April 23, 2024

12 Smart Ways to Empower Yourself And Feel More Powerful

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Dale Carnegie

American writer and lecturer

When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.

We’ve all been there. We feel stuck by feelings of self-doubt, self-pity and victim mentality. These horrible leaving us feeling frustrated, unempowered, out of control, and even hopeless.

Although these feelings are just a part of the human condition, there are many things that you can do to get out of that slump and feel more empowered in your life.

Most of the tips below can be done immediately. There’s no need to wait to get out of the negativity and into a more positive and powerful mindset.

Next time you are feeling less-than, practice a few of these ways to empower yourself and make yourself feel more powerful increasing your positivity and creating a sense of self-assurance and confidence

Ready let's begin.

#1. Empowering Other People To Have Power Over You.

Giving other people the power to control how you think, feel, and behave makes it impossible to be mentally strong. Do any of the points below sound familiar?

  • You feel deeply offended by any criticism or negative feedback you receive, regardless of the source. 
  • Other people have the ability to make you feel so angry that you say and do things you later regret. 
  • You’ve changed your goals based on what other people have told you that you should be doing with your life.
  • The type of day you’re going to have depends on how other people behave.
  • When other people try to guilt you into doing something, you reluctantly do it, even if you don’t want to.
  • You work hard to ensure other people see you in a positive light because much of your self-worth depends on how others perceive you. 
  • You spend a lot of time complaining about people and circumstances that you don’t like. 
  • You often complain about all the things you “have to” do in life.
  • You go to great lengths to avoid uncomfortable emotions, like embarrassment or sadness. 
  • You have difficulty setting boundaries, but then feel resentful toward people who take up your time and energy.
  • You hold a grudge when someone offends you or hurts you.

Can you see yourself in any of the above examples? Retaining your power is about being confident in who you are and the choices you make, despite the people around you and the circumstances you’re in. 

If you want to make yourself feel more power you have to stop doing the above stuffs.

#2. Short Story On Why We Give Away Our Power.

Lauren was clear that she really wanted to be a nice person, and she thought that being a good wife meant tolerating her mother-in-law at all costs.

She felt it would be disrespectful to ask her mother-in-law not to come over and she was hesitant to speak up when her feelings were hurt.

She’d been raised to “turn the other cheek” when someone treated her poorly.

But with help, she was able to see that setting healthy boundaries wasn’t being mean or disrespectful. 

Instead, setting limits on what was allowed in her own home was healthy for her family and less taxing on her mental strength.

Anytime you don’t set healthy emotional and physical boundaries for yourself, you risk giving away your power to other people.

Perhaps you don’t dare say no when your neighbor asks for a favor.

Or maybe you dread receiving a phone call from a friend who constantly complains, but you continue to pick up on the first ring.

Each time you avoid saying no to something you really don’t want, you give away your power.

If you don’t make any attempt to get your needs met, you’ll give people permission to take things away from you.

A lack of emotional boundaries can be equally problematic. If you don’t like the way someone treats you, yet you don’t stand up for yourself, you give that person power over your life.

#3. The Problem With Giving Away Your Power.

Lauren allowed her mother-in-law to control what sort of an evening she was going to have.

If Jackie showed up, Lauren felt angry and bitter about the fact that she wasn’t getting to spend quality time with her children.

On the days Jackie didn’t come to her home, Lauren felt much more relaxed. She allowed Jackie’s behavior to interfere with her relationship with her children, as well as her marriage.

Instead of spending her spare time talking to her husband and her friends about enjoyable subjects, she wasted her energy complaining about Jackie.

She even found herself sometimes volunteering to work late because she wasn’t excited about going home when she knew Jackie was going to be there.

The longer she gave her power to Jackie, the more helpless she became about fixing it.

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#4. The Problems With Giving Away Your Power.

  • You depend on others to regulate your feelings. When you give away your power, you become completely dependent upon other people and external circumstances to regulate your emotions. Life often becomes like a roller coaster—when things are going well, you’ll feel good; but when your circumstances change, your thoughts, feelings, and behavior will shift. 
  • You let other people define your self-worth. If you give others the power to determine your self-worth, you’ll never feel worthy enough. You’ll only be as good as someone else’s opinion of you and you will never be able to receive enough praise or positive feedback to meet your needs if you depend on others to feel good about yourself.
  • You avoid addressing the real problem. Giving away your power lends itself to helplessness. Rather than focus on what you can do to improve the situation, you’ll find an excuse to justify your problems.
  • You become a victim of your circumstances. You’ll become a passenger in your own life rather than a driver. You’ll say other people make you feel bad or force you to behave in a manner you don’t like. You’ll blame others instead of accepting responsibility for your choices.
  • You become highly sensitive to criticism. You’ll lack the ability to evaluate criticism. Instead, you’ll take anything anyone says to heart. You’ll give much more power to other people’s words than those words deserve. 
  • You lose sight of your goals. You won’t be able to build the kind of life you want when you allow other people to be in control of your goals. You can’t work toward your goals successfully when you give other people the power to get in your way and interfere with your progress.
  • You ruin relationships. If you don’t speak up when people hurt your feelings or you allow them to infringe on your life in an unwelcomed manner, you’ll likely grow resentful toward them.

