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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

How to Access Your Personal Power to Create Success

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How to Access Your Personal Power to Create Success

You don’t notice the power that charges your phone or boils the water in your kettle, but you sure notice it when it’s not there. Power is something that can’t be stopped as it is meant to flow. When it gets blocked, things go wrong.

Whether that’s causing electrical faults in your laptop or making your car cough and splutter, when power goes wrong it’s not good. Our personal power as humans is no different.

Alas, we can’t just plug into a charging unit as we tuck ourselves up in bed at night and wake up the following morning fully charged and raring to go.

This doesn’t refer to physical power that keeps our bodies going, but to the power we all have inside us: personal power. This is the kind of power that can’t be seen but can be felt by you and everyone in the world around you.[1]

Personal power plays a big part in our ability to be successful and happy. It also helps us get what we want, feel safe, and remain confident that we are playing a part in this world and not that the world is playing us.

What Is Personal Power?

You may not be able to spot your own personal power; however, you have likely noticed these traits in others:

  • Organized
  • Grounded
  • Capable
  • Successful
  • Confident
  • Happy

People with personal power don’t need to shout about what they want, and they rarely make people feel inadequate or unappreciated. They have a way of being comfortable in their own skin, believing what they believe, and confidently saying their own opinions while being able to respect and honour others without feeling threatened.

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This makes them best placed to serve their goals. It also makes them great leaders, great colleagues, and stable friends and loved ones.

When I think of people with personal power, I don’t necessarily think of world leaders, pop stars, or literary giants. So often these people, while brilliant, are trapped in anxiety and a lack of self-belief. This often leads to tragedy and shorter lives.

I’m talking about that silent power that we feel a person has that impacts us without stopping our own power from flowing freely.

Qualities of People With Personal Power

There are some qualities that are obvious giveaways that a person exhibits personal power. Some great examples of people with real power are people who:

  • Enable others without needing any thanks or acknowledgement.
  • Are happy to learn, fail and own up to mistakes.
  • Happy to hear other views and don’t feel threatened by their own beliefs or convictions.
  • Can lead others without needing to be at the front.
  • Communicate powerfully, not forcefully.
  • Are great listeners because they don’t need to ensure the other party knows what they think.
  • Get more done than most.
  • Achieve their goals.
  • Do as they promise, even if it is at the visible detriment to them.

These are just some of the things you will recognize in a person with personal power. So, before we look at how to find yours, if the above ideas don’t inspire you let’s look at what not understanding and appreciating your personal power can do to you.[2]

Benefits of Learning Personal Power

Learning and accepting personal power has a plethora of benefits that will generally make you a happier, stronger, more accepting person. Here are more of the benefits of personal power and what it might lead to:

  • Self acceptance
  • Promotion
  • New career paths
  • Ability to stand up for what you believe in
  • Flying in the face of populism
  • Increase in clients
  • Learning new skills

How to Access Your Personal Power

There are several things you can do to begin the process of developing your personal power. Try these to get you started.

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1. Stop Stressing

Stressing that something is not working the way it has for others just further reduces your power, making you feel more powerless, worthless and not in control. Learn to accept that not everything is in your power. People that get stressed by bad weather, for example, are often good at reducing their own power – they’re so busy concentrating on the grey day that they forget all the things they actually do have control over.

If you really struggle to stop stressing, look for people that will help reduce or alleviate your stress, people that help you see another perspective. Power is often about perspective. Often a new client comes to me feeling powerless, and after just 2 hours they leave feeling fearless and capable of anything. Clearly, I didn’t give them super human powers in those 2 hours; it was more about helping them get a new perspective on their life so that they could think in a better way.

2. Learn to (Really) Listen

In a world filled with thoughts and opinions and ideas, it can be hard to distinguish between our own thoughts and someone else’s. Learn to notice where thoughts come from.

  • Is that really your thought? Or did someone share that idea and you are now adopting it?
  • Is it working for you, or are you trying to mould yourself to fit it?

