Senior journalist, news editor & executive life coachCoaching women in journalism, media, social & tech to fulfilment, confidence & better lives | BBC senior journalist & news editor of 20 years | Lover of blue skies, starry nights & great outdoors | Happiest on a beach| Lover of all things Spain|
Coaching women in journalism and the media to success, confidence & better lives | BBC journalist and news ed | fighting fear, taking risks |
When I ask someone in a coaching session: “Who or what do you give your power away to?” it often prompts some of the strongest reactions I see.
We expect others to have power over us, not for ourselves to be freely giving it away.
Giving away our power means putting our happiness into the hands of other people and/or things.
We subconsciously do it all the time, leading to frustration, deep anxiety and feelings of being trapped.
It can take some serious self-reflection and honesty to recognise your own patterns of giving away power.
There are many examples of how we do this, but below are 5 ways to start taking YOUR POWER back…
1. Put your ego to one side for a minute
“Ego is just like a dust in the eyes…without clearing the dust you can’t see anything clearly… so clear the ego and see the world.”
Okay, so when I said giving away power means putting happiness into the hands of other people and/or things, into the “things” category I also include “ego”.
“Ego is a false identity that your mind constructed and then you took up residence in.” [Brandon Bay].
So much of our unhappiness can be traced to keeping up with this constructed “false identity”. Keeping up with appearances, not quitting a top job, or a relationship that makes us unhappy.
Do you give away your power to your ego because of how you want others to perceive you? Because of society’s expectations and definition of “success”? Because you seek validation?
When you can PUT YOUR EGO TO ONE SIDE, step back, re-assess and stop living for its needs, you are no longer giving it your power; you are instead trusting in yourself to live the life you want to live.
2. Let go if someone has wronged you
If someone has badly wronged you and they aren’t even slightly remorseful about it, then continuing to ruminate over the situation means you are giving away your power to them.
Committing to letting go of any anger or hurt is the best way to win back your power. I always remember this sentiment when I find myself in this situation:
“Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” [I’ve no idea who said this but it’s a great quote].
3. Set some ‘don’t mess with me’ boundaries
This one’s really important.
If someone is making you unhappy because of repetitively bad behaviour, or because of something they are doing or saying that you have good reason to feel miserable about, then it’s time to set some boundaries.
Because until you do, you are giving away your power to their behaviour. You are being a ‘people-pleaser’ by not saying anything.
Boundaries make absolutely clear what is acceptable behaviour to you regarding really important matters, the line not to cross, and what will happen if the behaviour remains unacceptable.
Be clear. Take that power back!
4. Stop blaming
Just stop. We all do it, but to blame is to see a problem, past or present, and to give your power away to it or to them.
You are where you are, in the present, and it’s all about what happens next.
Which brings me on to…
5. Remember your power of choice
Sometimes, choice is between two things that seem just as bad as each other. But it’s still the POWER OF CHOICE.
Being conscious of your choices and how they impact your reality is key to taking power back from the things that deplete you of it.
My blog, “The Power of Choice: How to Realise You Have It” gets deeper into understanding how powerful choice really is and how to stop feeling powerless.
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Senior journalist, news editor & executive life coach
Coaching women in journalism, media, social & tech to fulfilment, confidence & better lives | BBC senior journalist & news editor of 20 years | Lover of blue skies, starry nights & great outdoors | Happiest on a beach| Lover of all things Spain|