How To Claim Your Power Back
There are three essential elements to how to claim your power back. Claiming your power back is key to living an authentic, autonomous life. All of us struggle from time to time with feeling powerful. There are so many ways we inadvertently abdicate, hand over, or back away from our power.
It’s not really a terribly big surprise that we do this. After all, we’re conditioned and trained from a very early age to do what we’re told, to follow the rules, to conform. (We’re a lot easier to manage if we just do what we’re told.) It happens across the board. No one seems to get away scott free on this one.
Giving away your power isn’t always some huge blow- up event. It’s not like you’re left flat as a pancake, as if you were run over. In fact, for most of us, it happens in these teeny, tiny ways throughout our days, throughout our lives.
Your Relationship To Your Personal Power
Before it’s possible to claim your power back, we first need to explore our relationship to our own power. There are two primary expressions of power. Which one you unconsciously think of when you hear the word personal power will depend on how likely you are to claim your own.
We’ll start with the overt “power-over” kind of power, which we’ll call “projected power.” Too often when we think of power this is what we think of. This expression of power can be combative and superior. We often experience it coming from others as dominating or domineering. No one likes being on the receiving end of this energy. When you see someone “in their power” but being a jerk, that’s not power. That’s more likely a bully.
Unfortunately sometimes the only way a person can feel powerful in the moment is by dominating someone else. This is especially true the more “externally referenced someone is.” If this is our relationship to power, it’s no wonder one might back away from claiming your own personal power.
The true expression of personal power is “internally sourced.” Meaning, it comes from within. It’s not used in attempts to make anyone else feel inferior so we can feel superior. It doesn’t diminish someone else so that we can have a sense of safety. And it never sees another as less than whole.
When someone is really owning their space and being fully themselves, if we are not comfortable with doing that for ourselves, then we consciously or unconsciously might look at them and go, “Why do they have to behave like that?” or “Who do they think they are?”
If you resent or reject power, even good power, it’s likely because you’re afraid of your own. If on the other hand, you are drawn to someone in their power and it’s magnetic to you, then you’re likely really ready to access your own power. Keep in mind, this isn’t an either/or. We all have the experience of both types of personal power. And may have even expressed each at some point in time.
There’s another reason for failing to claim your power back that might surprise you. Believe it or not our larger being threatens us in many ways. Abraham Maslow said, “We are generally afraid to become that which we glimpse in our most perfect moment.” If only this weren’t true. But, alas, it is hard to imagine ourselves as the enormity of our Soul.
We may avoid claiming our power because when we step into our internally sourced power, it may disrupt our cozy little habits and throw our familiar small identity into question. That can be scary to the Personality. But here’s the thing… It is imperative to claim your power now if you want to shine your light more brightly, live your purpose and give the gift of you to the world.
Common Ways We Leak Our Personal Power
We need to right our relationship with “power” and become conscious of the areas and the ways we give away our power. Only then can we start to shift the experience, our experience, of our own power and begin to own it more fully.
Before we can consider how to claim your power back we’ll need to consider exactly where you have been giving away your power. While it can be tempting to point the finger “out there” to someone or something, it is only ourselves who can give away our power. The fact of the matter is that no one can take it from us. We have to willingly hand it over. So, here are some common ways we leak our personal power.
- Saying yes when you want to say no. When’s the last time you said yes when you wanted to say no. This can be a big one for people – women especially. We are trained to be “nice” to “go along to get along.” We falsely believe if we don’t have a good (read justifiable) reason to say no that we have to say yes.
- Avoidance or abdication. As they say “if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.” That choice is to hand over your personal power and autonomy. Avoiding tough decisions or letting someone else make them for you is not the way to the life you truly want.
- Waiting for permission. You know what you want to do but the thought “I can’t” continues to plague you. Why is that? Often, it’s an unconscious thought of “so-an-so isn’t going to like it.” Often we don’t realize we are waiting for some authority figure, parent or partner to give us the green light before we move forward.
- Life by committee. A historically popular one here at Divine Navigation. This is when you run around asking everyone and their neighbor what they think you should do. Guaranteed you can ask five people and get five different opinions. Giving more weight to what someone else thinks ensures you’ll continue waiting to live your own life.
Ways To Claim Your Personal Power
You’ll be relieved to know that for every way (and there are many more of course!) we leak our personal power, there is an antidote. Here are the remedies for the ones we’ve covered in order.
