Personal power could be defined in many ways, but essentially, personal power is the strength that lies within you to accomplish hard tasks, itís what you draw on when things are not going well, and itís what helps you survive catastrophe.
Personal power is what it takes to make risky moves, to believe in yourself, to take on new jobs and new responsibilities and move forward. Without an adequate supply of personal power, self-doubt, fear, malaise, and apathy can take over your life.
Losing your personal power
Sudden loss of personal power
Loss of personal power can happen suddenly or over time. When it happens suddenly, people recover quickly. If your house burns down and you realize that your insurance has lapsed, it can completely take the wind out of your sails. Youíve lost your personal power and you feel helpless and completely lost.
While devastating, such catastrophes can be the impetus to excel in ways that you never dreamed. People epitomize the phrase, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Many people accomplish more immediately after a catastrophe than they do at any other time.
The sudden loss of a spouse or parent is another event that can completely wipe you out. It zaps your personal power and the bottom can seem as though it has just fallen out. But then you realize that you have a family to raise, and you must move forward. It can take all the energy you have to make that first step, but then you find itís easier to take the second step.
Before you know it, you realize that what wiped out your personal power in the first place, gave you more than you ever had before. Tragedy strengthens people.
Gradual loss of personal power
The worst way to lose personal power is gradually and over time. Small nagging things that are worrisome, always on your mind, and things cannot seem to resolve are issues that slowly bleed your personal power. A job that you are constantly in fear of losing, financial troubles, a long illness, or taking care of an sick or aging spouse or parent are examples of things that just wear you out over time.
The problem happens when you donít realize what these things are doing to you and your personal power slips a way slowly and unnoticeably. Today is not much different than today, and it wonít be much different than tomorrow. However, over the course of months or even years, these chronic situations take their toll.
Sources of personal power
You arenít born with a sense of personal power, and neither do you ever obtain an endless supply. It is a well that you draw from, but itís not a bottomless well and if you abuse it or donít replenish it, personal power reserves are depleted. When that happens, managing daily events becomes almost impossible.
Personal power is an inner strength that people often donít even know exists until they need it. When they do need it, they often arenít sure where to get it.
Each personís source of personal power can be slightly different, but there are many common denominators.
Spiritual replenishment Ė Regardless of your faith, spending time in prayer and meditation on those spiritual things that are important to you is an amazing source of personal power, and most people tend to forget it.
Time alone Ė Itís rare that we ever find ourselves without demands being placed on us. Everyone needs time alone and in different ways. Sometimes itís time at home, sometimes itís with music (or not), and sometimes, just a walk around a lake can do a person a world of good. Reading a good book adds loads of personal power. Be good to yourself.
Time with a spouse or children Ė One of the things that causes a loss of personal power is guilt over not spending adequate time with a spouse or children. Planning and executing this time not only adds to personal power, it stops the drain from the other end.
Physical exercise Ė Not taking care of yourself is a quick way to lose personal power. Your body needs exercise and when things are going rough, it needs even more. When you exercise, your body produces endomorphines and these are great pain-killers and mood enhancers.
You are never too old or out of shape to do some exercise. Start walking one minute per day if necessary and then do two the next day, and then three. By the end of the month, you will be walking 30 minutes a day and feeling much better.
Friends Ė Add personal power by spending time with your friends. Go shopping, go to lunch, just hang out, or just spend time on the phone if nothing else. Just make sure that itís time that is not interrupted.
Laughter Ė Nobody is sure why, but the actual act of laughing makes people healthier and shortens recovery time. Take time to laugh, rent a funny movie, go to a comedy show or just play a fun game with others. Laughing alleviates stress and adds tons of personal power to your bank.