When you stop and think about it, you may find that it happens more often than you realize. I think most of us do it – and some of us more than others.
When you make the effort to become more aware of when you might be giving your power away, then you can consciously start to reclaim it – by deciding to change your thoughts and actions. You will start trusting yourself more and in doing so, you will reclaim your energy and your power.
This article shares 10 tips to help you stop giving your power away.
How to Take Your Power Back
- Every time you look for someone else’s approval
- Whenever you say no when you mean yes or yes when you mean no
- When someone else has the ability to upset you
- When you look for someone else to give you all the answers
- If you find yourself trying to prove yourself to others
- When you tolerate toxic relationships
- When you hold back for fear of upsetting someone
- When you don’t believe in or accept yourself
There are many more ways, but I’m sure you get the idea. Learn to recognize whenever you’re giving your power away and make the decision to reclaim it today. Here’s how:
Release the need for approval
When you constantly look for someone else’s approval the chances are you will spend a lot of time feeling disappointed. Take your power back by giving yourself the approval you’re looking for.
Needing someone else’s approval means you don’t really trust yourself. The only approval you really need is your own.
Do you find yourself saying no when you mean yes or yes when you mean no because you don’t want to disappoint or upset somebody else? Become aware of when you do this and practice saying what you really want to say. You’ll find that people generally are not nearly as upset or disappointed as you think they will be.
It may be difficult at first to break the habit, but it does become easier the more you do it. You’ll be happier, and so will everyone around you because, believe it or not, people prefer it if you are honest about your wants and needs.
Don’t take on other people’s drama
Sometimes when other people feel frightened, overwhelmed or frustrated because things are not going well for them, rather than taking responsibility for their own situation they try to pass it on to someone else or pull someone else into their drama. Learn to recognize when this is happening and make the decision to not take it on.
This is not being cruel or heartless. You can offer help and advice if you’re asked for it, but you cannot fix someone else’s problems. You won’t help them if you do, and you will only experience pain and frustration.
For example, you may know someone who tends to share all their problems with you or complain a lot to you and after your interaction with them you’re left feeling upset or depleted. This means you’ve taken on their problems. They may even seek you out because they temporarily feel better after ‘dumping’ on you. This is not healthy for either of you.
Don’t rely on others to tell you what to do
When you look outside yourself for answers you are giving your power away. You can seek advice and learn as much as you can from others, but don’t rely on someone else to tell you what to do. Be informed and make your own decisions.
You must learn to feel when something is right for you. Then make sure you do what’s right for you. If you go along with what others tell you when it doesn’t feel right, then you’re giving your power and your energy away and it never feels good.
Nobody else can know what is right for you. So often other people want to tell you what to think, feel or do, or they will tell you that you shouldn’t think or feel the way you do, or that the way you’re doing something is wrong. Learn what works for you and don’t let others tell you what you should think or how you should feel.
Stop trying to prove or justify yourself
When you feel the need to prove your worth or ability to others you diminish yourself. You don’t need to prove anything to anybody. You also don’t need to justify why you want to do something.
When you feel the need to explain or justify why you are doing something or why you can’t do it you are giving your power away. You don’t need to try and make people feel better or understand your decisions.
I’ve noticed how people do this even with something as simple as receiving a compliment. You tell someone their hair looks nice and they tell you how it’s shorter than they really wanted, and it’s not quite the right style, and they went to a different hairdresser this time and it’s not really what they wanted, etc., etc., when all that’s needed is a simple “thank you.”
Nobody should have to put up with negativity or being treated badly. If you have toxic relationships in your life, you should let them go wherever you can. Toxic people usually want to have some control over you.
Some people are so unhappy in their own lives that they will try to project some of their unhappiness, anger, and any other toxic energy onto you. Don’t let them.
When someone does this and you (knowingly or unknowingly) allow it, you end up taking on that energy, which temporarily helps them feel better, but makes you feel terrible. It can last for hours, days, weeks or even months.
Your job is to recognize that whatever is going on for them is their issue and has nothing to do with you. Stay calm and centered in your own energy and you won’t be triggered by anything they say or do.
Even better, spend as little time around them as possible, or release them from your life. You want to surround yourself with supportive, and uplifting people, rather than those who will bring you down.
Don’t hold back
Do you hold yourself back for fear of upsetting or outshining someone? Whenever you hold back in this way you give that person control over you, whether they want you to or not. If someone in your life can’t handle the ‘real’ you, then that’s their issue, not yours.
By being yourself and working towards your full potential, you might actually inspire others to do the same. Don’t hold yourself back out of fear of what others think of you.
This happens with those who are closest to us. We are afraid that if we become too successful it may have a negative impact on our relationships.
What if the opposite is true? What if your relationships could actually improve? And if there’s someone who resents your success, consider that is someone you don’t need to have in your life.
When something happens that you don’t like or want, it’s a natural reaction to want to blame someone. But when you place blame onto others or even yourself, you are giving your power away.
Blaming other people for your problems suggests that others have the power to make you feel or do something you don’t like. Really, nobody can make you feel or do anything unless you allow it.
Blaming and criticizing yourself weakens you and is counter-productive. You can take responsibility for your situation without blaming yourself or anyone else. You can acknowledge what is happening and be open to solutions – but only when you release the need to blame.
Take 100% responsibility for every aspect of your life and decide what actions you can take to change any situation you don’t like – there is no need for blame.
Stop making excuses
We all do it – finding reasons why we can’t do something we’d really like to do, or why something won’t work. If you really want to do something, find a way to do it, and don’t make excuses for why you can’t.
Making excuses makes you feel powerless. Just try something and see what works. Most of the time excuses are simply a way of avoiding the fear you have of doing something different, the fear of failure, or even of success.
If you really want to do something, you will always find a way.
Respond instead of React
Have you ever had a strong reaction to something and then later regretted how you reacted? You were being triggered by something outside yourself and you had a reaction.
Instead, when you respond, you acknowledge that you have the power to choose what you want to do. So when you find yourself reacting to someone or something, take a breath and a pause, and think about how you could respond instead.
We’re usually so busy that we don’t take a moment before we act. Imagine somebody says something that upsets you and you immediately react in anger. What was said may or may not have been intended to upset you, but your angry reaction will only make you feel worse, and may make the situation worse.
Imagine now if you were to pause for a moment before responding. You might calmly tell the person you don’t appreciate what they said or did, or your choice may be to not respond at all, but to walk away. You can make the decision whether you choose to be angry or not, whether or not you want to invest your energy that way.
That doesn’t mean you ignore your anger. Instead, you can take the time to think about what the person said or did that triggered the anger and what it really means. You’ll have the opportunity to learn something about yourself and let go of the anger that has been triggered.
Next time you find yourself about to react strongly to something, see if you can pause and take a deep breath or two before you do anything. Notice whether that allows you to feel more in control.
Start today and you’ll begin to feel more energized and focused, and everyone will benefit.