When you have power you can make decisions, take action, look at the results, and decide on your next action. One of the best things you can do for yourself is learn how to get more personal power.
When you believe you don’t have power it feels like you’re at the mercy of external influences, people, or circumstances.
In other words, you may feel stuck in a swamp, overwhelmed with all the bad things that keep happening, and powerless to do anything about it.
I’ve found a useful trick that may help you understand what’s going on and how to fix it.
Take a moment and remember a time when you were totally stuck. Everything had fallen apart and it felt like the sun would never shine again. I know it may be uncomfortable but really get into the feelings and circumstances of the situation.
By the way, it’s okay to do this with a situation you’re currently stuck in.
Now, step back in time and find the start of that situation.
After that, step back again and find the very first action you took.
Then go back another step and see how you were feeling right before that action.
Were you feeling powerless?
Were you feeling so angry, so upset about the situation you had to do something about it?
Now take one more step into the past.
Look for what motivated you to make something go away in your life.
Maybe your motivation was something like, “I never want to feel like this ever again.”
“The key of persistence opens all doors closed by resistance ”
― John Di Lemme
It’s a victim state.
It’s not a power state.
Anything you resist gets all your power. Because your attention is totally locked on the situation you can think of nothing else. You’re full of negative feelings. You feel angry, betrayed, and frustrated. These emotions will totally block your power and make you believe you have no choice but to fight back.
If you look at the big picture of your life, you may find a number of bad decisions leading to bad consequences leading to anger and frustration, and that leads to more bad decisions. All based on resisting what’s happening in your life.
How can you change this?
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston S. Churchill
When you’re moving from power and something in your life is not working, your motivation is not resistance. You’re determined to find a way to keep going forward in spite of the difficulties. You are persistent in your efforts. And, sure enough, doors open and you move forward.
Remember going back to the moment right before you decided to act? That’s the moment when you have a choice – be driven by your emotions or not.
To be clear, it’s not that emotions are bad. If your emotions are positive, powerful and uplifting then ride that wave and keep going.
However, when your emotions are negative, dis-empowering and discouraging that you might consider taking a step back and letting that wave slide by. After that, put your attention back on your goal and move forward with persistence.
The cool thing is you can practice.
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
You can learn how to get more personal power through practice. Start with something simple. Something that you want to change that appears to have no great significance. Let’s say you’re tired all the time.
Get a pad of paper and a pen or open a document on your computer and write that down.
I’m tired all the time.
Now let’s find out what you’d like to experience. I know it’s easier to focus on what you DON’T want but that’s resistance and we know where that ends up.
Allow yourself to daydream a little. Maybe there’s a character in a book or movie who wakes up ready to take on the world. Maybe some friend always seems rested and full of energy. Imagine what it would feel like to experience that everyday.
Write down what that looks like to you, how you would feel. Write down as many things as you want. You’re looking for a positive state or experience that would be a perfect way for you to live. Let’s say it’s…
I have lots of energy.
I wake up rested.
I get plenty of sleep.
Now for some action to build personal power.
Let your thoughts wonder some more. Find some small thing you could do that might help change that situation.
In this example, maybe you could take a short nap in the afternoon. Maybe you could go to bed a little earlier. Maybe you could listen to a relaxing guided meditation before bedtime instead of flipping through more social media.
Search the internet if you need more ideas but write down at least three small things that might help you move toward the experience you want. Then pick one small step that you know you can do.
In this situation, let’s say it’s going to bed half an hour earlier.
Okay, this just got personal.
I’ve been using my Fitbit to track my sleep and it’s recommending I get a half hour more sleep every night.
So, I went through this exercise and here are small steps I’m taking:
- Decide to go to sleep every night half an hour earlier than normal
- Start getting ready for bed half an hour before I plan to go to sleep
- Listen to a relaxing guided meditation right before turning off the light
- Track my progress and adjust as needed
I have a goal of getting 7 hours and 20 minutes of sleep every night for the next two weeks. So far, I did not make that goal the first two nights but I’ve met or exceeded the goal the last three nights.
And, today, I woke up feeling a lot more rested. In fact, I actually laughed at something my wife said as we were getting up. Most mornings I’m nowhere near laughing until a shower and a cup of coffee.
I’m certainly going to persist in this action and see how I feel at the end of the two weeks. Maybe this will do the trick and I’ll stay on this schedule. However, if I’m still feeling tired I’ll go through another two weeks of adjusting my routine and see what happens.
This is how you can learn how to get more personal power. You practice making small changes in your life. Start building your persistence muscles with baby steps and use that momentum as motivation to keep failing forward.
Let’s review how to get more personal power.
“Persistence wears down resistance.”
— William J Federer
Resistance leads to struggle, failure, discouragement and a spiral of bad decisions. Persistence, even in very small efforts, leads to a feeling of success and empowerment.
Personal power is not built in huge steps. It’s not reserved for the big moments of life. It’s something you build every day. And it works in small ways that add up to significant change like I describe in this article.
Here’s how to get more personal power for reaching your goals:
- Have the intention to increase your persistence through practice.
- Write down something you want to change.
- Write down what that looks and feels like.
- Write down steps you can do to move forward.
- Commit to doing one of those steps every day for two weeks.
- See how things are going and decide what to do next.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.