5 Steps to Take Back Your Power And Start Loving Your Life
Giving people the power to control the way you think feel and behave can hinder your mental strength.
And while no one wants to give others such power, many people are guilty of it.
There are many signs suggesting that you’re giving away your power such as:
- You feel deeply offended by any negative feedback or criticism regardless of the source or whether or not the feedback is accurate.
- You choose and change your goals based on what other people think you should do.
- How good day is going to be, depends on how other people behave.
- You work hard to please other people because you feel like your self-worth depends on how good they think you are.
- You often complain about people and circumstances you don’t like.
- You’re having a hard time setting boundaries and you often end up feeling resentful toward those who are taking up from your time and energy.
- You hold grudges when someone hurts you.
In this article, you’re going to learn how to reclaim your life and start loving it.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
The problem with giving away your power
Giving away your power presents many problems such as:
#1. Having to depend on others to feel good about yourself and your life.
When you give away your power, you become completely dependent on others and circumstances to feel good.
If things are going well, you feel good. If not, you don’t feel good.
#2. Letting others define your self-worth.
When you give away your power to others, you’ll feel as worthy as someone else’s opinion of you.
However, no amount of praise or positive feedback can satisfy will be enough, and you’ll always depend on others to feel good about yourself even for a short while.
#3. It prevents you from dealing with the real problem.
Giving away your power makes you feel helpless.
Instead of looking for solutions for your situation, you’ll too busy giving excuses and blaming others.
#4. You become a victim of your circumstances.
Instead of actively setting goals for yourself and working on them, you’re letting other people and circumstances decide what goals to dream and achieve.
You’ll blame others and circumstances for where you are in life and how you feel about yourself.
#5. You ruin your relationships.
You can’t seem to be able to speak up for yourself when someone interferes in your life.
However, you’re still are going to grow resentful toward that person.
5 Steps To Reclaim Your Power
When you’re too dependent on others for your sense of self-worth, it becomes hard to stand up for yourself and reclaim power over your life.
In fact, you’ll be too worried you might offend them and they won’t like you anymore.
But if you build strong self-worth, you’ll learn that you can handle the repercussions.
#1. Identify Who And What Is Taking Your Power
It’s hard to recognize that you have the power to choose your own path in life when you’ve been feeling like a victim for a long time.
The first step, to take over your power, is to develop self-awareness by identifying when you’re blaming other people and external circumstances for the way you think, feel, and behave.
Take a closer look at the things and people that are taking most of your time and energy.
Are they the people and things you want to receive it? If not, then you may be giving them power over your life.
When you spend a fair amount of time complaining about your boss, you’re giving him more power than he already has.
Resolve to stop giving people and things, you don’t want to give power, any more time and energy.
#2. Think Before You React Negatively
Try these strategies when you’re tempted to react negatively to people and circumstances that are taking your power.
– Breathe deeply. Taking slow, deep breaths helps relax your muscles and stabilize your heart rate which helps decrease your frustration and anger.
– Distance yourself from the situation. It’s hard to think rationally when you’re angry. When you start to get angry, remove yourself from the situation until you cool down.
You can tell the person that you’re not willing to talk about it right now, or walk away.
– Calm down. Don’t try to address the situation when you’re feeling overly emotional. Distract yourself, even for a few minutes.
Take a walk or read a book. Calming yourself down helps you think more rationally.
#3. Evaluate The Feedback
By evaluating how valid the critic or the feedback is, you regain your power and start depending less on others’ approval.
In fact, criticism can help you make positive changes when a friend or a partner points out a bad habit or selfish behavior.
However, sometimes the criticism is a reflection of the critic. People with low self-esteem may feel better about themselves when they put others down.
This is why it’s important to evaluate the source of the feedback before accepting it or reacting to it.
To evaluate the feedback ask yourself the following “What evidence is there that this is true? And what evidence do I have that this isn’t true?”.
If your boss is saying you’re being lazy, look for evidence you didn’t get your job done, and look for times you’ve worked hard and got your job done well and on time.
#4. Recognize Your Choices
If the feedback is justified, you may consider making a change and fixing things up.
Just remember that no one is forcing you to change. It’s because you saw the truth in someone’s feedback, and you felt that making a change is the right thing to do, that you decided to change.
Remind yourself that, while there are few things we have to do, there are many other things we have a choice over.
Instead of saying “I have to go to work tomorrow”, recognize that going to work is a choice. Not showing up might have consequences. You might not get paid, and you might get fired altogether.
But in the end, it’s a choice.
Keeping in mind that you have a choice in everything you feel, think, or do, can be very freeing and empowering.
#5. Start Forgiving
When you hold a grudge, you’re giving away your power to the person you’re feeling angry toward.
Research shows that forgiving others helps improve, not only your mental health but also your physical health.
Some of the benefits of forgiving include; reducing your stress by lowering your blood pressure and heart rate, as well as increasing pain tolerance and increasing your life expectancy.
Taking Back Your Power Will Make You Stronger
Taking back control over how you think, feel, and behave can be empowering.
In fact, taking back your power helps you become mentally stronger including:
- Developing a better sense of who you are through making choices based on what you truly want and not what others want you to do.
- Becoming accountable for your progress toward your goals, as you’re starting to take responsibility for your own choices.
- Feeling less pressure to do things based on guilt trips or what you think others would want you to do. And being able to devote your time and energy to things you choose to do. Thus, no more blaming others for wasting your time and energy.
- Reducing risks of depression and anxiety. In fact, giving away your power leads to feeling helpless, something that can cause mental health problems.
Like everything associates with change, taking your power back is going to take practice.
Be aware of the ways in which you are voluntarily giving away your power, and work on changing it.
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Portions of this article were adapted from the book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, © 2013 by Amy Morin. All rights reserved.