Does anybody else remember He-Man yelling at the top of his lungs that he had the POWERRRRR in every episode?
Or remember when this song was all over the airwaves?
Well today I’d like to talk about how each of us could be a little more like He-Man and claim our personal power. But before we get started I’m going to tell you a few basic key things that I want you to know and remember:
- You (yes you) possess a great deal of power.
- Your power exists whether you acknowledge it or not.
- You have the ability to harness and use your power.
- You can use your power to create the type of life you imagine for yourself.
- You can use your power to improve the overall quality of your life.
- The way you use your power has an impact on others.
Well what exactly is power? Power is the ability to make things happen. Power is using your life energy to create things and experiences. Power is realizing your authority over your own life.
The unfortunate thing though is that most of us don’t recognize the amount of power we actually have or use it in a way that brings us closer to the things we truly want.
The paradox is that even though we have all this power, we still feel stuck. A lot of us feel like victims of the people and world around us. We look up one day and feel like we don’t know how we got into our current situations. And we have no idea how to change the situation. Some of us may even feel like we are prisoners of our past which “makes” us behave in certain ways.
In short, we feel powerless. While some of us may not feel completely powerless in all areas of our lives, there may be one or two domains where we feel like we don’t have any options. We want things to be different, we just don’t know how to make it so. Does any of this sound like you?
Well here are three steps we all can take to feel more powerful:
1. Take a day (or two) to observe the power that you are currently using
Whether we realize it or not, we draw on our power every single day. We get up to go to work. We prepare meals for ourselves. We buy and pick out clothes to wear. We talk to certain people. We love people and invest in them. We get into disagreements with people. These are all small and real ways in which we are powerful. Because even if we do not particularly like our jobs, for example, we are actively CHOOSING to show up to them every day because we may feel that having an income source is better for us than not having one. Even though we may not like getting into disagreements with people, we are actively CHOOSING to participate in them because we may feel like it is more meaningful for us to express our opinions and emotions aggressively when we feel them.
So take a day or so to think about all the things you actually “do” or “say” within the course of the day. It may even be helpful to write it all down. Write down everything you do in one day, even the things that don’t seem like a big deal, such as logging onto Facebook, or watching TV or eating and realize that even in these small ways you are exerting power because there were a million other choices you could have made. But you chose to do what you were doing at that very moment. That is your power. Once you realize this, you may find that you see things very differently.
In any event, it is helpful to become aware of the ways that you currently use your power because then you can begin to make decisions about whether the way you currently exercise your power supports the type of life you want to live.
2. Be purposeful about your power (in small and big ways)
Now that you are aware of the ways you use power unconsciously, let’s try to be a bit more purposeful about using it. Every time you make a decision whether big or small, say to yourself “I have power. And this is how I’m using it.” In this small statement you are acknowledging that you are a powerful being who is actively involved in the creating the life you currently have. After saying this to yourself a few times, you may decide to exercise your power to make decisions that are more in line with how you want to live.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that you want to live a life that is filled with more joy and less anger. After going through the exercise above, you became aware of the choices you were making and realized that you were CHOOSING to get into bitter angry fights with other people pretty often. The next time you got into an argument, you might say to yourself, “I have power. And right now this is how I’m using it.” At that moment, you might also realize that using your power in that way takes your farther away from the life of joy you imagine for yourself. After you have recognized your power, you are then in a position to CHOOSE to use it differently by trying to discover ways to avoid arguments with others, and finding different ways to express your anger. Understanding your power gives you options. More options than you even realized you had.
3. Set small goals and practice using your power to obtain them
Now that you realize all of the options and power that you have, let’s try to use it to your advantage. The first step is to practice exercising your power in a meaningful way to create something you want.
Try setting a small and attainable goal. If we continue the example from above of the person who is trying to create more joy and less anger in their life, they might set a goal of an argument free day. A very worthwhile goal.
On the day that the person decides is their “argument free day”, the person might be extra aware of the thoughts that are going through their mind and CHOOSE not to express anger in the way they have previously. This person might feel the anger arise and instead of arguing CHOOSE that they will go home and hit a punching bag until they are exhausted and spent and can bask in the endorphins that the vigorous exercise just provided. Or this person may alternatively CHOOSE to write in a journal that they keep with them and say all the things they might want to say to the object of their anger instead of yelling in the person’s face. They may CHOOSE to find a peaceful place and meditate. There are any number of things that this person could CHOOSE to do.
This person may not be successful the first day or the second day that they decide to CHOOSE differently. But this person will be using their power to actively bring about change in their life. And the idea is to keep working on this goal until it is accomplished. After the first goal is obtained, there will be other goals that you can set and use your power to reach.
Sooooo, I hope by now you realize that you are more like He-Man than you previously thought.
In the comments below I’d like to hear about how you can use more power in your own life to go after the things you want.