(See Visualization Exercises at bottom of post)
Have you ever noticed that some people rarely, if ever, stand in their own way of achieving personal progress and professional success? How some people are ever so willing to take chances and assume the best will come their way, no matter what obstacles they face? Isn’t their confidence and self-assuredness infectious, inspiring and even intimidating at times? Don’t you sometimes wish you had 10% of their faith in themselves? Ever notice how other people respond to challenges, risks and facing the unknown poorly, with minimal confidence or self-esteem? If you’re like most people, you are painfully aware of your own limitations. In fact, feeling confident and secure with yourself and your abilities may be a fairly foreign concept to consider. Far too many of us allow our limitations, our concepts of what we can and can’t do in life, to define what actions we will or won’t take to reach our potential and secure our dreams. But, like so many parts of our identity, our supposed limits are based on our skewed individual perspectives and subjective personal perceptions. Power, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and must be held to know.
Personal power, a measure of self-worth, is the essential element of one’s belief in one’s self to persevere through difficulties and achieve any goal. If you believe you have a lot of power, you believe you can achieve almost anything. If you think you have a limited ability to make changes in your life or in the world, chances are you probably won’t attempt to do so. If you believe you can influence, mold and create your life as you wish it to be, you’ll find ways to fulfill that desire by taking action, without any fear or trepidation of what obstacles you’ll face. Even if you are afraid, you know you’ll conquer your demons and triumph over adversity because you trust and have faith in your talents, skills and gifts so deeply. Whereas, if you don’t trust that you can risk the obliteration of your security, you probably won’t test your limits, reach for success or chance the possibility of failure.
Power means different things to different people. For some, power is related to physical strength or prowess. Others find power in wealth and influence. Still others see intelligence, talent and experiential wisdom as their power. All are valid forms of power, but there are other ways to be powerful in the world and develop great self-confidence and security. Some are positive in their scope, others rely on negative qualities to express themselves. Most power is limited, but some has limitless potential for creating good.
If you want something and you use your emotional pull on others to get it, that’s a negative, self-centered and limited form of influential power. Anyone who’s had to deal with a demanding friend, an aloof co-worker or “victim-martyr” type relative knows this to be true. Such pitiful “power” is always taken from another person and lacks any generosity of spirit. Their sway over your good nature can only last so long before you resent them and deny them the power they seek to hold over you. A positive, expansive and relatively limitless form of power to use in achieving your goals is spiritual power, the power we receive from prayer, meditation and self-development. Asking more of yourself, making yourself into a bigger person to match greater challenges and transforming yourself to reach your potential by sheer will creates a stronger character that can achieve greater results. Connecting with your higher self, the greatest and best part of you, to make your life better is indeed a spiritual pursuit and relies on no one but yourself and your relationship with the creative forces of the universe to manifest your good fortune.
There are other forms of power that have some unavoidable limits but hold great potential for personal development when they are fully realized. Self-control is one. The ability to see that your power is limited to your control over your thoughts, feelings and actions can actually free you to let go of expectations, assumptions and unhealthy desires in the material world of things and relationships. Being responsible for your words, deeds and health sets others free to control their lives and releases you from any need to have them behave in any certain way. You can control your health through good nutrition, a sold fitness routine, regular sleep and rest periods and a positive mindset. You have power over yourself – your body, mind, emotions and actions – nothing more and nothing less, which is a great blessing, a relief and a terrific responsibility.
You have no real control or responsibility over how others live their lives. All you can do is be a positive influence and good example or model and hope they compliment your energy. The rest you can let go, and that is a blessing. You can also control your feelings, your emotions, how you react to others. It may not always feel that way, but you can decide how much you allow yourself to become raveled up in someone else’s drama or react defensively if riled. You can control many of your relationships – how close they are, how long they last and if they should be part of your life. If a relationship isn’t adding to your existence maybe it shouldn’t remain a connection. Aspects of your ambition can be controlled, like your commitment, resolve, enthusiasm, dedication and devotion to pursuing your goals. The power of your will, if you direct it, can produce wonders. If you squander your will to take action, you will face a lifetime of walls.