#5. Reclaim Your Power And Feel Empowered.

Without confidence in who you are, your entire self-worth may depend on how others feel about you. What if you offend people? What if they don’t like you anymore? If you choose to put up healthy boundaries, you may receive some backlash.

But if you have a strong enough sense of self-worth, you’ll learn that you can tolerate the repercussions.

Lauren learned that she could be firm with her mother-in-law, while still behaving respectfully.

Although she was terrified of confrontation, Lauren and her husband explained their concerns to Jackie together.

Initially, Jackie was offended when they told her she could not come over every night.

And Jackie tried to argue when they explained that she would not be allowed to make rude comments about Lauren’s rules for the children.

But, over time, Jackie accepted that she had to follow these rules if she wanted to come into their home.

#6. Identify People Who Have Taken Your Power Away.

Steven McDonald is an incredible example of someone who chose not to give away his power.

While working as a New York City police officer in 1986, Officer McDonald stopped to question some teenagers about some recent bicycle thefts.

One of the fifteen-year-olds in question took out a gun and shot Officer McDonald in the head and neck.

The shots paralyzed him from the neck down. Miraculously, Officer McDonald survived. He spent eighteen months in the hospital recuperating and learning how to live as a quadriplegic.

At the time of the accident, he’d only been married eight months, and his wife was six months pregnant. Remarkably, Officer McDonald and his wife chose not to focus on all that had been taken away from them by this teenage boy.

Instead, they made a conscious choice to forgive him.

In fact, a few years after his injury, the officer’s assailant called him from jail to apologize.

Officer McDonald not only accepted his apology, but he also told him that he hoped someday they could travel the country together sharing their story with the hope they could prevent other acts of violence.

Officer McDonald never got the chance to do that, however, because three days after his assailant was released from prison, the young man was killed in a motorcycle accident.

So Officer McDonald set out on his mission to spread his message about peace and forgiveness on his own.

“The only thing worse than a bullet in my spine would have been to nurture revenge in my heart,” he says in the book Why Forgive?

He may have lost his physical mobility in that attack, but he didn’t give that violent incident or his assailant the power to ruin his life.

He’s now a highly sought after speaker who teaches love, respect, and forgiveness.

Officer McDonald is an inspirational example of someone who, despite being the victim of a senseless act of violence, chose not to waste time giving his assailant more power.

Choosing to forgive someone who has hurt you, either emotionally or physically, doesn’t mean you have to excuse the other person’s behavior, but letting go of your anger frees you to focus your energy on a more worthwhile cause.

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#7. Stop Feeling Like a Victim If You Want To Feel Empowered.

If you want to make yourself feel more powerful stop playing the victim game.

Believe me if you’ve spent most of your life feeling like a victim of your circumstances, it takes hard work to recognize that you have the power to choose your own path in life.

The first step is to develop self-awareness by identifying when you blame external circumstances and other people for how you think, feel, and behave.

Take a close look at the people you are devoting your time and energy toward.

Are they the people you want to receive it? If not, you may be giving them more power than you think they deserve.

Each second you spend commiserating with coworkers about how unfair your boss is, you are giving your boss more power.

Every time you tell your friends how controlling your mother-in-law is, you give her a little more power over you.

Resolve to stop giving people your time and energy if you don’t want them to play a big role in your life.

#8. Reframe Your Language To Make Yourself Feel More Powerful.

Sometimes to make yourself feel more powerful means changing the way you look at the situation.

Examples of language that indicates you’re giving away your power include:

  • “My boss makes me so mad.” You may not like your boss’s behavior, but does he really make you feel angry? Perhaps your boss behaves in a manner that you don’t like and it may influence how you feel, but he’s not forcing you to feel anything. 
  • “My boyfriend left me because I’m not good enough.” Are you really not good enough or is that just one person’s opinion? If you took a poll of a hundred people, it’s not likely that they’d all come to that same consensus. Just because one person thinks something, it doesn’t make it true. Don’t give one person’s opinion of you the power to determine who you are.
  • “My mom makes me feel really bad about myself because she’s always so critical of me.” As an adult, are you obligated to listen to your mother make critical statements about you over and over? Just because she makes comments you don’t like, does it really have to lower your self-esteem?
  • “I have to invite my in-laws over for dinner every Sunday night.” Do your in-laws really force you to do that or is that a choice you make because it’s important to your family?

#9. The Best Ways To Empower Yourself is Thinking Before Reacting.

