“Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.”
—Pete Carroll, Head Coach Seattle Seahawks
We all strive to live powerfully—to feel we have great influence over the events and relationships in our lives. Often, just the opposite is true and it feels as though life is happening to us, that we have no control over it as waves of circumstance wash over us. We swim through situation after situation in reaction, trying to make sense out of it all and keep our heads above water.
As Pete Carroll (and many other wise people) have said, each person holds a great deal of power. When that power is accessed, we become creative, resourceful and influential. What we want for ourselves and others becomes possible. We find ways of manifesting our desires, reaching our goals and motivating others. Confident and relaxed, we are effective and respected, both at home and at work.
So how do we find our groove, get our mojo, access our personal power? Here are three main ways:
1. CULTIVATE A STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH YOURSELF
Don’t pretend that everyone else’s needs come first. When the plane is going down, you put your own oxygen mask before you attempt to help anyone else with theirs. This metaphor holds truth in every context. Our effectiveness is limited by exhaustion and depletion. In order to take care of business and take care of others, we must take care of ourselves first.
At any given time, you can answer the question: What do you need? Develop a set of criteria by which you check-in with yourself—physically, emotionally, spiritually—to determine your needs. Then, take responsibility for those needs and act accordingly.
Develop a Strong Statement of Purpose
Determine what it is you are up to here on Planet Earth. Use that vision as a guiding force in your life. Resist indulging in anything that is out of integrity with who you are. Be ruthless in eliminating distraction. Be a living example of what you are bringing forth. Walk the walk. Be the change you want to see in the world.
2. CULTIVATE HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries
Saying no can be an essential expression of love. I’ll say it again: Saying no can be an essential expression of love. Get a handle on your co-dependency quotient and enforce boundaries as a means of being able to sustain your loving presence in the world. It is important to teach the people in your life to fish for themselves. In doing so, they not only develop their own self-sustaining skills, but often discover and innovate in ways that serve others.
Support, Support, Support
Develop a support system and don’t be afraid to use it. Let go of the idea that you have to do it all and fully embrace the vulnerability it takes to ask for help. Maybe you can even enjoy creating opportunities for others to show their love for you through acts of service.
Compassion, Compassion, Compassion
One of the key components of healthy relationships is the ability to be compassionate. Walk a mile in another person’s shoes before you judge them. More to the point, every person has their own struggle, their own pain, their own filter by which the view and interact with the world. If we can avoid taking other’s behavior toward us personally, we can allow them the space to be who and where they are. And we allow ourselves to see them with a compassionate heart and wish them well on their path.
3. CULTIVATE INDEPENDENCE
Get Comfortable Being Alone
When it comes right down to it, we are born alone and we die alone. While you may choose to be in the company of others, don’t hide out in relationships in order to avoid confronting your own self. We are only able to meet others—and the world—to the extent that we can meet ourselves. When we are willing to stand alone, we allow ourselves the freedom to be in integrity no matter what.
Relish the state of “not knowing” because that’s where possibility lives. When we rush to arrive at an answer, or determine the outcome of a situation, we close off future possibility. To the extent that we can tolerate the discomfort of uncertainty by allowing things to unfold naturally, we remain open to solutions we couldn’t have previously imagined.