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What is the Source of Your Power?

| | Personal Leadership
What is the Source of Your Power? post image

Beliefs about power and where it comes from have gone through a transformation in recent history.  Popular culture supports the answer that power comes from “the inside”, but do our actions truly reflect that belief?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to talk about things that go against popular culture.  After all, popular culture and psychology have been beating the drum about our personal power with messages that we control our destiny, that we can lead without a title, that we can make a difference, and the list goes on.

Yet there remains an often unspoken belief lingering that the source of our power is somehow outside of us.

For many power continues to be equated with title or position.  Even in our families, our communities and our education system there is a pecking order.  Naturally, there is incentive for those with the power to perpetuate the beliefs and structures that maintain the current structure of power.  This, in turn, perpetuates our own sense that in many situations we are indeed powerless.

We don’t tend to speak about it these days because it’s not popular to admit someone or something has power over you.  It may even make you look bad or seem negative to talk this way.

Since you are reading this blog it is likely you do believe your power comes from within, or at least are working to adopt this belief.  Of course, I firmly believe this, too.

Yet haven’t there been times in your life when your actions have not been consistent with this belief?

I can answer this question personally with a resounding yes!  After all…

When you are stuck or feel stopped, despite seemingly herculean efforts to move forward, it is natural to feel resigned.  In those times it can be far too easy to surrender your personal power in resignation.  Unfortunately, the actions you tend to take in those moments unwittingly reinforce your resignation.

Here’s why…

When you start believing that you cannot get what you really want or need, you do not ask.  You might refrain from speaking up because the risks far outweigh our belief in the possibility that you can make a difference.  It can also be hard to muster the energy to overcome your resignation and take a stand for yourself or something that matters to you.

And here is what it will take for you to lead anyway…

Leadership begins with the belief: “it is up to me”.

If you want to lead others effectively you must begin by leading yourself.  This requires that you embrace the notion that your power comes from within you, even when it doesn’t seem or feel that way.  It is only when you commit to and choose to behave consistently with this belief that you will produce the ultimate win of your leadership – cultivating leadership in others.

A very personal story…

There was a time in the not too distant past when I was feeling vulnerable and powerless, and faced the choice to lead in my own life.  If you would like to hear the story listen here to my conversation with Robyn Stratton-Berkessel on her Positivity Strategist Podcast.  The title of our conversation is The Source of Great Leadership Qualities.

Robyn’s podcast has been topping the personal development charts and it is truly an honor to be a part of her exceptional program.

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Juergen Berkessel   |   09 January 2015   |   Reply

Hi Susan, I loved producing and editing this podcast episode for Robyn, as I loved hearing your personal story. As always, your insights and energy shine through during the entire episode!