The term personal power is used a lot these days.
While I understand what it means, I’ve found that my own relationship with personal power is changing over time. Like an onion, I feel I’m slowly peeling off the layers of understanding my relationship to power – I wrote about recently in a powerful experience I had while doing a full moon ritual.
The fact that I’m going to be exploring the whole area of “reclaiming my personal power” in the CARMY community, one of the online communities I’m in, over the next month, really got me reflecting (again) about what personal power means to me now – and how I want it to look in my life. This took me back to my experience of the Tony Robbins’ Unleash The Power Within seminar I attended last October. But more about that later!
Definition of personal power
I really love the definition of personal power in a quote by Dr. Stephen Bavolek, from The Nurturing Family. He says:
“Personal power is not how physically strong we feel, but the use of our knowledge, thoughts and feelings to act in a manner to get our own needs met in a positive way. A person’s self-esteem and self-confidence are directly related to whether one gets their needs met in a positive way or a negative way.”
Where does personal power live in the body?
From an energetic perspective when we’re talking about personal power, we’re looking at the solar plexus chakra. This chakra provides the transformational power for our body and mind to be able to process matter and energy. Working with this chakra can help us to establish healthy boundaries. It can also help us to strengthen our willpower and assertiveness, enhancing our ability to stand up for what we think is right.
When we tune into this chakra, it helps us to connect with, and understand the nature of our own personal power. It gives us the strength to command with authority, and also to organise and manage our lives.
When this chakra is balanced and working effectively, it is possible for us to reach a state in which we can shake off fears of rejection, criticism, and standing apart from the group and create our own, unique identity – one that is founded on self acceptance, self-respect and the ability to take risks in the knowledge that we can handle any situation which we face. This is true inner personal power.
Unleash the power within
As I mentioned above, I attended Anthony Robbins’ 5-day Unleash The Power Within program in Sydney last October. It was one of the most profound, powerful five days of my life. I have been following Anthony Robbins for years, had read his books and listened to podcasts, but seeing him in person really helped to understand personal power.
He asked us to think about these three questions:
1) What stops us from moving forward? Taking action?
Psychologically, the answer is fear. Fear can destroy our psychology and immobilise us from taking action. All of us experience fear in some context during our lives: there is rejection, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of love, fear of not being safe…the list goes on. Yet despite the many variations on this theme, Robbins said that all human beings share two primary fears: the first is that we are not enough. The second is that we won’t be loved.
2) What controls and determines the quality of our lives?
Robbins said that what controls our lives are the meanings we associate to the things in our lives, which are shaped by our own personal psychology and our world view (the beliefs and values that we’ve created).
For example, two people may experience the same event, where one person thinks, “The Universe/God/My Boss/My Partner/My Family is punishing me. I might as well die,” and someone else on the other hand, thanks “The Universe/God/My Boss/My Partner/My Family is challenging me. This is the greatest gift I have ever received.” The perceptual difference not only affects the quality of each person’s life, but what action they will take next.
Once meaning is established, Robbins says that each individual has a pattern of emotions that they associate to this meaning as their natural way of coping.
For example, if one parent person feels that someone has verbally abused or humiliated them, they may strike back with physical violence. Someone else might believe it is important to save face by pretending the attack had no impact whatsoever. And yet another person may respond to the same situation by trying to hide and protect themselves, and work to avoid this person or the situation at all costs. The variance in meetings and emotions people can generate is pretty much unlimited.
Robbins says that all meanings are driven by our individual patterns of emotions. We all have patterns of emotions.
For example, we all know people we like to be around because they always seem happy. We also know people who seem to be continuously frustrated, sad or angry.
Our emotions are driven by three forces
According to Robbins, all of us have a variety of emotions we consistently experience, and these emotions are driven by three forces that mold the meanings we take from those emotions:
– A pattern of physiology: that is, how we use the physical body such as our breath, posture or movement
– A pattern of focus: that is, whatever we focus on, we will feel
– A pattern of language: that is, as soon as we put words to an experience, it changes the meaning we experience
3) Why do we do what we do? What are the ultimate drives behind all human action?
Robbins says here that human needs psychology provides an answer to the age-old question, “why do humans do the things they do?” How is it that one person will sacrifice his or her own life for another, well another person will hurt or kill a stranger for sheer pleasure. We are certainly seeing these two polarities play out in the world today.
No matter who we are in the world, or what we do, there is a common force that’s driving and shaping all of our emotions and actions. It determines the quality of our lives, and ultimately, our destinies.
The universal force is human need, regardless of who we are. We are all driven, day after day, to fulfil primal needs that have been encoded into our nervous systems over centuries. Although each of us is unique and special, we’re all wired in very much the same way.
According to Robbins, we all have four primal needs and two spiritual needs:
Certainty – everyone wants stability about their basic necessities like food, shelter and other material resources.
Uncertainty – we also have a need to change a state, to exercise our body and emotions, therefore we seek variety through a number of means.
Significance – we all need to feel special and important in some way. Some people seek significance through obtaining recognition from others or from themselves. When people feel insignificant, they may make themselves feel significant by getting angry. Also, it is important to remember that for many, helplessness is power.
Connection and love – we all need to feel connected with someone or something – a person, an ideal, a value, a habit or a sense of identity. This may take the form of love, or merely an intense engagement like an argument.
Growth – everything in the universe is either growing or dying. There is no third alternative. People are not spiritually satisfied unless their capacities are expanding.
Contribution – just as people cannot survive without others contributing in someway to their welfare, they cannot be spiritually fulfilled unless they are contributing to others as well.
Once we understand that these needs are driving our behaviours (consciously or subconsciously), we can start to make more appropriate choices as we design the life we want. And we can start to use our power more appropriately when we can see that everyone else is being driven by these needs too.
Some questions you can ask to explore your own relationship to personal power
Here are some questions around personal power you can explore if you would like to delve deeper:
- What risks can I take to strengthen my personal power base? (Consider confronting your fears with a particular person. How could you equalise the relationship with him/her?)
- What is the one thing in my life that most depletes my energy?
- How do I use my anger? (Controlled anger is a healthy expression of personal power. Practice venting anger by punching a cushion).
- Do I sometimes feel powerless? When? Why?
- Do I tend to be an angry and irritable person?
Crystals to reclaim and enhance your personal power
Crystals (and any of the other nurturing modalities) can be allies in our bid to better understand and step into our personal power. My Reclaim Your Power Crystal Kit contains seven stones specifically chosen to to help you overcome limiting beliefs, fears and past conditioning.
It incorporates crystals which help you to feel a greater sense of empowerment, stability, passion, creativity, and connection with your true voice and life vision; including:
- Black obsidian
- Lapis Lazuli
If you feel you have energetic blocks around your personal power, I can help you to work through them in a crystal healing treatment or via an Angel Card & Crystal Reading. I also recommend joining the CARMY community I mentioned above. Run by Emotional Strength Trainer, Amanda Foy, CARMY aims to help us clear energetic blocks in a very supportive way.
What are your thoughts about personal power? What do you do to keep it in check or use it appropriately? I’d love to hear your views on this complex topic.