- Own your yes; honor your no. We refer to it as “your authentic no” in Transform Your To-Do List. Your aligned yes or no is imperative to claiming your personal power. Practice sensing your yes and no and commit to honoring it. Yes, at first it will inevitably feel uncomfortable (especially if you’ve historically been a “yes-man” – or woman!) but if you never say no you are likely taking care of everyone else and not yourself. Plus, you’ll be amazed at what happens when you can trust yourself to honor your no!
- Radical Responsibility. The saying “the buck stops here” comes to mind. No one else – I mean no one else – can be held accountable and responsible for your life but you. Yes, of course, bad things have happened in your life but where you go from here is all on you. And that’s a good thing! When you take radical responsibility for everything in your life you are the one in charge.
- Step forward in your truth. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but no one is coming to save you and no one is going to come tap you on the shoulder and say “ok, go be great now!” You’ll have to make that decision for yourself. If you need permission, write your own permission slip. It’s time.
- Know what you know. The last time you went around your circle of influence asking for input, chances are you already knew what you wanted to do or what would be right for you. Did you let other voices drown out your own or did you follow your knowing? If you really check in and allow yourself to know what you know, the opinions of others will be quieted to a whisper.
Eliminating the energy leaks in regards to your personal power is a form of shadow work, meaning understanding your unconscious motivations for why you give away your power in the first place. There’s always a payoff in there for you somewhere. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have started or continued with the behavior.
Ultimately each of these leaks (as well as whatever others you identify for yourself), likely started out as coping strategies and survival mechanisms. None of which you’ll need when you claim your power back.
3 Essential Elements to Claim Your Power Now
Back to those three essential elements to claim your power now mentioned at the start. They are essential because each one, and each one in the precise order, are fundamental to how to claim your power back. They are Accessing, Containing, and Expressing.
As we’ve been making our way through this journey, we’ve already been exploring the first step of Accessing. By righting our relationship to our personal power and plugging up those personal power leaks we gain access to our internal source of power.
If you’re like most of us, there have been times in your life when you felt powerless. Even when we refer to “giving away your power” it’s not really that your power has gone anywhere. You simply weren’t accessing it in that moment or in that situation or circumstance.
At any given moment, you can begin to access your personal power by first paying attention to the sensations in your body. Do you feel anxious or frightened? Do you feel confused or disoriented? These are signs that something is off.
Take a moment to close your eyes and bring your awareness into your body, specifically into your Solar Plexus, then breathe into that space. If you haven’t spent much time in this part of your body, initially you may feel some unsettledness. Just keep breathing. Things will eventually begins to settle. As it does, notice what clarity arises when you are reconnected to your inner landscape.
Now try asking yourself one or all of these questions:
- Does this person/situation/circumstance leave me feeling empowered or disempowered?
- What is the experience I want to be having of myself? Does this person/situation/circumstance take me further from or closer to that experience?
- If I was fully in my personal power, what would I say/do? What action would I take if I was fully in my power in this moment?
From here, the key is to contain your power. This doesn’t mean “putting a lid on it.” It means not getting it “one” anyone. Remember the “projected power” we covered earlier? These are moments when someone may be accessing their power but they are wielding it in an unruly way.
Now, granted, when we first regain access to our personal power our no may feel more harsh and rigid; our exuberance may be considered a bit much. Don’t let that stop you. Simply practice containing it.
That means being sure you stay grounded in yourself and energetically stay within yourself as you are sharing either your yes or your no. When either is delivered from a clear energetic container it’s amazing how gracefully they are received even when someone wanted to hear the opposite from you.
The culmination of Accessing and Containing your personal power is in the Expressing. The ultimate test of claiming your power back is how aligned and congruent your feelings, thoughts and actions are with your truth. But power isn’t just an action. It’s an energy. It’s the outer expression of an internal experience. This means that you may not need to say or do anything in order to convey your power.
Have you ever seen someone walk into a room and thought “who’s that?!?!?” Not because they were beautiful or making a spectacle of themselves but because you could feel something emanating from them that was magnetic. That’s someone who is Accessing, Containing and Expressing their personal power.
All of this is possible for you too. No matter how disempowered you may have felt at times in your life, the power that lies within your Soul is there waiting for you to claim it. The combination of Accessing, Containing and Expressing are keys to maintaining Divine Alignment; where your true power can shine through.
Since 2011, courageous men and women around the world have chosen Divine Navigation and committed to the extraordinary and transformative experience of Aligning with their Soul-through their Divine Coordinates. We invite you to also explore the journey of Soul Purpose: The Definitive Guide.