3. Practice Confidence

When you learn to listen to yourself and what you feel, you can easily be rocked into dropping your new ideas if you lack confidence. Confidence may very well be the underlying power to all of our happiness and success in life.

When it comes to personal power, when your confidence drops, your power can, too.

Failure, unkind comments, passive aggressive work colleagues, bad days, and lost opportunities should not permanently affect your confidence.

Yes, you may have a day where you want to scream into the wind or hide under the bed, but negative moments can’t steal our personal power if we have internal confidence.

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Also, be careful not to conflate confidence with arrogance. Arrogance involves putting others down when you have the chance, while confidence does not.

Ways to Find Confidence
  1. Look for the evidence of your brilliance: Don’t downplay your successes and wins. Accept and celebrate them.
  2. Know that one song that instantly reminds you of one of the happiest days of your life. Have it primed and ready to go!
  3. Create a positive, supportive network of people around us.
  4. Look for the positive in any situation.

4. Have Fun

If you love dancing, paintball, surfing, or yoga, don’t let it disappear out of your life. Many clients have found positive changes in their professional lives just by reintroducing the things they love. We are quick to drop these things when we are mega busy, but don’t. It can have long term repercussions.

5. Find Bounceability

Bounceability is the ability to bounce back from negative experiences. When you’re down, have had a bad day, or feel like nothing is right, try to pull yourself back to a place where you can reset and restart. With this, you’ll be able to move forward and implement more of your personal power.

6. Accept Failure

Personal power can be hard to hold onto when you face failure. However, if you ever need a boost, look up all of the amazing inventions, companies, discoveries and opportunities that have come out of failure.

I met a consultant recently who works for some of the biggest corporations in the world. They told me, “Like you and me, these CEO’s have faced who they really are, faced adversity and decided to use that knowledge to do great things.” We all have that power if we learn that failing can be good for us.

If someone tells you you’ve done a great job, you get that warm feeling, but if you don’t ask for further feedback, there is little chance for growth.

Don’t fear failure, embrace it. It is only truly failure if you learn nothing from it.

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How Will You Know You’ve Developed Personal Power?

When you own your power, you have no issue looking behind you and discovering that you’ve got a lot of people following your lead. Personal power means you can influence and change things without hurting others.

Personal power is more than being an influencer. It’s about accepting that you have a positive influence on people and accepting your power to do so without abusing that power.

Personal power can be seen in confidence and a level of self acceptance that others are quick to recognize.

When you embrace your personal power, it will likely have an impact on:

  • Your work
  • Your personal life
  • Your goals.
  • Your friends
  • Your business colleagues
  • Your happiness
  • Your health

When you find your personal power, own it. It helps us all experience a real world.

More Tips on Personal Power

Featured photo credit: Church of the King via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Mandie Holgate

International Coach, Best Selling Author & Speaker inspiring people around the world to success.

50 Words of Encouragement for Moving Forward 7 Types Of Emotional Baggage And How To Deal With Them How to Control the Uncontrollable In Life 6 Types of Fear of Success (And How to Overcome Them) Self Awareness Is Underrated: Why the Conscious Mind Leads to Happiness

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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

How to Make a Change With the Four Quadrants of Change

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How to Make a Change With the Four Quadrants of Change

Quitting smoking is the easiest thing in the world. Some people quit smoking a thousand times in their lives! Everyone knows someone with this mindset.

But this type of change is superficial. It doesn’t last. For real, lasting change to take place, we need to consider the quadrants of change.

Real change, the change that is fundamental, consistent, and longitudinal (lasting over time) has to happen in four quadrants of your life.

It doesn’t have to be quitting smoking; it can be any habit you want to break — drinking, biting your nails, overeating, playing video games, shopping, and more.

Most experts focus on only one area of change, some focus on two areas, but almost none focus on all four quadrants of change. That’s why much of change management fails.

