Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter
I would like to share these nine profound truths with you. But before I do, I would like to caution you that based on your level of cognitive dissonance and level of healing and emotional health, I guarantee they will either trigger you to partially or vehemently agree or disagree with some or all of them.
- Masculinity is not power.
- Femininity is not weakness.
- Aggression is not power.
- Having money is not power.
- Fear is not power.
- Alleviating fear is not power.
- Self-righteousness is not power.
- The value of one year of experience 30 times over is not equivalent to the value of 30 years of experience.
- Thinking you or someone else is competent does not make you or them competent.
- Believing lies even by a majority does not make them true or valuable.
- Being comfortable or familiar with an idea or a belief does not indicate its truth or value.
At a minimum, I hope these motivate you to think and pull the thread on why or why you do not relate to them. Why should you care? Because these are the core (corrected) irrational beliefs we are taught to believe that skew our perceptions of our own (male or female) and others’ personal power and self-worth. These are the primary beliefs that impact our emotional and relationship health and our self-esteem and our prejudices. They also are what attract us to and make us vulnerable to abusers, exploiters, con artists and other power hungry predators in power imbalanced relationships. In short, these are the primary beliefs that support our personal joy, health, power, and happiness.
Why are Personal Power and Worth Important to Survival
Our minds and bodies were designed to function interdependently and optimally if they are properly nourished and maintained. And conversely, they do not function optimally if one or both are not. As described in the article, “The Damaging Effects of Living An Inauthentic Life and How to Change It,” by Tracey Crossley, living inauthentic lives just like physically abusing or neglecting our bodies cannot sustain us because our bodies were not designed to function that way. We are fighting nature by fooling ourselves and what will nature do? It will rebel and when it does, the consequences can be severe and for some irreversible. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So when you do not supply to the body (or mind) what it authentically needs to function properly, the body knows. It will attempt to take from somewhere else even if you are fooling yourself otherwise. Apathy may keep you safe in the short term or at that moment, but it will not sustain your emotional or physical health.
So if you do not provide the body and mind the proper nourishment they need to survive or you take in too many toxic substances or stress your body or mind beyond what they are designed to do, they cannot develop or function normally and visually, you look bad and physically and emotionally, you feel bad. You become physically and emotionally unfit. Now, for a while, the liver or body systems that are being taxed will filter out the crap and your natural defenses will take over until wham! You have overtaxed them and they no longer are able to filter out the garbage faster than it is coming in or you have strained that vertebrae or ligament or muscle as far as it can be stretched. You experience emotional and physical pain. These are the cues that what you have been putting in the body is not sufficient to nourish and sustain it and you need to stop doing what you are doing and course correct. So you could take an aspirin or an antacid or put on makeup or get false teeth or take high blood pressure medicine or cholesterol medicine that will mask the damage and temporarily relieve and sustain yourself, nevertheless until you provide your body the proper nutrition to care for it and ensure its works as it was designed, something will continue to give and you will continue to risk being at some level of pain and suffering.
The Mind can be Overtaxed and Malnourished as Well
Too much emotional toxicity or pain along with distorted thinking can starve the spirit for nourishment and exceed the pain threshold your brain was designed to handle. Once our souls are nourished, we feel complete – happy – content – valued. We know how being liked, loved and desired makes us feel. We set and achieve goals because we know how achieving them makes us feel and that we are worthy of the outcomes. And when our souls are not nourished or are depleted such as from abuse, overwork, and invalidation, we feel trapped, inadequate, and become unhappy, emotionally fatigued, depressed, sad and, even worse, traumatized.
You cannot heal at the same level of thinking that causes your chronic emotional pain. Faulty thinking about your power and worth can cause you to routinely choose one harmful experience over another, or one pain-avoiding experience over another, rather than focus on pursuing joyful ones you deserve. The mind and spirit will become traumatized and malnourished and you will become emotionally fatigued, exhausted, stressed, or depressed. The brain has remarkable plasticity but it is not good at spontaneous healing.
When our souls are routinely starved, we also run the risk of three things:
- Believing falsely we are the source of the ensuing pain and discomfort; and/or
- Blaming something or someone else for them; and/or
- Feeling unsafe in our own bodies.