Your mind is under your control. A powerful mindset is the most valuable asset you can develop. Without harnessing the power of your mind, little else is achievable. Your imagination has great power and you can hone it into visionary genius or waste it on worries, frets and fears. You can control your level of knowledge and education. Ignorance is also in your control. Your reputation and honor is under your control. Are you reliable, honest, dignified and faithful? What you put your attention on is in your power. Do you focus on completing admirable activities or point your mind at pointless pursuits? Your level of gratitude can be a powerful asset. A thankful heart is often amply rewarded. Your energy and effort are also powerful strengths. The more you put in, the more you’re bound to get out of your investment. But all these things are somewhat limited. The most limiting power we have to make positive changes on earth is time. You only get so many turns around the sun to make your mark, so how you spend your time is a power that matters in the finite. The least limited power you hold in this life is faith. “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed… you can move mountains.” Faith makes the impossible possible. The greater your faith, the greater the challenge you can overcome. Faith can be a limitless power and can make you feel unlimited in your ability to change, learn, heal and grow. Faith will help you let go of your limitations. You must be willing to let go of those barriers before you can move on and realize your potential.
Confidence, success and a winning attitude aren’t magical, easy or inborn qualities. They are nurtured by trial, error and retrial. Only through the application of courage under fire can confidence grow and become one of your defining characteristics. Feeling a sense of power in your life is like building a muscle. The more you use your power to overcome resistance, the stronger that power gets. Your limitations are only what you think they are. What happened to you in the past is not what defines you. It was all just a story, a way your mind came to understand your circumstances in order to protect and defend you, to keep you safe. And you have the power to change your mind! There are more important things in life than being safe. Like exploring your truth, defying your limits and owning up to your power before you’re forced to look back in regret.
You choose your path, of whatever level of resistance you decide you can handle. You decide your identity – as a victim or victor. There really is no good or bad direction, only a neutral universe on which you impress your perception and outlook. Your attitude is the forerunner of your success. Ultimately, you are the CEO of You, Incorporated. Why not make the executive decision to move past your self-imposed, self-limiting ideas and behaviors and choose to be the strongest, wisest, most attractive and capable person you can be? Why not have faith and believe that you are a beautiful, brilliant, blessed and majestic being? Why not accept and own your true power to create, to choose your own path? The responsibility is yours, whether you choose to take those reigns or not. Will you let the lies of fear and self-doubt guide you into mediocrity and obscurity or shall the truth of love and self-respect lead the way to your brightest, fullest potential and best destiny?
Here are two visualization exercises to help you uncover your power to achieve personal and professional greatness:
The Wall – A Perspective
Close your eyes and take a couple deep breaths. Then imagine your biggest problem, issue or limitation as a wall in front of you, no more than a few feet away. Can you see what it looks like? Notice its color and texture, what its made of, how tough it seems and how tall or wide it appears to be.
Now, step 20 large paces backward, away from the wall. Count those 20 steps before you look back at the wall. What does the wall look like now? It’s much smaller isn’t it? You may not be able to see where it begins or ends. It may have large cracks in it or even holes, places where it’s crumbling apart. Maybe you can see it does terminate at some bend. Or someone has dug a tunnel underneath it at one part or has set up a ladder to climb over it. There are ways through that wall.
On the other side of the wall you can see a beautiful green pasture with flowers, trees and endless possibilities. Difficulties are surmountable, as long as we can gain a healthy perspective and find ways of working around them. Empower yourself to see and live beyond your supposed limitations. Take bold action to gain greater confidence and your walls will become stepping-stones to success.
You, Unlimited – The Vision
Imagination is one of our greatest powers and is fairly unlimited in its scope. For a moment, make believe you are a magician or wizard. You have the ability to conjure up any reality you desire. Now, look into a mirror in your mind. Make sure it’s a large mirror so you can see yourself and the panorama surrounding you. Waive your magic wand and cast a spell. One by one create the circumstances you wish to have in your life, the reality you desire, all around you and within you. Imagine the beautiful body and health you want as real. Create the education, career, wealth and finances you desire in this vision. See the loving, joyful relationships, fabulous experiences, the freedom, success and legacy you want as solid parts of your life. All the material possessions you ever wanted are there, too. Keep imagining all these good things in your master vision until you’re satisfied with how it looks.
Now, with that vision seeming like a dream come true, begin to FEEL yourself living as that person – unlimited, grateful and beaming with happiness! Let your heart and emotions become completely wrapped up in the reality of what you’ve created and let it feel really good, all over your body. Take at least 30 seconds to soak in and experience the fullness of your ecstatic appreciation and bliss for what you have conjured up as your holographic, dreamlike reality. Smile from ear to ear for those 30 seconds or more and then slowly open your eyes and take that positive feeling with you to brighten your day and enlighten your path toward the most unlimited version of you that has been made possible by your envisioning and feeling the vibrations of that potential actualization. This experience becomes a part of you and will guide you to greater explorations of success and happiness. Repeat often!
“Don’t hide your light under a bushel.”
~Be bold, be unlimited… be well!