This post addresses how to take back your power. Sometimes we give our power away to others, but what does this really mean?
Giving away your power
Giving power away to another can translate to allowing another to: make all important or even minor decisions for us; either make us feel good or bad about ourselves, or have complete control over our feelings of self-worth and self-esteem; control or manage all of our finances and dictate what we can spend; dictate what clothing we wear; dictate our friendships, our social life and with whom, where or how we socialize; dictate our entertainment, such as what books we read or what classes we attend; or perhaps dictate what kind of work we can do, where we can work and how often. These are just a few examples — there are any number of ways we give our power away to another.
Giving away your power ultimately means that someone else is in control of your life and not you. It means that someone else is in the driver’s seat of your own car. Taking back your power means bringing back full control within your life.
Your bill of rights
YOU are in charge of your life, always, and not someone else. And YOU are in charge of your own happiness, not another. If you have found yourself in a position of feeling powerless in your own life, this article is for you.
The first thing one must understand: no one else should be in charge of you, or in charge of your life in any way. No one else has this right! I repeat: NO ONE ELSE HAS THIS RIGHT. Your bill of rights in life entitles you to be in charge of YOU at all times. Taking back your power means understanding and embracing this concept fully, first and foremost.
People who control
Secondly, understand that when you have given your power away to another, that person is trying to control you in some way. That person feels insecure and threatened and is trying to squash their feelings of insecurity by controlling you or by controlling what you do. It is about them, and not you. You have done nothing wrong to deserve this kind of treatment. This concept is also very important to understand and embrace in order to take control back within your own life.
Now that you understand you are in charge of YOU, taking back your power also means embracing the strength within you to create limits and boundaries with those who are trying to control you. You CAN say no, and you have every right to stand up for yourself and tell someone that what they are doing is NOT OK.
Doing so does take some amount of strength, especially if it is completely foreign to you. But each of us has the capability to say no and to establish boundaries. It may take some practice and courage, but you have the ability!
Know this and embrace this. You have a voice and a say within your life and with everything that you do. Reclaiming your power means understanding your bill of rights, and then taking it a step further to establish boundaries.
Self-esteem & self-worth reside within
Also understand that your feelings of self-worth and self-esteem come from you alone and reside within you, and not in someone else’s hands.
If you are conditioned to believe that the rest of the world has the power to make you feel good or bad about yourself, then it may take some time to change your mentality. But you must change that mentality in order to take back control. You are in the driver’s seat of your own life; you are in complete control of how you feel about yourself. No one else makes us feel bad about ourselves unless we allow them to.
People with strong self-esteem know and understand this. Those with strong self-esteem do not give others the power to make them feel badly about themselves. So, if you are of the mindset that how you feel about yourself is dependent on others’ views of you, it is time to work on your self-esteem. It is time to learn how to be happy with yourself.
Do not rely on others’ approval and validation of you
The only way to truly take back your power is to feel good all on your own. This means having confidence in yourself, what you are doing in your life, what you want out of life and where you are headed. It means that you do not need someone else’s approval to feel good.
Those who give away their power typically believe that they need someone else’s approval or validation in order to feel good. This belief often comes from childhood, when we need and want our parents’ approval of who we are and what we are doing. When we do not receive that approval or unconditional love as children, typically we try to obtain it from others within our adult relationships.
Being an adult means leaving behind childhood wounds and taking full ownership and responsibility for your life, including self-approval and validation.
You do not need approval or positive reinforcement from others to live your life the way you want to live it, to make decisions for yourself and to be whomever you want to be. It is your right to live your life to the fullest and to pursue any goals, dreams or interests that you have. No one else has the right to limit or restrict what you do in any way. Do not give them this right. Being an independent, self-sufficient and mature adult involves understanding that approval comes from you and no one else.
Of course, there are circumstances in romantic relationships especially where we may need to compromise. Romantic partnerships always require a give and take mentality and the need to compromise once in a while.
However, that being said, romantic relationships should not involve control. There is a big difference between control and compromise. Where there is control, there is abuse, which I will leave to another blog entry.
I am referring here mainly to instances when people mistakenly believe that they need validation from others and approval to pursue things in life that make them happy or feel good. This is similar to understanding and knowing that your feelings of self-esteem and self-worth are within your own hands and not someone else’s.
So, in order to take back your power, you need to stop allowing others to control you and set boundaries for yourself. Know within yourself what is acceptable and not acceptable, or what you will tolerate or not tolerate.
Do not allow others to dictate the course of your life! You are the star of your own show. You are center stage. Don’t be on the sidelines or behind the scenes within your own life. You have the power within you to make changes, so start today and take steps towards freedom. After all, isn’t your happiness worth it?
So there is some concrete guidance on how to take back your power — I hope you feel more empowered now to dictate your own life. Here’s to being more empowered, and here’s to your happiness!