Personal Power is an Emotional Intelligence (EQ) competency you’re probably familiar with by another name. It’s your sense of being able to handle yourself and your life. It’s opposite of “victim” position, where you feel helpless and hopeless. Instead, when you’ve developed your Personal Power, you feel confidant to help yourself, and to ask for help when you need it, and you feel positive about outcomes. You are more willing to take action, and to use solution-focused problem-solving, instead of emotion-focused problem-solving.
You may have thought when you read title of this article, it was referring to your power in external world and it is, but this comes only when you have Personal Power within. You create your world by your thoughts and beliefs, and if you feel helpless and hopeless, you’ll create these outcomes. When you have a quiet sense of Personal Power, you are able to accomplish more, and will come to say, “If I couldn’t do it, nobody could’ve.”
So how do you develop your Personal Power? You can’t function fully until you know yourself, and to know your SELF is to know your FEELINGS. We are our emotions and they are there to guide us.
People in victim position don’t know what they think or feel, and feel they have no rights. Assertiveness is believing in rights – yours and others. It means treating others with respect, and yourself as well. The cornerstone of Emotional Intelligence is self-awareness, and you begin this by doing an EQ Checkin often during day. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually?”
I’ve found in teleclasses that most people can talk immediately about how they feel physically, but don’t know what “mentally,” “emotionally,” and/or “spiritually” mean, so I’ll define them so you can get started.
HOW DO YOU FEEL MENTALLY? This refers to your ability to think. Are you alert? Full of ideas? Sluggish? Unable to process? If I asked you to do a math problem, or generate some alternate solutions to a dilemma, how would you do? This is what “mental” is about – your ability to handle information, facts, draw conclusions, formulate a thought, solve a problem, and perform other thought processes.
HOW DO YOU FEEL EMOTIONALLY? Everyone takes a stab at this one, but there are two ways to weasel out. One is to say, “I feel like a wrung-out dishrag,” and other is to say, “I think I’m exhausted.” In first case, you’re begging out, and in second case, notice word “think” was used, which makes it a mental process. Sometimes we lack vocabulary, and emotional expression is part of Emotional Intelligence. How do you feel EMOTIONALLY? Here are some answers, and they begin with “I AM” – sad, angry, frustrated, enraged, discouraged, tired, overwhelmed, elated, optimistic, or resentful. Of course there are many others. One thing you can do to increase your Emotional Intelligence is to learn new words for feelings. Then apply them to your situation.
It’s very common to feel “angry,” when it contains many layers. It could be from frustration, fatigue, being too hot, having had too much caffeine, righteous indignation, and a range from “annoyed” to “enraged” or “ballistic.”
HOW DO YOU FEEL SPIRITUALLY? How you answer this depends upon your understanding of a higher power in your life. Some people answer this with “I don’t know.” Others will say, “I’m very attuned with nature today. I had a long walk with my dog,” while others will say, “I feel very connected to those around me. Very warm and loved.” You could also say, “Close to God” or “I feel good about life and myself.”
Most of us recognize a deeper level in our lives, be it through religion, spirituality, art, culture, music, poetry or nature. Being able to answer “How do you feel spiritually?” may take some work on your part, but then so may others.
Being able to answer these four questions gets you centered on yourself. If you’ve been lacking in Personal Power, chances are you may have been exercising too much empathy, or ignoring feelings of yourself and others, so you are not in touch with your feelings. You often don’t know what they are!