According to Gay Gaddis, Personal Power “is not bestowed on you by someone else, it comes from within yourself.”
So if it HAS to come from within, then how do we foster more personal power? How do we build more self-awareness around our personal power?
Personal power is the key to visibility and presence in your business. You often hear people say “Be true to yourself”. I see this relating directly to the concept of personal power, and how we discover our natural way of being that honours our strengths and weaknesses.
My experience with personal power
7 years of the first part of my life was spent studying Psychology and Primary Education, then a Masters in Organisational Psychology. Afterwards, I then pursued a career as a Psychologist for 11 years. I initially steered into the Psychologist path mostly out of ‘obligation’ and old agreements. I had family and school staff telling me that I was really good at reading people, building relationships and having a great rapport with others.
The assumption was that I would continue on into a career that involved those very skills. Ultimately, I people pleased. What I really wanted to do was Art in some form, but people told me that it wasn’t viable as a career to support myself. I took a detour that would last 18 years! It was a fulfilling detour, don’t get me wrong. You could say that I needed to specialise in Psychology for 18 years so that I would be able to harness my true personal power in my branding work.
Growing in personal power
I was never a typical Psychologist, I was a little quirky. I always pursued less common alternative strategies in helping my clients, including sand tray therapy, art and music therapy, and symbol work. I was also hiding A LOT as a business owner and became burnt out by the sheer number of clients I was serving. I picked up a camera in 2007 for some relaxation and timeout – it ended up changing my world forever. The real ‘bolder’ me began to step forward. My renewed interest in all things art started to ignite. My resilience grew. I felt empowered to take more risks outside of my comfort zone. I became more personally expressive, which revealed my true essence. I was literally aligning with my personal power. I was in my element and I was loving it.
So if personal power is the key to visibility and presence, then what is personal power?
It includes a number of things:
- Your level of confidence
- Your internal locus of control
- Your voice from deep within
- Alignment to your personal values
- Decisions that honour you and your values
- Personal conviction
- Trust in self
- Vulnerability beyond ‘masks’ and old narratives
- Your inner third – your core essence
Personal power is taking personal responsibility, from deep within, for how you step forward into your purpose.
One of the key ways to maintain or develop your personal power is to foster your self-worth, separate from the opinions of others. People pleasing can be a killer, but when you’re connected to your natural flow, you can tap fully into the potential of your influence as an expert. You need to be able to draw out your own thought leadership.
The impact of strong personal power is that you will be heard and truly seen much more clearly in your business. You can share your gifts with ease and purpose.
What happens if you can’t connect deeply to that sense of personal power? You might have an external locus of control, where you feel that external forces are pushing you, that are outside of your control. When we disconnect from our personal power, it changes how we see the world and how others see us. We can appear numb or closed off. Our mindset can be confused and desperate. Our clarity is shadowed in doubt and our presence is flat and constricted.
You might fail to communicate truly authentically with what you mean and what you believe in because you’re constantly looking outside of yourself for support, guidance and approval. Your message can get mixed up or diluted. When you’re not connected to your personal power, you can adopt a victim mindset. You worry too much about your outer appearance and what other people think of you. Because you are disconnected from your instincts and resilience, you can get really stuck in analysis paralysis and fear making any decisions yourself, in case you are ‘wrong’. Diminished personal power makes you unsteady on your feet.
A lack of personal power can impact how your ideal client trusts you, how they resonate with you and whether they can see themselves in your branding.
Personal power is reliant on you being able to focus your attention inward. It’s a bit like holding a light bulb in your hands. It’s not hooked up to any electricity at this point, but you stand there holding this light bulb in your hands and you spend forever looking at it and “willing it” to turn on. You and I both know that it won’t illuminate this way unless you’ve got some magic powers in your bag of tricks. Simply “willing it” to illuminate would be awesome, because then you could have whatever you wanted in your life.
It’s like business owners who use a strategy of ‘hope’ to bring in new clients and more income. Unless you have that magic back of tricks, then we know that a ‘hope’ strategy is not going to get you very far. Instead, you need to raise your awareness around the blockage to your source of power, because ultimately the electricity has to come from within your hand, down your arm and from your heart.
Your source of power must come FIRST. Then illumination will follow with ease.
With a strong sense of personal power, you can illuminate your brand and business in ways that make you highly visible, fascinating and interesting for those around you. When you disconnect from that personal power, your light bulb remains dark and lifeless. Instead, you come across as desperate whilst your energy shows up as heavy and chaotic.
So how can you intensify your own power?
- You get really real, raw and naked with your true desires. Knowing what you want from a “desire” perspective can keep you out of mind-numbing list-making and instead connect with what lights you up (literally)!
- You listen to your self-talk. It holds clues about how fulfilled you are. It shows where you are struggling or doubting yourself. A growth mindset will build your resilience to negative self-talk.
- Have the courage to let go of old agreements and obligations and adapt to what is happening around you. An old agreement might be that people told you when you were young, nice girls are quiet. So ultimately you have taught yourself that in order to be a nice girl, you need to be silent. When you cannot find your voice, it will be harder to connect to your personal power. You must step up and speak up for yourself.
- Stop pushing and start glowing. Intention is everything with personal power. If you can begin with the right intention, then the rest will flow a lot more easily.
- Start sending electric currents of your true voice out into the world. Find your voice. Speak up. Just do the work.
- If you’re facing a real-world situation where you don’t feel competent, then change it. Inform yourself. Don’t fall for the trick that lack of confidence means that you are not competent. Confidence and competence are two very different things. Get wise and kick some serious goals with your Personal Power.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what parts of your personal power have been dimming your light! Or are you glowing so bright that you are lighting the way for others?
I DARE you to turn up the power to 100 Watts or maybe even more?!