It’s one thing to want to be “more successful” or to “have better relationships,” but achieving true personal power is a much more specific goal. It means that the goals you seek and the successes you achieve are derived from your core self—that part of you that is the reservoir for your most heartfelt dreams and aspirations, professionally and personally. It is also the part of you that stores your most ambitious plans. Often those dreams and aspirations and plans are buried as we move through childhood, adolescence and adulthood. And they’re the very ones that can take us to new heights of happiness, self-expression and achievement.
How does this happen? How does true personal power escape so many of us? A big part of the answer is that the purest and deepest parts of ourselves retreat, when faced with people who don’t support those parts of ourselves. That dynamic can go all the way back to one’s parents, by the way. Out of fear, they may discourage some of our less “practical” dreams. Friends or teachers may try to temper our ambitions as grandiose, when they could just be seen as confident and wonderful expressions of who we really are and what we really hope to become. And because we’re asked to meet so many challenges in our educational and early professional lives, we can jettison the most unique parts of who we truly are, in order to get grades, meet deadlines, secure employment and avoid being seen as “different” by others.
Life events, though, sometimes discourage us from embracing and deploying the most powerful parts of ourselves. We can experience losses, including the untimely deaths of loved ones, that short-circuit the energy we devote to manifesting our core selves. We can see others around us who suffer defeats while pursuing big dreams. And we can—wrongly—think that the best way to do our best is to do what is routine and expected and practical. This resistance between the person we portray to the world and the person we are at core is like any other resistor in a circuit. It slows down the flow of energy needed to be truly personally powerful. It is a source of low self-esteem and depression, too.
Each of us is unique. Each of us has an individual destiny. Shutting it down has consequences.
There’s another factor, too. When we devote ourselves to our true, treasured, God-given talents and dreams and seek to actualize them, we are letting the universe take control. We’re servants of a Higher Power. And that “letting go” requires faith and trust in the universe. It requires a belief that we shouldn’t stand in the way of our inexplicable, immeasurable, miraculous impulses to create and build everything from truly intimate relationships, to art that emanates from the soul, to businesses of imagination and originality and boldness.
True Personal Power is the psychological equivalent of strong core body muscles. It serves as the foundation for both stability and for surges of forward momentum.
Dr. Keith Ablow