Andrew Parsons and Ann Craig discuss how to reconnect with your personal power. Doing so can bring drive and momentum to find and maintain the ‘best you’ at work and home
How do you make the most of your power to be the best you can be? It’s an interesting concept and one that can have life-changing results. There are simple and highly effective ways to make the most of your own personal power. Here are a set of approaches to help you to focus on unleashing your inner power:
Develop a mindful practice like meditation, yoga, qigong or a martial art
Keep a journal of times where you give or take power and identify how you work with people to achieve goals
Develop your own emotional intelligence and build in a pause to choose your response
Adopt a learning mindset – especially when things go wrong. Be creative and commit to learning about yourself
Use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to release your emotions. Balance your energy with meditation or massage
Find and articulate your purpose, one day at a time
Power has many meanings. It can be a noun, ‘the capability to do something or act’; or a verb, giving power to the team or to make something powerful. In physics, power is the rate of energy per unit time, and in psychology it is the probability of achieving your own intent or will, despite resistance.
We often link power with control. To have power is often thought of as hierarchical. We give power to people in positions of authority or who have access to knowledge that is useful to us. Power can be coercive or directive but can be gained by influence.
To reconnect your own personal power, notice how you give power away to others. There may be good reason to do this; you would always give power to a pilot who knew how to fly a plane. Start to notice how you give and take power – what are the patterns that emerge?
Power is linked to your ‘will’, that mindset which results in deliberate actions. So how do you get your way? Do you try and force an issue, do you recognise the value in others or try and find that elusive win-win position on every occasion?
Your personal power can often disconnect in times of a clash of wills. For example, two people using force will be quite draining for both individuals, so reconnect by adapting your approach. To achieve this you need to have a sound awareness of what is going on in your world.
Awareness is a central element in being able to reconnect and maintain your personal power. It is also an important part of Emotional Intelligence (EI). EI has become widely recognised in the last few years as a key life skill. It involves awareness of some key areas, such as your own emotions, so that you can manage them, as well as consider the
emotions of others to handle the ups and downs of relationships.
Think of ways to harness your own emotions to motivate yourself, and reconnect with your power to keep learning even when things are not going to plan.
Within Eastern traditions, there are insights that can be useful. One of these is embracing creative art to learn about yourself and what is important to you in your life. There is also a core belief in the balance of being both firm yet flexible, and using internal and external power for training your mind and body.
In Chinese tradition, Qi is the concept of life force that fills the universe and flows within us and has been studied for thousands of years.
Traditional Chinese medicine
suggests that ill health occurs when the flow of energy is blocked or unbalanced. Reconnect with your personal power by finding ways to re-establish the flow of energy.
EFT is one self-help way to achieve this. Within this approach, there is a process of tapping on key meridian points within the body, usually associated with stating affirmations.
The technique has been used for working with people suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is actively researched in these areas. Use EFT to release your emotion and reconnect with your power can be hugely beneficial.
Other traditions in the Indian subcontinent suggest that bodily energy centres are found in seven chakras. These are the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, between the eyes and crown (top of the head). Each is associated with various areas of our lives and has a corresponding sound, colour and energy. It is possible to balance your chakra energy and reconnect with colour through both meditation and massage.
It is also interesting to learn from others’ experiences and to marvel at how others maintain their power in the face of adversity. One story that has great resonance and exemplifies this is that of psychologist
Viktor Frankl. He was a Holocaust camp survivor and wrote in detail about his experiences in Man’s Search for Meaning.
His work was developed into a psychotherapeutic approach to help others. Within the book and in the subsequent study, he examined how he had maintained his power throughout those terrible conditions. The technique focused on the need to find a purpose that helps us to feel positive and enables us to immerse ourselves in that world.
Reconnecting with our individual personal power is both a simple and complex thing, but the results can be hugely rewarding and can help us to be the best that we can be. A little like painting the Forth Road Bridge, you can only do it one bit at a time but starting is the greatest step.