As we begin our home spring cleaning, let’s not forget some other areas that may need sprucing up as well. Spring-cleaning is as much about self-renewal and personal regrowth as it is about having a clean house. We all get in a rut sometimes, so spring is as good a time as any to freshen up our lives both inside and out.
When we do an external spring cleaning we go deeper than our usual weekly straightening up. We go behind couches, into cupboards and any other spaces that don’t usually get our attention. The same is true for us. We need to go deeper sometimes too, by taking stock of our life and getting rid of those things that no longer work for us or reevaluate the way we are looking at a situation.
I was having a conversation with someone recently about a situation they were in and it led to the topic of owning our own power. It was a great reminder of how easy it is to feel that someone is doing something to us, and making us feel a certain way instead of realizing we are allowing them to take away our good feelings.
This wasn’t new information to her but it meant something entirely different in the way we were discussing it. Sometimes we forget that we have the freedom to choose not to permit outside influences to bother us or disturb our peace of mind.
Paying attention to the words we use will help us decide if we are viewing our life from a place of personal choice and freedom, or from a place of powerlessness and resignation to others.
For example, if someone says or does something we don’t like and we feel angry about it we may say, “He makes me angry.” In that moment, we are giving away our freedom by letting someone else decide how we feel. It would be more powerful to say, “I get angry when she does that.” In this way, we take ownership for our feelings, and realize we have a choice to change them to something more beneficial.
We give our power away whenever we make someone outside of us more important than we are.
Signs that we may be giving our power away include:
- Doubting ourselves
- Having poor boundaries
- Allowing ourselves to be intimidated
- Trying to make everyone happy
- Looking for validation and approval
- Giving others the power to hurt our self-esteem
Signs of a stronger sense of self and internal power are:
- Speaking our truth
- Honoring our feelings
- Believing in ourselves
- Learning to say “No”
- Spending time with people who are kind and considerate
- Asking for what we need and want
Personal power isn’t about controlling our genuine responses or emotions to life situations. We are human and will spontaneously experience a whole range of emotions. However, it is about shifting our thinking from letting others decide how we will feel and behave, to deciding these things for ourselves.
Where are you giving your power away?
Pretend you are an audience member watching the movie of your life right now. What would you tell the main character to do in their present situations in order to be happier, more powerful and contented? This detached perspective can help us see ourselves and life in a different light and shed a new perspective on it.