It’s not uncommon for us to feel powerless at times, as we go through life.
We have many things that affect our ability to be powerful, so it’s important we find ways to avoid feeling powerless.
One thing that should be clarified is being powerful doesn’t mean we are dominant over others or try to get our own way all the time. It also doesn’t mean we hide aspects of ourselves we don’t like so we come across as more powerful that we really are to others.
Avoiding feeling powerless means we’re willing to show our true self to others without the fear of ridicule or rejection. Feeling powerful rarely comes from material possessions or success.
In fact, how powerful we feel doesn’t come from anything external or “outside” of ourselves. It totally comes from “within.” If we don’t feel powerful on the inside, it’ll be very difficult to display it externally.
The less we feel powerless, the less we’ll struggle with self-confidence or self-esteem issues.
One time I remember when I felt powerless was when I completed my university studies and was looking for my first job. During my final year of study, I applied for my graduate positions but did not even get invited to a single interview.
When I completed my final exams, I continued applying for many roles, with little success. Soon enough, days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, and I could feel a sense of desperation building.
I even stopped staying in touch with my university friends because I felt so humiliated and powerless that I had not found a job. At one stage, I even considered not attending my graduation ceremony so I wouldn’t have to face my peers.
I eventually got myself to attend my graduation and while interacting with my peers, I discovered that almost half of those graduating were also looking for their first job. That took away a lot of the negative emotions I was experiencing at that time.
Two months after my graduation, seven months in total since completing my studies, I found my first job. While I would have preferred to have found a job earlier, that experience made me recognise just how important it was to not let external events or circumstances dictate whether I felt powerful or not.
5 Ways to Avoid Feeling Powerless
Here are five ways to avoid feeling powerless so you can generate greater levels of self-confidence and self-esteem, while remaining true to who you are.
- Determine your true source of power. Our real power is in our ability to respond to events or situations rather than react to them. Being reactive comes a lot easier to us because that’s how we have been programmed from an early age. Our job is to recognise that we always have the ability to choose to respond to something instead of reacting to it. This is the starting point.
- Become more conscious of when and why you give away your power. We all have patterns of behaviour, most of them, unconscious. If we allow ourselves to stop and examine why we do the things we do, we’ll find patterns or things that trigger certain responses. Our job is to fix the occasions where we give our power away for whatever reasons.
- Develop your true, authentic self. As true power always comes from within, the more we develop our mindset and form a healthy attitude, the more powerful we will feel. We’re drawn more to those who are their true selves and similarly, others will be more attracted to us if we are being our true selves.
- Associate with people who are authentic and powerful. As we become like the people we surround ourselves with, the more time we spend with those who are powerful, the more likely we’ll feel a lot more powerful ourselves. Our job is to build a strong network of like-minded people who will support us and help us grow.
- Trust that there is a higher power working for you. With every challenge or failure we experience, we’re being guided to become the person we’re meant to be. While we may not recognise it at the time, we have to trust everything is happening for us, not against us.
If we want to avoid feeling powerless, it’s necessary to do things that will build up our confidence and self-esteem. If we apply the things suggested above, we’ll notice a change in how powerful we feel, which will continue to develop our confidence and self-esteem.
Action Step: Reflect on times when you felt powerless and apply the ideas suggested above. Everything starts with learning to be more responsive rather than being reactive.
Question: What is another way to avoid feeling powerless?