Whether it is in the personal life of a single individual through actions and habits, or in a corporate environment, regarding the way they conduct their business, current change management strategies are lacking.

It all stems from ignoring at least one part of the equation.

So, today, we will cover all four quadrants of change and learn the formula for how to change fundamentally and never go back to your “old self.”

A word of warning: this is simple to do, but it’s not easy. Anyone who tells you that change is easy is either trying to sell you something, or they have no idea what they’re talking about.

Those who want an overnight solution have left the article now, so that leaves you, me, and the real process of change.

The Four Quadrants of Change

There are four areas, or quadrants, in which you need to make a change in order for it to stick. If you miss or ignore a single one of these, your change won’t stick, and you will go back to your previous behavior.

The four quadrants are:

  1. Internal individual – mindset
  2. External individual – behavior
  3. Internal collective – culture/support system
  4. External collective – laws, rules, regulations, teams, systems, states

All four of these quadrants of change may sound like they could carry change all by themselves, but they can’t. So, be sure to implement your change in all four quadrants. Otherwise, it will all be in vain.

First Quadrant — Internal Individual

This quadrant focuses on the internal world of an individual, and it concerns itself with the mindset of a person.

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Our actions stem from our thoughts (most of the time), and if we change our mindset toward something, we will begin to process of changing the way we act.

People who use the law of attraction fall into this category, where they’ve recognized the strength of thoughts and how they make us change ourselves.

Even Lao Tzu had a great saying regarding this:

“Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.” [1]

One of the most impactful ways you can make a change in this quadrant is to implement what James Clear calls identity-based habits. [2]

Instead of prioritizing the outcome of a change (ex.: I want to lose 20 pounds), you prioritize your identity as a person (I want to become/remain a healthy person).

Here are a couple of examples for you to see the strength of this kind of resolution:

I want to watch many movies = I am a cinema lover
I want to clean my apartment = I am a clean person
I want to harvest my crops = I am a harvester (farmer)
I want to swim = I am a swimmer

This quadrant is about changing the identity you attach to a certain action. Once you re-frame your thinking in this way, you will have completed the first of the quadrants of change.

Second Quadrant — External Individual

This quadrant focuses on the external world of an individual and concerns itself with the behavior of a person.

This is where people like Darren Hardy, the author of the Compound Effect reside. Hardy is about doing small, consistent actions that will create change in the long run (the compound effect).

You want to lose 30 pounds? Start by eating just 150 calories (approximately two slices of bread) less a day, and in two and a half years, you will have lost 30 pounds.

The same rules apply to business, investing, sports, and multiple other areas. Small, consistent actions can create big changes.

This works — I’ve read 20 extra pages a day for the past two years, and it accumulated into 90 books read in two years. [3]

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Here, you have two ways of dealing with change behaviorally: negative environmental design and positive environmental design.

Negative Environmental Design

This is when you eliminate the things from your environment that revert you to the old behavior. If you want to stop eating ice cream, you don’t keep it in your freezer.

If you want to stop watching TV, you remove the batteries from the remote and put them on the other side of the house (it works!).

Positive Environmental Design

This is when you put the things that you want to do withing reach — literally!

You want to learn how to play guitar? Put your guitar right next to your sofa. You want to head to the gym? Put the gym clothes in a backpack and put it on top of your shoes.

You want to read more books? Have a book on your nightstand, your kitchen table, and on the sofa.

You can even combine this last trick with my early advice about removing the batteries from your remote control, combining the negative and positive environmental designs for maximum effect.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

If you just change your behavior and leave your intentions (thoughts) intact, your discipline will fail you and the real change won’t happen.

You will simply revert back to the previous behavior because you haven’t changed the fundamental root of why this problem occurs in the first place.

That is why you need to create change both in the first quadrant (internal individual — mindset) and the second quadrant (external individual — behavior). These quadrants of change are two sides of the same coin.

Most change management would stop here, and that’s why most change management fails.

