What is personal power? The Emotional Intelligence profile we use defines it as “a sense of self-confidence and an inner knowing that you can meet life’s challenges and live the life you choose.” Having a strong sense of personal power allows you to deal with the bumps in life’s road and not get sidetracked or disillusioned easily. Therefore, you can also set a goal and stick with it, even if the going gets tough for a while; you are more likely to prevail.
How do you know if you have high competency in Personal Power?
Are you able to distinguish between the things you have control over in life and those you do not? Do you define yourself from the inside out (“I’m good at managing conflicts,” “I’m creative”)? Do you make things happen for yourself? Do you believe you can set the direction of your life, and feel in control of your life?
Or do you define yourself from the outside in (“I’m a lawyer,” “I’m a project manager”)? Do you leave your life up to fate? Do you avoid challenges and give up too quickly? Do you find yourself having trouble setting boundaries or commanding respectful treatment from others?
Try these activities to amp up your own personal power:
- Identify a list of things you excel in, and how you feel when you’re acting on those strengths. Make an emotional connection with them.
- Examine when you feel a lack of confidence or power, and seek out training, mentoring or guidance in that area to boost your confidence.
- Take an assertiveness course.
- Pick one area where you’ve had trouble setting boundaries; set clear boundaries and keep them.
- Notice when you’re trying to control situations over which you have no power, and make a conscious decision to let go.
- Listen to the words you use, and ask yourself how you are teaching people to treat you by using those phrases. “I’m sorry,” “hopefully,” “I’m just…” “I’m only…” are all verbal clues that we are letting others treat us with less respect than we deserve.
When we downplay or deny our own strength and power, we are giving it over to someone else. That person may not value it as much as we would ourselves! So take it back. Politely, but assertively.