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Taking Back Your Power

May 27, 2009

Recipe for a Powerful You

Ingredients:

  • You
  • Your responsibility for yourself and your happiness
  • Couple globs perseverance

Directions:

The simple version of my directions for taking your power back are: Start taking responsibility for making your own self be happy, and stop expecting other people to make you feel good!

I figure I’d give a little more information that that, though. Starting with my own embarrassing past (um, and sometimes present).

I have noticed that over the years I put lots of pressure on whomever my significant other of the moment is to make me feel good: pretty, sexy, loved, worthy, the best girlfriend of all time, prettier than that chick at the weenie roast, etc. That’s why I’m going to stick with this example of using someone you’re romantically involved with to get good feelings, though we can try to get this from many, many other people, too.

I remember very clearly being in my late teens and early twenties completely doubting myself, my looks, my body, my beauty, and searching relentlessly for affirmation from whatever guy I was dating at the time.  If the answer or result wasn’t good enough for me, I’d start fights, cry, and overall try to manipulate the situation and other person to try to get what I wanted.

I really thought I had knocked that out of my system, what with the multiple years of therapy, a stint being life-coached, the dozens of self-help books I’ve read, and the huge amount of peanut butter I’ve consumed straight from the jar.

However, I was wrong.  I realized that as recently as last week I tried to manipulate my sweetheart of two and a half  years, who is currently in another state for work, by altering my mood in order to get him to say a certain something to me that would make me feel happy. I don’t know what that certain something was, because honestly, there’s not really much he could do to make me feel good. Because that’s my job.  And it’s your job, too.  To make me feel good.  No, wait, that’s not right.  It’s your job to make you feel good.

The day after this exchange with my boyfriend, I was lucky enough to be talking to a fellow life coach, and I used her fabulous coaching skills to my advantage and had her help me pick through the situation.

She accused me of being a vampire.

No, not that kind of vampire, an energy vampire.

I stole the info below directly from Psychology Suite 101, so go check it out if you want even more info on energy vampires:

How Energy Vampires Drain Your Spirit

Energy vampires drain positive energy in many ways, such as:

  • Intruding on your life, ignoring boundaries and privacy (energy vampires don’t think of you).
  • Making big deals out of nothing. Energy vampires are often called “drama queens” because they can easily turn a broken nail into a Shakespearean tragedy. Negative energy spreads from everyday events.
  • Complaining constantly about their partners, jobs, children, bad luck, and illnesses. Energy vampires like to vent.
  • Criticizing your hair, appearance, job, children, partner, friends, and pets (energy vampires aren’t positive).
  • Not taking “no” for an answer. Energy vampires don’t consider your needs.
  • Being unrelentingly negative. Their negative energy is relentless, and energy vampires drain your positive energy by encouraging you to be negative, too.
  • Blaming everyone else for their problems (energy vampires don’t take responsibility).

Okay, I’m not quite that bad, in fact, I think I am very aware of taking responsibility for my problems and trying to keep a positive energy flow with people, but what she said still rang true to me.  I was trying to manipulate someone else’s energy to get something for myself. That’s when my coaching buddy let me in on something: I was giving my power away.

Only you have the power to make yourself happy.  I’m not saying other people can’t also add to your happiness, but you really hold the key.  If something in your life doesn’t go your way, only you have the power to show yourself the silver lining.

I think it’s wonderful to have supportive and loving friends and family.  But when we start relying on them for our good feelings, and if we continue to do so, we’re giving the power of our own happiness away.  If your boyfriend or mom or sister says something that doesn’t sit right with you, go figure out what’s not sitting right and turn the situation around for yourself.

This is your life, people! It is not easy to take back your power, especially if you live with a whole bunch of energy vampires. They don’t want you to be happy, even if they say they do.  How many times has someone done something that makes you decidedly unhappy who says, “I’m just doing this for you, so you’ll be happy”?

However, no matter how difficult it may seem to get back your power, I promise you the paybacks are huge.  Even in the past week since I acknowledged that I was trying to suck my boyfriend’s energy to make myself feel better, I’ve noticed I take the time to envelop myself in my own positive energy and good vibes before we speak on the phone.  If there is something that normally makes my vampire alarm go off, I recenter myself and remind myself only I can make me truly happy and content, and it’s making a huge difference in my life!

Here are the steps I suggest taking:

1. Identify the people in your life from which you suck energy. Examples are people you try to get to praise you, give you words of love, compliments, sympathy, etc. Let me say again, it’s great to have a supportive web of friends and family, but there is a certain feeling of ickiness when you’re manipulating others to get something from them in order to make yourself feel better.

2. Start taking note of the exchanges where you’re creating or changing the energy in order to get something from another person to boost your own ego.

3. While you continue to note examples of you giving away your power, the power to feel good, to other people, start making a change.  Do this by creating lists daily of why you are wonderful, lovable, and worthy.  Picture yourself enveloped in a beautiful cloud, or a big, shimmery bubble, from which only love can enter and exit.  Protect yourself from other people’s words and attitudes; this only leads to unhappiness leaking into your life.

4. Make the shift, permanently.  Honor yourself and the power you have over your own feelings of self-worth.  If your dad doesn’t tell you you’re the best or if your boyfriend doesn’t tell you you’re beautiful, tell yourself. You’re the only one who has to know it or believe it, anyways. Do not stop making lists of how wonderful you are or keeping up your protective bubble any time in the foreseeable future.  You need to start taking care of you.

We have amazing power we aren’t even aware of.  Often from the time we’re young we’re taught to reach to others to feel better.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  In fact, when you’re filling yourself up with love and goodness, you can’t help but attract even more love into your life! Start taking back your power today!

Be Joyful!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 27, 2009 12:02 pm

    This is great information, thanks Jen!

    I’d like to add that it takes practice to realize when your energy is being sapped — and when you’re sapping other people’s energy. The scary thing is that you can be a vamp and not even know it….which is where self-awareness comes in!

    And I agree that it’s about power — and we have the power to take back our power 🙂

    Thanks again for this,
    Laurie

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