smart dudes got it right! It has been proven that there is no rational thought when using our intuition. There is no mental process. It comes from your gut and is instantaneous – often described as felt sense. The source of intuition is beautiful and unique to each of us because it comes from our spirit or soul. When we act upon our intuition, we are using our personal power. Intuition can be something as simple as the flash of an idea to add a different spice to a dish that is not in the recipe and it turns out to be delicious. Intuition can tell us what not to do either – there are stories of people canceling travel due to a gut feeling and then being saved from a potential tragedy. I’m sure you all have your own stories of when you used your gift of intuition. 

There are two ways we use our inner personal power. One is intuition and the other is instinct.

There is another way we use our inner personal power. It’s when we use our instincts (a mental function) to make a decision or choice. Often with instincts we are quickly relying on data to make decisions. Humans make an average of 35,000 decisions a day. Many of these are quick instinctual decisions that require some brain function, but not a whole lot. Like what we want to eat for dinner or whether or what program we stream. When we stick with our initial instinct or what we know is right for us, we are in our personal power. I’ll give an example of inner personal power that a friend recently shared with me. (Name changed to protect the innocent.)

“Carol” recently celebrated her birthday which fell mid-week. She had various plans throughout the weekend to celebrate with family and friends. But, Carol’s mother didn’t want to wait. She wanted to see Carol on Carol’s birthday! So she asked Carol to take her to church on the morning of her birthday. This would require Carol to get up very early to pick up her mom, take her to church, drop her off and then get herself to work before 8:30am – all on her birthday! Carol said her first response was “Heck no. I don’t want to do that!” Then, as Carol retold me the story, she shared her line of reasoning on the journey from knowing her answer was no to sitting in church with her mom. Keep in mind, while she was telling me the story, I was listening to Carol’s certainty of how she didn’t want to take her mom but then how she talked herself out of doing what she wanted to do – and on her birthday no less!  She said things like, I was annoyed because I knew my mom was trying to guilt me into getting her way to see me on my birthday. But, then I felt guilty for thinking that and I realized my Mom is just trying to help me be a good Christian. It went on and on until finally I said, “Did you do anything you wanted to do on your birthday? And, she laughed and winced simultaneously and replied, “As a matter of fact, I didn’t.” 

Carol’s example is one of not using our inner personal power. She knew what she wanted to do, but she talked herself out of it. I know I have been in Carol’s shoes before. I have found when I second guess myself by either not following my intuition or listening to my instinct, I am squandering my inner personal power.

The consequences of doing so are steep. When we give away our personal power, we begin to lose our connection to ourselves. If we allow this to happen repeatedly, our intuitive voice begins to dim and the clarity of our instinct becomes muted. We begin to live in a state where we don’t really know what we want because we no longer listening to our own answers and ultimately, ourselves.

In periods of transition, it can be scary because often we do not know what the outcome will be. We may have a plan, but plans need to be flexible. The very nature of change is that we are embracing something new – venturing into the lush forest of the unknown. 

Intuition and instinct both come rather quickly. If you find yourself hemming and hawing and then talking yourself out of what you want – ask yourself, am I trying to please others? What is it I truly want? Why am I trying to convince myself otherwise? Begin to notice as you go through your day how you use your inner power or give it away. Lean on someone you really trust and ask them to listen to your process as you make some of these choices in your change. Ask them if they can hear you talking yourself out of what you really want or coming from a place of fear and allowing that fear to drive your decision. You got this.

Be yourself – without compromise!

Blessings and Light,