We can look at different aspects of someone’s personality to try and gauge what makes them seem to radiate power as soon as they walk into a room or during discussions and stressful situations, but the one thing that stands out the most is a distinct psychological fortitude. For a mentally strong person, projecting an aura of confidence and toughness seems to come naturally, as if they aren’t even aware of it – but there is a method to it.

There are a number of things that these people do that help them firmly cement their high social status and establish themselves as trustworthy leaders, skilled experts and people in possession of admirable characteristics. We will be looking at the 9 main ways of keeping your personal power, even when faced with great adversity and toxic people.

1. They don’t worry about what others think

Don’t get me wrong, being able to empathize with others and accurately gauge how they feel and think are essentials traits for anyone who wants to become successful, but you don’t want to try to please everyone all the time. Understanding people, social norms and proper protocol is one thing, but you should never allow yourself to make decisions solely based on what others might think. Mentally strong people aren’t afraid to be themselves and make their own decisions, and that’s what gives them power.

2. They don’t wait for others to solve their problems

One of the main characteristics of mentally strong and powerful people is that they are doers. These people are confident and even a little boastful, but they can back up their claims, and they are active – they solve problems, jump on opportunities and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. This gives them a good amount of self-reliance, which in turn makes them incredibly resistant to attempts by others to take away their power.

3. They admit their shortcoming and continually strive to improve

While some people like to take shortcuts and aren’t above padding up their resumes with fake achievements and presenting themselves as something that they’re not, they are not acting from a place of true power. It is weakness that causes men and women to try to hide their shortcomings from themselves and blatantly lie to others about their skills, knowledge and competence.

To maintain a position of power, you must be able to admit that you have faults, and be willing to work hard on becoming a person that people respect and admire.

4. They don’t wear their emotions on their sleeve

You cannot hope to retain personal power and project confidence if you keep exploding and throwing temper tantrums every time someone disagrees with you or says something that offends you. If everyone can instantly see that you are happy with something, sad, angry or disinterested, there is no way for you tactfully dominate the situation – in fact, you need to be aware of the things that trigger these emotional responses in you, and work on keeping your cool during heated arguments. This is how you retain a dominant position during an argument, and it’s how you build up a reputation as a level-headed and strong individual.

5. They make an actual effort to stay positive and relaxed

Just as mentally strong people don’t rely on others to solve their problems for them, or for those problems to magically resolve themselves, they also don’t wait around for others to motivate and cheer them up or the universe itself to align just right and give them what they need to be happy. Staying calm, relaxed and positive requires continual effort; anyone can flip out and resort to worrying, but it takes a special kind of mindset to acknowledge the harsh reality and still be able to keep pushing forward. It’s their ability to remain calm and positive, and their resolve to always find some time to relax, that makes these people stand out.

6. They think carefully before they act or speak

We’ve talked a lot about getting things done and trying to learn from mistakes, but that doesn’t mean that you need to be impulsive or actively seek out situations where you will be put on the spot. One of the most important fail-safe mechanisms for keeping your personal power at an admirable level is the ability to keep your mouth shut until you know what you need to say to tip the odds in your favor.

No matter how emphatic and caring you are, the bottom line is that you need things to work out a certain way for you to be satisfied, and it’s not always going to be in everyone’s best interest that the situation unfolds the way you want it to. This is why you need to take the time to think things through and find the right approach, tone and words before doing or saying something.

7. They have a strong sense of self-worth and are assertive

It’s easy to take someone’s power away if the person does not know their own worth and can’t effectively set boundaries. The main thing is not to give other’s power over you, while at the same time protecting yourself from attacks aimed at eroding aspects of your power and confidence. You don’t have to resort to shouting or offending anyone – you just need to be assertive and unyielding when it comes to your core values. A good negotiator will make a couple of steps back if need be or make compromises, but they will also know when to stand their ground.

8. They leave their ego at home and look for logical solutions

Erratic emotions are only part of the reason why people lose their personal power and the respect of others during difficult social encounters; another big problem is ego-driven decision-making. It’s not always as clear as someone losing their temper, breaking into tears or going on a tirade about how their feelings are hurt, but the ego has a nasty habit of making everything seem personal.

It is also the main reason why people get into heated arguments and even fistfights over trivial issues, and that is not something that a person that emanates power and confidence will ever do.

9. They create a realistic schedule for themselves

When you’ve covered all the important psychological aspects involved in retaining personal power and can exhibit a good deal of self-control and restraint, without sacrificing your integrity or giving your power away, it’s time to delve into the practical side of things. You can’t accomplish much if you don’t know how to organize your life, and the first step is being honest with yourself.

Be honest about what you can and cannot do, the time it takes to complete certain tasks and the myriad of smaller tasks related to the main one. For example going to the gym involves preparation, driving, changing, warming up, the actual workout, drying off, changing, driving home, a shower, another change of clothes and a post-workout meal. Even if it’s a short 30 minute workout, you won’t be going anywhere for a good hour or two, and you’ll have to schedule around it or potentially do the workout at another time or even tomorrow.

Some people are more naturally gifted and skilled in the ways of mental toughness, but developing, projecting and protecting your personal power are things that can be learned through lots of practice. As long as you know the right way to do so, you can become mentally strong and take full control of your own life.

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