When you react, you are giving your power away.
This is something that I really came to understand a couple of years ago. Giving your power away comes in so many different forms.
A notable example is not having strong boundaries. Just the other day I was having a conversation with a friend who was explaining how annoying it was that certain people in her life had expectations of her visiting on a weekly basis.
Now, I am sure some of you are able to connect with this. For instance, your parents might expect you to visit them every single week, or some friends have these expectations that you call or see them on a regular basis.
Whatever the narrative is for you, if you ever catch yourself getting a little bitter, resentful or even belligerent of individuals who take up way too much of your time, this is a sure sign that you are allowing this to take place.
You are giving your power away.
You create opportunities by not complaining
At some point or another, I’m certain that you’ve heard yourself complain that you never have enough time for you or to do the things that you love.
However, think twice about it before you start holding grudges towards others.
In doing so, you are also giving your power away because you are allowing the other to take up your space by holding on to that vibration of begrudging them.
In reality, no one can force you to do anything. This brings us back to creating and maintaining strong boundaries. You decide what activities, events, projects and people you invest your time in.
That power is yours, and yours only.
Be wary of guilt trips
Another form of giving your power away is by giving into the guilt trips that get thrown your way.
Gosh, I am so guilty of this one. When I receive those sad puppy eyes where the bottom lip drops and you can almost hear them say please … it gets me all the time.
Guilt trips are a passive-aggressive form of manipulation. They are designed to give the manipulator exactly what they want — at your expense. Your feelings and needs don’t matter to them. Their focus is to obtain their desired outcome without regard to your wellbeing or potential consequences.
By refusing to feel guilty, you actually disarm them from having any power over you.
Stay committed to your decisions
It’s quite simple.
If you don’t want to do something, then be strong enough to say no instead of reacting to the individual who is trying everything in their power to win. It’s like a tug of war — whoever gives in first, wins.
Remember, you get to make your own choices. However, you do not get to choose the consequences.
You can’t please everybody, but you can please yourself. How others react to your boundaries is not your stuff. You don’t have to let other individuals’ opinions, assumptions, impressions or attitudes define who you are.
Your self-worth is not dependent on what others think or how they feel about you.
You see, you get to decide whom you allow to influence you. How you invest your time. What commitments you make. Whom you grant permission to have an impact on you in some way, shape or form.
At the end of the day, no matter what your personal situation is, you have free will. You don’t have to change your goals or plans just to be approved by others.
Quite the contrary. If you show others you have strong boundaries, they will appreciate you and respect you more. Besides, boundaries are a problem for the majority of humankind.
Any fool can criticise, condemn and complain
Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.
Have you ever received feedback and thought ‘what are they talking about?’, where you actually thought the feedback held no value and, if anything, it wasn’t feedback at all, more like an etheric slap with a handful of spicy criticism, leaving you very confused?
You have a choice here.
You can allow this to take up your precious space by reacting and stewing over what was your interpretation of this criticism as you try to unravel what was meant that sits between the lines. This choice will influence what kind of day you are going to have.
Or you can respond, where you are able to step back, be the observer of the event and diffuse it by saying ‘this is not me, this is a projection of what is going on for them’.
This choice is keeping your power because no one has the ability to make you mad, angry or upset — unless you allow them to.
To read the second piece in this two-part series, click here.