Most of us like to feel powerful.
We like to feel powerful for various reasons - to feel important, to be able to get more things done, to create an air of exclusivity and “to matter” in so many ways. Power makes us feel good about ourself. We feel a rise in personal significance along with power.
In most coaching conversations I have - the question about self - power comes in various shades - how can I influence others? how can I build visibility? How do I show that I matter? Why am I not seen? Why don't people understand the value that I bring to the table?
There could be several transactional elements in the situation that people are in that makes them feel powerless - but one things is certain. Power does not come just by position, status or who you know. It comes because you cannot be dismissed. You have a light like the sun that shines so bright that there is only one way out - to acknowledge it.
The external contributors of power that comes with money, position, perception of others etc may not be always in one’s control. They come with the end when we realise our goals but not when we are in the journey.
However there are several elements that increase your personal power that are absolutely within your control. They are the levers that one can work towards.
So what are these elements that increase your self power?
1. Self awareness
Being aware of oneself is the one of the greatest sources of power. It helps in having clarity, decision making and influencing others. Self awareness includes knowing your strengths, weakness, values, your “why” and what you can bring to the table by being who you are. Being aware of these helps you know what you want and helps you work towards getting it. Human beings are "meaning making" species. Most of our meaning comes from who we are. Knowing oneself brings in the power of personal mastery and is difficult to miss.
Our Energy is the unseen and yet, felt vital force that runs through our body - also called the “Prana” in Indian tradition or “Chi” in the Chinese. When the energy in our system is adequate and is moving, we are at our physical & mental best. People perceive you as being “alive” and “agile” and having a strong presence if your energy is regulated. This is a absolutely a great source of power. There are many times we meet certain people and we like them without knowing them. It happens with locations as well. This is because the energy that is in the person/place resonates with the energy that we have inside us. Imagine how much influence your energy can have!
This is the obvious source of power.
Our Capability is the external manifestation of our strength. When we are adept at what we do and do it well, we are perceived as “expert”/“guru” and regarded as best in the field. With expertise comes power.
4. Self belief
Belief in a higher source, belief in your strengths, belief in an idea - any sort of belief that helps you have conviction in yourself helps you to be aligned not only with your thought, but also with your words and actions. Believing you are powerful, makes you so.
5. Being in the NOW
We all know life happens in this moment - in the 'now'. Not being in our thoughts and being in the moment helps us to respond well to life as it happens instead of reacting to it. This builds presence. Presence after all starts with being able to be present to life. Presence leads to power.
6. Living by a value system
What you value is a great source of power because when we live in alignment to our values, we become a trigger for others to live theirs. Defining & living your own values like empathy, respect, freedom etc and practicing them will bring in so much alignment and integrity to your life. These directly impact how powerful others perceive you.
7. Being an uplifter
There is enough suffering in this world - and any small action you could do to alleviate the suffering for others goes a long way in you feeling powerful. In giving, we experience our power because we can give only that which we already have!
8. Your friends & foes
You are a sum total of the five people you constantly interact with. Choose friends who uplift you. Try to be respectful of & respected by people who don’t like you ! Drop your judgements of how other should behave and you will be surrounded by a wonderful network who cares & raises you. A group wishing you well is indeed a source of power.
When we do things that serve something beyond us, we get our “why” - the reason for our existence. Purpose is a great driver. It helps us get up from bed every day with joy and do things that need to be done. It helps us feel our life is worth the living.
10. Letting go
Lastly letting go off the need to be powerful and being humble, taking life as it comes has a magnetic quality that manifests as your power. This is because others cannot find a carrot to influence you. When we really understand what being powerful is, we become humble.
What source of power would you like to build on?
How would it feel to be more powerful?
What hinders you from feeling powerful?