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Published on March 30, 2020

How to Access Your Personal Power to Create Success

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

Coach, International BEST Selling Author, Speaker & Blogger helping thousands around the world.

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Last Updated on June 2, 2020

10 Ways to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough

10 Ways to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough

Whenever you hit a rough patch in life, it can seem like the problems you’re confronting are unique to you and that the whole world is closing in. It might be that you are struggling to find a way out and just can’t see the light of hope anywhere when the going gets tough.

Thankfully, although you might not see it, there is always hope. Nothing lasts forever—not even bad times—and doing things like remembering why you started in the first place and practicing using your courage muscle are just a couple of things that can shorten the difficult times.

If you could find a way to not only survive but thrive when the going gets tough, how would your life change for the better?

Here are ten ways you can do to make that happen today.

1. Realize How Far You Have Come

Whenever you get discouraged on the path to wherever you want to go, it is usually because you are only looking forward, not around you or behind you. Your journey through life will last until your final day, so it is no wonder that you still see a long and sometimes daunting path ahead.

To keep going despite this, it’s important to take a moment or two to look around. Look at where you are standing now compared to when you first started. Look at how far you have come since you first began. Look at how many obstacles and challenges are behind you that you managed to overcome successfully.

The benefits of reflective practice are also extensive, and it is little wonder why.[1]

Looking back at how far you have come is usually the fire you need to keep on burning brightly into the future.

2. Remember Why You Started

When the going gets tough, you need something to cling to in order to keep your grit and remind yourself why you started doing something in the first place. Without this all-important “why, you will be quick to wander from your path.

Whenever things are at their worst, your number one reason for doing the thing is going to be what pulls you through.

As ex-Navy Seal and motivation master David Goggins puts it:

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“‘Why am I here?’ If you know that moment is coming and have your answer ready, you will be equipped to make the split-second decision to ignore your weakened mind and keep moving. Know why you’re in the fight to stay in the fight!”

Sometimes, life can be a bit of a fight, especially within yourself. So, having your reasons for continuing will always help pull you out when times are tough. Try writing these down and posting them in places you look at every day to help them have even more impact.

3. Make It a Habit to Move Forward

Habits are some of the strongest behavioral predictors that we have. Most of our habits happen in our subconscious and are triggered by external or internal cues.

The great thing about habits is that they can be formed through conscious, repeated behaviors, and when practiced enough, they can eventually take their place in the subconscious and guide your life.

Of course, you want good habits to be guiding your life in the background, not bad ones. That’s why it’s a good idea to make it a habit to always move forward.

Contrary to what most people say, moving forward doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be better every single day for the rest of your life. There are going to be slip-ups, bad days, and circumstances that blow you off course.

Moving forward is all about getting back on track as fast as possible. If you can make that a habit, you can always get closer to where you want to go.

4. Use ‘If-Then’ Planning

When the going gets tough in your life, one of the most effective frameworks that you can put into place is called the ‘if-then’ planning.

This is the simplified version of something called Implementation Intention, a concept created by psychologist Peter Gollwitzer in the mid-’90s.[2] It helps you to make sense of confusing situations and to be able to take action when you are really struggling.

The simplified process is as follows:

“If x happens, I will do y.”

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For example:

“If I start to have negative thoughts, I will take ten seconds to just breathe.”

“If I feel extremely stressed for three days in a row, I will take the fourth day off to recover and reset.”

If-then planning puts a strategy in place for when times are tough. It takes away the element of thinking, planning, and worrying as you already know exactly what you need to do in each situation.

The beauty of using if-then is that you can change the if and then for different situations based on whatever works best for you at any given moment.

5. Find Some Mentors

With the internet becoming more expansive and accessible as it has ever been, there are so many ways to get a peek into the world’s top minds and see what they do in their own lives when the going gets tough.

Most successful people have had to overcome some serious struggles to get to where they are. Do a simple search online, and you will no doubt find out about all of the challenges that your favorite people have had to overcome.

Because of this, you should try to take inspiration from these people and find your own mentors. It’s worth recognizing that nobody trying to live their best life can ever get through it without their fair share of challenges to overcome. That’s just part of the hero’s journey.

6. Get out of Your Head

Sometimes, all of the reasoning, thinking, planning, and ruminating in the world doesn’t get you anywhere. In fact, for the serial thinkers and problem-solvers out there, it is oftentimes that too much time in your head results in even more struggle rather than a release of it.

