Your personal power is your ability to change your own life. It is based on a number of factors, including how strong, confident, and capable you feel. When you have personal power, you believe that you can realize your goals and achieve your dreams, that you can become what you want in this world.
Having this attitude about yourself and your abilities allows you to control your own fate. But, all too often, we relinquish this power to others, leaving us feeling personally powerless.
Think of all the times in your life that you admonish yourself for doing or thinking something because it is “wrong” or “bad,” when you shove your needs or values aside to accommodate others. How often do you compromise or settle to make others happy?
These are all ways you give over your personal power to others, which compromises your ability to live your life on your terms. Here are five signs that you are becoming personally powerless, which means you need to make some changes to start living your life on your terms.
1. You Can’t Say No
There are many people who feel intense guilt or shame when they turn down a request or offer from someone else. They simply can’t say “no” to helping someone out or doing a favor, even when it is not convenient or forces them to compromise their own needs.
Another symptom of this is telling lies to avoid confrontation. All of these are signs that you can’t stick up for yourself or set healthy boundaries that allow you to live life on your terms.
2. You Are Always Jealous of Other People
If you do not love and accept yourself as you are, then you may find yourself envious of the skills, accomplishments, or lifestyle of other people. Jealousy is a sign that you are allowing the actions and lives to influence how you choose to live your life. Worrying about what other people are doing or how they live their lives means you do not have the power to control your own decisions.
3. You Sabotage Your Health
The main reason you give up your personal power is that you are struggling to love yourself. And this is clear when you do not treat your body and mental health with the respect it deserves. Loving someone means taking care of them, which is why we protect babies, pets, and other vulnerable people in our lives.
Why not protect yourself, as well? Drinking, smoking, overeating, doing drugs, and finding excuses to not look after your health all tell other people that you are struggling to love yourself and are giving away your power to control your life.
4. Your Life is Dictated by External Forces
Allowing other people, society, or norms to dictate what you do in your life is a sure sign you have personal powerlessness. Making decisions based on your partner, children, or parents’ goals, doing things because your church tells you it is what is best, or conforming to societal pressures means you have relinquished control over your destiny, and you are repressing your own needs.
5. Your Emotions Control Your Life
When you feel incapable of controlling your life, it is easy to allow your strong emotions to control your decisions. Whether it is sorrow, rage, or glee, letting your feelings guide your choices means you have given up rational decision-making. It is okay to feel these emotions, but it is equally essential that you process them and allow them to empower you, not to drive you.
Self-empowerment and improvement come from a desire to love and accept yourself. And personal power is only possible when you embrace these concepts. A foundation of self-acceptance and love will help you take back the power in your life and accomplish everything you set your mind towards.