"The capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.”
When most of us think of "power," we think of the above definition.
That’s not how I’m defining it though. And frankly, I don’t think it’s helpful for you to define it that way either.
Power, the kind I’m talking about, the kind that you already have, has nothing to do with influencing the behavior of others or course of events.
Do you not have it until you can do those things?
Here are three myths most people believe about power:
Myth #1: Power is external.
Meaning, power comes from having a management position, or high rank, or lots of money or oodles of influence.
Here’s the truth: Power is internal. It comes from within. You already have it, and always have. You just haven’t tapped into yet. Not fully.
Here’s the thing: power is different than authority. Authority just means you’re in charge of something. It doesn’t mean you have power, necessarily. For example, I have authority over my daughter, Elina. But do I have power over her? No! (Anyone who thinks otherwise might try getting a 3-year-old to stay in her bed.)
I’m in charge of her but I don’t control her. Which brings us to the second myth:
Myth #2: Power is the same thing as control.
We think that people who have power are “in control.” But that’s not true either.
Here’s the truth: Power is personal. It comes from within.
Viktor Frankl was a Jewish man held in a concentration camp during World War II. In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor tells the story of what it was like to be a prisoner of the Nazi’s and how they stripped him of nearly everything they could take from him: his clothing, his health, his sense of safety, his family….the list goes on.
Viktor was, in the most extreme sense of the word, powerless. He couldn’t leave. He couldn’t change his circumstances. He couldn’t do much of anything.
He could control how he thought about the situation. And in that way, Viktor owned his power. He knew the Nazi’s couldn’t take that away from him: his thoughts. It literally was the only thing they couldn’t take from him.
He had power over his thoughts. He didn’t need to have control over his circumstances to still own his personal power.
Which brings us to the third myth:
Myth #3: Power looks the same on everyone.
You don’t have to be like Viktor Frankl to be powerful. You can be a CEO who is kicking ass and taking names or a stay-at-home parent who is geeking out on raising his kid. (Like my husband.) You can be quiet, you can be loud. You can be small, or big. Spiritual or irreverent.
Here’s the truth: Power is Individual. It comes from within.
Power looks different on everyone. It is unique to you.
It comes from the inside. It applies only to you (although owning your power will absolutely have an effect on others). And it will look different on you than it will on someone else.
Stop buying into the myths surrounding power. Instead, TAP into your power and see what happens.
Sari's passion is to help you TAP into your power from the inside, out. "Power Tools" provides real talk that gives you tools and reminders for tapping into your power instead of giving in to your excuses.