Yes, some things can be solved by thinking. But when the going gets really tough, it is usually just pure heart, emotion, and grit that are going to carry you through. Your mind can become a tyrant, and it is worth being aware of this.

When you feel your own thoughts weighing you down and can’t stop the incessant thinking and worrying about the past, present, and/or future, it is time to step out of your mind for a little while and get into your body. Lift some weights, go for a run, or take a pleasant walk.

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The mind and body are much more connected than most people think—especially when it comes to emotions and fears and doing something beneficial for the body often benefits the unsettled mind as well.[3]

7. Ruthlessly Forgive Yourself

One of the worst things you can do when the going gets tough is to come down hard on yourself. Everyone has these external and internal struggles, and the harder you are on yourself for having them, the more difficult and traumatic the episodes will be when you inevitably slip up.

A lot of people are far harder on themselves than they are on other people, and to keep going in tough times, you need to be just as empathetic with yourself as you would be with your best friend.

Made a mistake? Forgive. Are you still giving yourself a hard time? Forgive. Are you still getting angry over small things “even though we talked about this”? Forgive.

The hard times are much easier to get through when you are at peace with yourself. You will be astonished by how much less pressure you feel when this happens.

8. Take Smaller Steps

It is common for people to stumble in life because they are simply taking on too much at once. Whether it be too much ambition, unrealistic expectations of themselves or others, or some extra curveballs, big steps can sometimes be too much to take.

The truth about big steps is that they are rare, disruptive, and difficult to keep up without crumbling. The big steps—the real life-changing goals and dreams that you have—can often be broken into much smaller steps that are more manageable and that will get you to the same place.

If the going is getting particularly tough, it might be the case that you are simply trying to do too much at once. Try taking smaller, more manageable steps, and see if obstacles and difficulties become easier to navigate.

9. Use Twenty Seconds of Insane Courage

Everyone will agree that the courage we have stored within ourselves is often finite and difficult to sustain for long periods. We tend to think that making a big change in our life and getting out of a rut requires courage for long periods that we simply cannot manage.

The good news is that this isn’t true. Most of the pivotal moments of change in your life—including pulling yourself out of a hole when the going gets tough—come from small, courageous decisions in short, precise moments.

Quite often, using twenty seconds of insane courage when it is needed is enough to completely change the trajectory of our lives. Whether it be asking for that promotion, deciding to go to the gym for the first time in months, or having the courage to break through your insecurities and ask someone out, most of these only require a few seconds of insane courage.

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Standing up and walking into your boss’s office, getting the gym kit on, picking up the phone or sending the text—you only have to be courageous in these few moments, and then you can relax and let life unfold.

Twenty seconds? You can do that, easily.

10. Accept That Your Motivation Will Wane

One of the main reasons that people get discouraged and struggle to keep going in hard times is that they never expected their motivation to dip.

When we start a project or enter a relationship or take something new and exciting on in our lives, our motivation is high, and we are in a mindset of excitement. We start thinking about all of the positives that could come from these things.

However, as time wears on, motivation levels inevitably drop, and you start to focus on the negatives of what’s happening or the added responsibility that you forgot to consider.

When this happens, you have two choices:

  1. You can put on your rose-colored glasses of the past and falsely remember how perfect everything was;
  2. Or you can put on your realistic glasses, face the difficulties, and keep moving forward into something better.

The true test of character comes when you hit a dip, motivation wanes, and you just don’t feel like doing stuff anymore. The secret is to realize that all of this is temporary and that you don’t need motivation to act.

It’s nice to have motivation, but the true test of character comes when motivation inevitably wanes. In those moments, will you keep going?

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. Each of these ten ideas for how to keep going when the going gets tough is versatile enough to be applied to almost any difficult situation that you find yourself in.

Life is going to present many difficulties. This isn’t something to fear but something to embrace. With these steps, you can navigate these stormy waters a little easier.

More Inspirations to Help You Stay Strong

Featured photo credit: Gaelle Marcel via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Psychology Today: What Is Self-Reflection and Why It Matters For Wellness
[2] American Psychologist: Implementation Intentions: Strong Effects of Simple Plans
[3] The International Journal of Psychoanalysis: Emotional Processing: The Mind-Body Connection

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