Hi - Welcome to Saturday - surely it's got to be the best day of the week? Over at my Facebook page, I've recently mentioned some stuff about emotions, and also personal power, which some readers found useful. So this reminded me that I'd written the post below a few years back. So I blew the dust off, and it turns out (according to me!) that it still makes quite a bit of sense. See what you think, and if you agree, give me the big FB like! Have a good weekend.
WHO'S GOT THE POWER??
I was talking with someone the other day about the whole idea of personal power and what it might mean. And then we talked some more about how personal power (or the lack thereof) impacts on our day to day lives, and other areas of our personal functioning such as our mood, our self-esteem, our view of ourselves, and therefore our overall satisfaction with life.
What exactly is personal power? It can probably mean a whole bunch of different things to different people. For instance you can, for example, feel quite powerful in a job that you may not like. Or you can still feel personally powerful without having buckets of money, even though we often equate money with power. You might feel powerful because you really work out at the gym and you are really toned and feel physically strong.
These examples are important, but I believe personal power is likely to be more subtle than this. It is more likely to be concerned with whether or not you feel in charge of you (and in particular how you respond or react in certain situations), regardless of who you might be with, what you might be doing or where you might be. And what is relevant here, is that people who are depressed or quite anxious, are likely to also describe having low levels of personal power. But which influences which?
If you have personal power, you are in charge of yourself, you are responsible for yourself and also your responses and reactions to people and events happening around you. In other words your mood, and your sense of personal competency, your self-esteem will be determined by you, and not by the actions or words of others. Of course, we are going to get pissed off from time to time with someone else. And of course other people can seemingly make us feel quite happy. We are social beings who usually live in close proximity to others who we will respond or react to.
So we need to remind ourselves that our thoughts are ours, our moods are ours, our emotions are ours. No one else puts these into our heads. And when we have let them into our heads, we can choose as to how long we are going to let them rattle around for, and this is especially important for the unwelcome or unpleasant thoughts....we all have the power. No one or no thing (though it is usually a person/people, rather than a thing, that is likely to make us feel lousy) can actually make us think anything if we don't want to.
So switch your power on.
"Some occasional thoughts about families, relationships, and other things that distract us...."