No matter how much you focus on yourself, there are things that affect our lives that are happening outside of us. That is the focus of the two remaining quadrants.

Third Quadrant — Internal Collective

This quadrant focuses on the internal world of the collective where the individual resides, and it concerns itself with the culture of that collective.

There are two different distinctions here: the Inner Ring and the Outer Ring.

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The Inner Ring

These are your friends and your family. The Inner Ring is the place where the social and cultural norms of your friends and family rule.

So, if everyone in your family is overweight and every lunch is 1,000 calories per person, then you can say goodbye to your idea of becoming healthy.

In this case, the culture of your group, the inner norms that guide the decisions, actions, thoughts, ideas, and patterns of behaviors are all focused on eating as much as possible. [4]

You need to have the support of your Inner Ring if you want to achieve change. If you don’t have this support, the the best way to proceed is by either changing your entire Inner Ring or distancing yourself from it.

Beware — most Inner Rings won’t accept the fact that you want to change and will undermine you on many occasions — some out of habit, some due to jealousy, and some because supporting you would mean that they have to change, too.

You don’t have to cut ties with people, but you can consciously decide to spend less time with them.

The Outer Ring

The Outer Ring consists of the culture of your company, community, county, region, and country. For example, it’s quite hard to be an open-minded person in North Nigeria, no matter how you, your friends, and your family think.

The Outer Ring is the reason why young people move to the places that share their value systems instead of staying in their current city, county, or country.

Sometimes, you need to change your Outer Ring as well because its culture is preventing you from changing.

I see this every single day in my country, where the culture can be so toxic that it doesn’t matter how great of a job you have or how great your life currently looks — the culture will change you, inch by inch, until you become like it.

Fourth Quadrant — External Collective

This quadrant focuses on the external world of the collective where the individual resides, and it concerns itself with the systems, teams, laws, and rules of that collective.

This quadrant is about the external manifestations of the collective culture. If the majority of the environment thinks in a certain way, they will create institutions that will implement that way of thinking.

The same rules apply to companies.

One example for companies would be those managers who think that employees are lazy, lack responsibility, and need constant supervision (or what is called Theory X in management).

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Then, those managers implement systems that reflect that kind of culture– no flexible work hours, strict rules about logging work, no remote work, etc.

Your thoughts, however, may be different. You might believe that people want responsibility, that they are capable of self-direction, that they can make good decisions, and that managers don’t need to stand on their necks if they want something done (this is called Theory Y in management).

Then, you would want to have flexible working hours, different ways of measuring your productivity (for example, not time on the job but work produced), and remote work, if possible for your profession.

This is when you enter into a conflict with the external collective quadrant. Here, you have four options: leave, persevere, neglect, and voice.

Leave

You can simply leave the company/organization/community/country and go to a different place. Most people decide to do this.

Persevere

This is when you see that the situation isn’t good, but you decide to stick at it and wait for the perfect time (or position) where you can implement change.

Neglect

This is where you give up on the change you want to see and just go with the flow, doing the minimal work necessary to keep the status quo.

These are the people who are disengaged at work and are doing just the bare minimum necessary (which, in the U.S. is around 65% of the workforce).

I did this only once, and it’s probably the only thing I regret doing in my life.

Voice

This is where you actively work on changing the situation, and the people in charge know that you want to create a change.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your company, community, or your country; you are actively calling for a change and will not stop until it’s implemented.

Putting It All Together

When you take it all into account, change is simple, in theory, but it isn’t easy to execute. It takes work in all four quadrants:

  1. Internal individual — mindset
  2. External individual — behavior
  3. Internal collective — culture/support system
  4. External collective — laws, rules, regulations, teams, systems, states

Some will require more work, some less, but you will need to create a change in all four of them.

But don’t let that discourage you because change is possible, and many people have done this. The best time to start changing was yesterday, but the second best time is today.

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Featured photo credit: Djim Loic via unsplash.com

Reference

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