Rachel brought her sixteen-year-old daughter to me for therapy because her daughter refused to listen to her. No matter what she told her daughter to do, she just wouldn’t do it.

The therapist asked Rachel how she reacted when her daughter refused to follow her directions. 

Out of exasperation, she told, she yelled and argued with her. Each time her daughter said, “No!,” Rachel yelled, “Do it!” Rachel didn’t realize it, but she was giving her daughter a lot of power.

Every minute that she argued with her daughter was one more minute her daughter could put off cleaning her room.

Each time she lost her temper, Rachel gave away some of her power.

Instead of controlling her daughter’s behavior, Rachel was giving her daughter power to control her.

If someone says something you don’t like, and you yell or begin to argue, you give those words you don’t like even more power.

Make a conscious choice to think about how you want to behave before you react to other people. Every time you lose your cool, you give that other person your power.

#10. Here Are Some Powerful Ways To Empower Yourself And Stay Calm When You’re Tempted To React Negatively.

  1. Take deep breaths. Frustration and anger cause physical reactions within the body—an increased rate of breathing, an elevated heart rate, and sweating to name a few. Taking slow, deep breaths can relax your muscles and decrease the physiological response, which in turn can decrease your emotional reactivity. 
  2. Excuse yourself from the situation. The more emotional you feel, the less rational you’ll think. Learn to recognize your personal warning signs of anger —such as shaking or feeling flushed—and remove yourself from the situation before you lose your cool. This may mean saying, “I am not willing to talk about that right now,” or it may mean walking away.
  3. Distract yourself. Don’t try solving a problem or addressing an issue with someone when you’re feeling overly emotional. Instead, distract yourself with an activity, like walking or reading, to help you calm down. Getting your mind off what’s bothering you, even for a few minutes, can help you calm down so you can think more rationally.

#11. Evaluate Your Feedback Critically To Feel Empowered (Story of Madonna - American singer-songwriter and actress)

Not long before she released an album that sold over ten million copies, Madonna received a rejection letter from the president of Millennium Records that said, “The only thing missing from this project is the material.” 

Had Madonna allowed that letter to define her singing and songwriting abilities, she might have given up. But fortunately, she kept looking for opportunities in the music industry.

Soon after that rejection letter, she landed a record deal that launched her career.

Within a couple of decades, Madonna was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the bestselling female recording artist of all time.

She holds numerous other records, including the top-touring female artist of all time, and she’s ranked second on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists—second only to the Beatles.

When you receive criticism or feedback from others, wait a beat before responding. If you’re upset or emotionally reactive, take the time to calm down. Then ask yourself these questions:

#12. Here Are Some Other Ways To Empower Yourself And Become Mentally Strong.

You’ll develop a better sense of who you are when you’re able to make choices based on what’s best for you instead of what will prevent the most repercussions.

When you take responsibility for your own behavior, you’ll become accountable for your progress toward your goals.

You will never be pressured into doing something that you don’t want to do based on guilt trips or what you think other people want you to do.

You’ll be able to devote your time and energy to things you choose. You won’t have to blame other people for wasting your time or ruining your day.

Retaining your personal power reduces your risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Many mental health problems are linked to a sense of hopelessness and helplessness.

When you decide not to give other people and external circumstances the power to control how you feel and behave, you gain more power over your mental health.

When you hold a grudge, those feelings of anger and resentment do nothing to lessen the other person’s life.

Instead, harboring anger and resentment gives that person more power to interfere with your quality of life.

Choosing to forgive allows you to take back your power, not just over your psychological health, but also over your physical health.

Research shows some of the health benefits of forgiveness include the following:

  • Forgiveness reduces your stress and makes you feel empowered. Over the years, many studies have shown that holding a grudge keeps your body in a state of stress. When you practice forgiveness, your blood pressure and heart rate decrease.
  • Choosing to forgive increases your tolerance to pain. In a 2005 study of patients with chronic low back pain, anger increased psychological distress and decreased a person’s tolerance to pain. A willingness to forgive was associated with increased pain tolerance.
  • Unconditional forgiveness can help you to live longer. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine discovered that when people were only willing to forgive others under certain conditions—like the other person apologized or promised to never repeat the same behavior—their risk of dying early actually increased. You don’t have any control over whether someone will apologize. Waiting to forgive people until they say they’re sorry gives them control over not just your life, but perhaps even your death.

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Manish Yadav

My name is Manish Yadav and I’m the owner of the blog "Love Finds its Way". My advice does away with the manipulations and mind games recommended by magazines and the surface level advice of TV gurus… We’ll dive DEEP to you actionable steps you can use today. Over 900,000 men & women have transformed their lives, and I've been featured in Lifehack, Return of Kings, Menimprovement, Urban Dater, and so on...
...My only intention is to help you have all of achieve your dreams and desires and live a beautiful and prosperous life.
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