A definition of personal power is your ability to refocus to change your life’s direction. But there’s a bit more to it than just that.

For example, you could exercise your personal power to control your reaction to a sarcastic or hurtful comment. You could also use your personal power to quit smoking, or begin a new and helpful habit.

A measure of your personal power is to notice how quickly and effectively you can change your patterns of behaviour. We are, after all the sum of our various behaviours.

Personal power though is not just self-discipline, although there is an overlap.
A key factor in creating a new habit, or sticking to an existing one is desire. If your desire is great, then it is easier to make changes or stick to ones we have chosen.

If for example a person got a concerning medical diagnosis and the doctor indicated that for them to live longer some changes in lifestyle would be necessary, then knowing that there would be a high price to pay if changes are not made, a highly motivated person will focus on stopping that unhealthy habit.

They use self-discipline to overcome the challenge and use their personal power, which they may not even have known they possessed.

This might seem the opposite to personal power. What it shows is that people who overcome when they have no other choice do find a lot of personal power. They just didn’t have desire.

How to develop your personal power

Even with desire we may struggle to make things happen. That’s when personal power comes in. When you have competing desires and you are struggling, you may blame your self-discipline without recognising that the competing desires are the problem. For example, you want to lose weight, but you can’t resist a chocolate ice cream!

If you constantly listen to your “inner critic” that tells you that you’ve failed and don’t have the power to conquer a particular challenge you may eventually begin to agree with that narrative which erodes your personal power, the belief that the desire is stronger than you are.

Your personal power should be invested in believing that you are capable of anything and everything that you want.
The problem is not that you lack personal power, it’s that you have invested in the belief that you are powerless.

One of the most effective ways to develop personal power is to choose to stop agreeing with those self-sabotaging thoughts that fill your head. It’s important to have the self-awareness to understand their power.

To tackle conflicting desires just focus your attention. Self-discipline needs to be backed up by focus. You may find it difficult to focus in every situation, but meditation and mindfulness can be very helpful here.

Meditation increases your personal power by teaching you to focus and quieting your mind. When you want to choose a new direction for your life, meditation helps you focus to do this. You create a new and powerful habit by training your mind in a different way to increase focus, to quieten your mind, and to increase awareness. All of this aids in developing your personal power which can be applied to any area of your life.

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