Resources

Ideas to Read and Pass Along

Kevin & Jackie Freiberg

Increase Your Personal Power

You are hard-wired with it.

You were born with personal power. God gave you the ability to THINK, to KNOW and REASON, to SENSE and FEEL, and the determination and self-discipline to ACT. These gifts working in harmony give strength to your life and give you the PERSONAL POWER to manage your thoughts and emotions rather than let them be dictated by outside conditions. Personal power is the combined strength of three forces—your INTELLECT, SPIRIT and WILL—collaborating to bring vitality to your life—even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Personal power enables you to choose:

  • Knowledge over ignorance
  • Wisdom over foolishness
  • Courage over fear
  • Hard work over entitlement
  • Hope over despair
  • Humility over arrogance
  • Appreciation over ungratefulness
  • Love over hate
  • Justice over unfairness
  • Grace over condemnation
  • Inclusiveness over alienation
  • Service over self-interest

These choices in turn, help you build stronger relationships, learn more, take more risks, bounce back from failure and adversity faster, create more opportunities, and get more done, all of which expands your personal power and brings goodness, peace, joy and vitality to your life.

Here’s the thing about personal power:

  • Some people leverage and use it to the max.
  • These people understand that their lives are their own.
  • They choose to take responsibility and do something about their lives.
  • These people are hard to hold down.

And…

  • Some people give it away.
  • These people believe they are controlled by others.
  • They choose to be victimized by being helpless and doing nothing.
  • These people feel lifeless, they are hard to pull up.

What about you?

  • Who controls YOUR emotions?
  • Who dictates the terms of YOUR existence?
  • Who is responsible for your happiness?

The more you exercise your personal power, the stronger you become!

Six Enablers That Will Strengthen Personal Power

1. Know what you stand for.

If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything. Your personal power will evaporate because you’re not grounded, you’re not anchored to anything. Knowing what you stand for is about knowing what you value. Values are the emotional rules that guide your life, the fundamental basis for every decision you make. Values give your life focus and meaning and power.
Exercise:
Take some time to identify what you VALUE most.

Then, evaluate how much of your life is built around and dictated by these values.

Starting RIGHT NOW decide what you are going to do to fill in the gaps.

2. Believe in what you are doing.

Many of us end up compromising our most deeply held values at work because that’s what we think we need to do in order to get ahead, whether “ahead” means more money, power, pleasure, status or some other lure. When we end up doing things we don’t believe in it saps our personal power and we slowly become DEAD PEOPLE WORKING.
Exercise:
Do you REALLY believe in what you are doing at work?

Are you working on things that will matter five years from now?

Starting RIGHT NOW decide how you are going to engage in work that matters.

3. Find your sweet spot.

When you find your sweet spot—the synergy between what you are good at, passionate about, and what needs to be done—you tap into the joy and enthusiasm that increases your personal power. If you are stuck in a job because it’s easy or safe or pays well, but gives you no sense of purpose and passion, you are in the most difficult job of all—a job that constantly drains your personal power.
Exercise:
Have you followed your strengths and passion to find your sweet spot? Or…

Are you engaged in work you don’t love because you’re chasing the money?

Does time at your job fly by or drag on?

Starting RIGHT NOW ask yourself:

  • What would I be doing if I were engaged in work that leveraged my greatest strengths, work that I love, work that I’m good at, and work that makes an extremely valuable contribution?
  • How would this kind of work make me feel? Would I have more energy and vitality?
  • What’s holding me back, what’s keeping me from doing this kind of work?
  • Given the number of working years I have left, what price will I pay, will my family or loved ones pay if I don’t live and work in my sweet spot?

Exercise:
Here are some questions designed to help you find your sweet spot:

Talent:

  • What are you good at, what do you get affirmed for?
  • What comes natural to you?
  • What knowledge, skills, solutions do people seek you out for?

Passion:

  • When are you most alive at work, what brings vitality to your life at work?
  • What are you doing at work when time seems to fly by?
  • Who are you with when you find yourself most energized and engaged?

Contribution:

  • How can your talents and passion contribute to growing the business?
  • What organizational voids exist that could be filled with your gifts and passion?

4. Be authentic.

It takes GUTS to be yourself, to live your values out loud. Your values and deep-seated beliefs are what make you YOU. Authenticity requires putting it out there and being vulnerable. There is always the possibility that you or your ideas will be rejected. Yet, if you think about it, being rejected for being you pales in comparison to being a poser. Nothing drains your personal power like being someone you aren’t—living a lie. You are uniquely different from every other person in the world. When you honor and leverage your uniqueness by living your values out loud you strengthen your personal power.
Exercise:
Can you be yourself at work or does fear cause you to be a poser?

What price—loss of energy, health, effectiveness—are you paying for pretending?

Starting RIGHT NOW decide what being REAL at work looks like, start acting like YOU and enjoy the surge in your personal power.

5. Refuse to let people push your buttons.

Whether it is a boss, coworker, customer or supplier, people will push your buttons and you will be tempted to react automatically. When you do that, you essentially hand over your personal power to the person pushing your button. When you refuse to become engaged, people will change their behaviors. Change begins from the inside out. That is, when you stop going on autopilot (you change), people will stop pushing your buttons (they change). The locus of control is with YOU. The minute you take responsibility for your emotions your personal power grows.
Exercise:
Think about the last time someone pushed your button.

Did you engage or disengage? If you engage, what was the result?

Did you reinforce an old pattern? Did you give away your personal power and put someone else in charge of your emotions? How did that feel?

Starting RIGHT NOW decide how you are going to break the cycle the next time someone pushes your button.

6.Choose NOT to be a victim.

Let’s face it. Life is difficult. Bad things happen to good people. If life hasn’t dealt you some serious blows you better ask whether or not you are in touch with reality. But here’s the deal. While life may cause you to be a victim, only YOU decide whether you are going to become victimized. People who become victimized live in a sanctuary of self-indulgence.

Kim Francom, the ski patrolman highlighted in the front of our book was a victim of an avalanche that almost killed him and eventually took his leg. But, Kim became a victim without giving in to victimization. Rather than ruminate on the past and get wrapped around the hurt, Kim played to his genius. He took his gifts and talents and passion for being a skier, golfer, horseman and hunting guide and used them to address a need—teaching and inspiring others who have become victims not to be victimized. Ask anyone who knows Kim and they will tell you his personal power is HUGE!
Exercise:
Think about a time when you have been a victim.

Did you become victimized? Did you find comfort and solace with other victims?

If you got caught in the trap of victimization did it strengthen or diminish your spirit?

Did you change anything for the better?

Starting RIGHT NOW decide what you are going to do to avoid moving from victim to victimized the next time something painful or discouraging happens at work.