The secret to power - staying in control of your life
Power. Is it really such a bad thing? The balance of power is constantly shifting in our lives - when you're at work, at home - even your inner voice can cause a shift in your personal power. Everybody wants to feel powerful and in control whether you're a stay at home mum, a high-flying lawyer, an entrepreneur or a student. We all have those moments in life when we feel like we don't have a choice; we feel powerless. But it's actually easier than you think to take control of a situation and shift the balance of power.
What is power?
We all view power differently. You might see it as the man in the above picture - strong and muscular. But that's just physical power, and that's not what we're talking about! Power is a state of awareness, as David Hawkins, author of 'Power vs. Force' explains. In his book, he describes three states of awareness:
Love: Hawkins says that permanent, unconditional love, not based on a romantic relationship, will lead to feelings of happiness and power - yet only 4% of the world's population feel unconditional love regularly.
Joy: Joy is a state of awareness that's rarer than love and is characterised by a constantly positive attitude and patience.
Peace: 1 in 10 million people will manage to attain peace, or total bliss, in their lives. Think of figures like the Dalai Lama - that's how rare this state of awareness is!
Why is feeling at peace so rare?
As humans, we rarely feel totally at peace - in order to do so we need to feel calm, happy and loved, but we also need to be accepting of the times we don't feel like this. When we're anxious, sad or angry, we try to resist the way we feel, living against these emotions rather than living for them and embracing them. How many times have you thought, "Work is so depressing - I need a drink." Here, you're not addressing the problem, you're hiding from it and resisting it.
Calmness, and power, is about accepting how you feel and allowing yourself to feel it - don't resist it! Take some time out to assess how you are feeling and you'll notice you're better able to cope with your emotions.
How to feel more powerful (and confident!)
Some relationships in our lives make us feel happy and ready to take on the world, whilst others leave us feeling insecure and inadequate. Bear in mind that those who have the lowest self-esteem are often those who are the quickest to criticise others; it's a trick that insecure people use (either consciously or unconsciously) to make them feel more powerful. Now, we know that you can't control anyone else's behaviour, but you can control your own actions and thoughts. Learning to do this will give you a sense of personal power.
Here are a few tips which will help you to feel powerful and stay in control:
Always celebrate what you do well
Revel in your achievements; so if you've been promoted at work, completed a fitness challenge or joined the gym, take time out to feel proud of yourself and give yourself a mental pat on the back!
Trust your decisions
Like it or not, gut instinct plays a huge part in our lives. If your gut is telling you not to buy that new house or take that new job, don't do it! Learn not to rely on other people's opinions - you can still take their advice into account - and to take responsibility for your own decisions. At least this way, you're taking control of your own life.
Give compliments to others - and to yourself
Complimenting others will make you feel happy, and it could also make someone else's day! Treat yourself kindly too - give yourself a compliment when you look in the mirror, when you've passed that exam or done well at work. This can really help to boost your self-esteem.
Get out of your comfort zone
The buzz that comes from getting out of your comfort zone is really good for your mood. It can be really tough, but by trying new things and gently pushing yourself every day, week or month, you'll start to notice you feel less shy and anxious, more powerful and in control. Getting out of your comfort zone could be anything from joining a new interest group to meet people to going on holiday alone, or signing up for yoga classes at your local gym! Anything which pushes you to try new things and break your regular routine.
Put yourself first
Putting yourself ahead of others is essential sometimes, so make sure you take some time to think about what you could do for yourself. Take time out to plan your health and fitness goals, spend time with friends or do things that make you happy. Remember, you're the only person who is in charge of your life, which means no matter how powerless you may feel sometimes, you are always in control!