All harm us more because they cause us to feel more pain and stop us from taking action that we need to learn from by turning the pain to wisdom that will nurture us and sustain our joy. Sustained emotional stress also results in more physical damage to the body because the human body is comprised of integrated interdependent systems. The neurological system is connected and interrelated to all the body’s systems, hence, healthy body, healthy mind and vice versa. In essence, when you mess with nature, you mess with your own divine authentic and integrated design. To be happy we have to learn and embrace a healthy life style that includes not only our physical fitness but also our fitness related to our achievements and relationships and our emotional health.
Part of healing and building self-worth is learning what self-love is and what healthy loving relationships of reciprocity are. We are all born lovable however loving relationships are not an entitlement. They are worked for and earned based on honoring each other’s emotional wants and needs in sickness and health and in good times and bad in a respectful manner beneficial to both parties. Emotionally intelligent and healthy individuals know this and live it. They are clear on their personal worth and lovability and the rules of healthy respectful human interactions. They reliably and comfortably recognize, embrace, and use their and other’s emotions as cues to stay on course or change their thoughts or their actions.
Nothing of Value Comes for Free
Nothing of value comes for free! If it did, we would be born normally functioning adults and illnesses and suffering and crime would not exist. What is truly powerful brings authentic (not perceived) value to ourselves and others based on living an authentic life we earn through hard work! Let’s explore this.
We are all born with inherent value and power but they need to be developed, matured, nurtured, unleashed, released and shared and then their worth projected back to us from reliable sources throughout our lives. Others’ reliably revealing the worth of our actions and decisions is how our personal value is validated and, conversely, how we validate others’ personal value. And in turn, this is how we, together, develop self-reliance that supports our self-worth, confidence, self-acceptance and our likability and lovability. We convert our work into wisdom that we use to drive our decisions and beliefs and chisel our characters that we source for power and resilience to set and achieve goals that we are confident we can attain and are worthy of attaining. Making mistakes along the way and course and thought correcting are how we develop and mature our personality and character qualities and the corresponding belief systems on which they rely. So the integrity of our beliefs impacts our character and vice versa. This is how we become who we were put on this earth to be and how we learn to integrate into society, work, and relate to ourselves and others in healthy ways. In the process, we learn to develop, rely, build, and sustain our true power and draw on it confidently when any challenge that warrants it arises. This “process” allows us to act on our legal rights and free will to pursue unhindered what makes us truly happy. Remember, folks, taking the easy way out to avoid discomfort and to please others is not happiness. It may be gratifying and temporarily help you avoid pain but will not serve you in the longer term.
How Do We Maximize Our Personal Power and Self-Worth
Well, we not only have to work hard to develop personal power and worth, but we also have to ensure the depth and breadth of our experiences and the accompanying challenges they offer us. The harder and more varied the challenges, the more valuable the lessons. The more valuable the lessons, the higher the integrity of our beliefs and character and the better our decision making and critical thinking abilities become. We also learn in the process how to rely comfortably on our emotions as gauges of our success. It’s like building physical strength by challenging our muscles with increasing weights and varying the workout routines. Our understanding of our personal strengths and worth similarly need to be worked and challenged to develop and mature. However, the environment, challenges, people, relationships and we ourselves are constantly changing. What this indicates is that we have to take risks, get out of our comfort zones, experience discomfort, and continuously work to improve and sustain our personal self-worth and our our abilities that support and sustain our survivability through our lives. Simply, we cannot and should not settle for what is comfortable.
The Five Pillars of Personal Worth and Power allow us to accomplish this.
The Five Pillars of Personal Worth and Power
The Five Pillars of Personal Worth and Power, outlined below, include:
- Integrity of Character
- Healthy Relationships
- Emotional and Physical Fitness
Integrity of Character supports self-worth and personal power by developing:
- Compassion and Empathy
- Respect for self and others
- Obligation and responsibility towards self, others, and community
- Morals- and ethics-based principles to guide our decisions.
Integrity of character is the keystone that supports the other four pillars presented below:
Competence supports self-worth and personal power with continued education, acquiring professional certifications, and learning a broad range of new skills, knowledge and abilities that bring value to ourselves and others including:
- Honing our goal-setting and goal-achieving abilities;
- Honing our critical thinking abilities;
- Honing our decision-making abilities;
- Honing our self-management skills such as listening and speaking, patience and anger and stress management;
- Honing our emotional management skills to identify feelings in ourselves and others:
- Maintaining our proficiency at whatever we choose to be competent in.
Healthy Relationships. Building and working on mutually beneficial healthy relationships including returning and receiving love, honor and respect from a core of integrity, self-reliance, self-respect, self-compassion, and self-care support self-worth, character development, and personal power and the security of belonging.
Emotional and Physical Health and Fitness. You ensure the integrity of the vessel that delivers and sustains our joy and happiness by:
- Working to ensure your body and mind work at peak performance to support the other Pillars;
- Setting and achieving goals that bring you and others joy;
- Working to rely comfortably on and to manage your emotions especially your fear-based ones that serve to protect us and bring color to our lives.
Adaptability. Being accepting and resilient to change and to things you cannot change support personal value and power by:
- Staying informed on the rapidly changing local, national and international environment;
- Assessing the changing environment, relationships, and needs of yourself and others, taking risks, and adapting your character, competencies, goals, and beliefs accordingly;
- Becoming tolerant of things you cannot change;
- Changing the things you can change.
- Turning pain to wisdom that support our growth and resilience to bounce back quickly from adversity.
Why Do People Want Other People’s Power
We know continuous hard work, dedication, and obligation to not only ourselves but to others and learning to deal with diverse challenges build personal worth and power that make us the “best we can be” and that bring us joy. What this means is that no one can acquire personal power and value by stealing them or pretending to have them. Believing so is irrational. Emotionally unhealthy people who are envious of all that authentic personal power can offer them, however, will try. These are the ones commonly referred to as thieves, exploiters, parasites, emotional vampires, con artists, grifters, users, posers, sociopaths, psychopaths, pathological narcissists, thugs, punks, and incompetents.
People, who try to routinely steal other people’s power and provide illusions of power, like the anecdotal Wizard of Oz, in short, are broken individuals. These are commonly the chronic abusers we see in power imbalanced relationships. Most suffer from personality disorders and arrested development and have distorted thinking and diminished capacity to engage in normal relationships. They fallibly believe they are entitled to all the benefits of society without working for them and to steal other’s power, to be viewed as valuable, and to be adulated. These are the humans whose thinking is severely faulty and who maladapt. Rather than grow, mature and learn to work to become “human” and source joy internally, they learn to con the vulnerable into believing they have real personal power (listed above) by creating an illusion they have it rather than authentically working for it. In short, they become frauds. They try to “glitter turds” that cannot be polished to provide an illusion of personal power and value to dupe their victims and hide their core of self-loathing and toxic fear of shame. How do they do this?
They lie, manipulate, groom, misrepresent facts, sugarcoat the truth, steal, con, commit fraud, self-aggrandize, scapegoat, sexualize, create illusions, and pull whatever they need to from their portfolio of combat tactics because they do not have the strength of character, competence, emotional health, and adaptability they can rely on to authentically bring value. They take the easy way out and prey on the power of vulnerable individuals and predominantly empaths rather than develop and internally source the strength their bodies need to exist. They live inauthentic pain-avoiding codependent lives from a weak core with limited personal value rather than authentic joy-seeking independent ones with authentic and sustainable personal value and power. They, sadly, become human parasites who covertly prey on other humans for their power and life’s benefits simply because they want to and do not care whom they mooch off of or harm in the process.
Dr. George K. Simon, a preeminent expert on manipulative aggressive personalities and author of the best sellers In Sheep’s Clothing, Character Disturbance, and The Judas Syndrome confirms that narcissistic personalities can work very hard and can spend inordinate amounts time and energy working purely to get something they want. But putting the same amount of energy into finding or keeping a legitimate job, a personal relationship, taking care of a sick family member, demonstrating the loyalty and consistency necessary to be considered for advancement, or making the investment in personal self-development to merit consideration for more advanced positions are completely different matters and very unattractive enterprises to them. They want all the benefits of marriage, for example, without having to work for them or earn them! Dr. Simon emphasizes that narcissists resist working to become better human beings more than any other kind of work. So even when it comes to respect and love and admiration, they want to come by them in the same manner as everything else – without having to earn them.
People born with weak and “discomfort and risk-avoiding” characters frequently observe these predatory emotional bullies and do nothing even when they are able to. These “apaths,” are the ones we see who settle for the easy way out and like the emotional thieves, do not put in the effort that allow them to maximize their human potential. These typically are the ones we see who follow “socially acceptable” careers or “tribal beliefs” rather than acting on their free will to choose or develop independently those that serve themselves, their worthiness, and their personal well-being.