Evelyn Ryan, Yourlifelifter
“Faulty thinking about our power and worth can cause us to routinely choose one harmful experience over another rather than focus on pursuing joyful ones we deserve. We then learn to survive with less than reliable skills, knowledge and abilities that we replace with self-gratification and reliance on less than reliable people.”
The Key Factors that Affect our Personal Power and Worth
Regardless of who we are, our human needs including our personal quest for happiness are the same. Why? That is how our bodies and minds are designed, to find truth and to achieve the resources we need to find it and adapt with the adversity we deal with along the way. However, our experiences, opportunities, resilience, obstacles, intelligence, education, and cultures that significantly impact our happiness are all different. One thing is for sure. If we are unable to source our personal power to effectively deal with the obstacles as well as pursue opportunities to being our best, achieving happiness will be impossible.
Let’s explore the following 4 key factors to achieving our personal power and worth further:
- Perception of obstacles and opportunities;
- Perception of our abilities to deal with them;
- Ability to set goals; and
- Knowledge we are worthy of achieving them.
How Perceptions Can Sabotage Happiness
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 we can achieve them and how achieving them makes us feel and that we are worthy of the outcomes.
However, too much emotional toxicity or pain along with distorted thinking can starve the spirit for nourishment and exceed the pain threshold our brains were designed to handle. We get stuck in a pain seeking and pain avoiding state rather than use the experiences to acquire knowledge that will benefit us. We become emotionally malnourished. 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. We get stuck in painful situations that do not fulfill us and that we do not learn from. We never learn to develop our skills, knowledge and abilities that fuel our souls and sustain our being. We and our power sources become depleted rather than nourished and replenished.
Faulty thinking about our power and worth can cause us to routinely choose one harmful experience over another rather than focus on pursuing joyful ones we deserve. We then maladapt and learn to survive with less than reliable skills, knowledge and abilities that we replace with self-gratification and reliance on less than reliable people. While these may bring immediate relief and temporary satisfaction, they do not contribute to long term sustainable happiness or personal growth and they do not help to build self-reliance. 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 4 things:
- Believing falsely we are the source of the ensuing pain and discomfort; and/or
- Blaming something or someone else for them;
- Feeling unsafe in our own bodies; and
- Relying on unreliable others to define and validate our worth and alleviate our pain.
All harm us more because they cause us to feel more pain and stop us from taking action or changing our thoughts that we need to achieve goals, alleviate the pain, learn from and that nurture us and sustain our joy. Healing requires growth. Growth requires hard work to heal. Building resilience requires healing. So you cannot heal and grow at the same level of thinking that causes your chronic emotional pain.
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, dealing with adversity, and our emotional health.
Learning to become the best we can be, nevertheless, is a life long process and takes hard work and courage. Read more on authenticity and building character in The Five Pillars of Personal Worth, Power, and Authenticity.
Dealing with Obstacles to Acquiring Personal Power
We must be able to acquire wisdom through hard work to be able to take down the barriers that lie to us and tell us falsely we are unworthy of better and are powerless to the barriers or to whatever triggers our pain. Yes, we should be taught to deal with these emotional unpleasantries in childhood so we had a mature and effective toolkit of coping skills we could pull from to deal with adversity, however, unfortunately many of us, and I would say most, were not. Our own emotions can go haywire and become toxic as a result. We, instead, can maladapt and unknowingly learn to sabotage our own health and happiness.
Remember. When we know better and that we are worthy of the knowledge then we do better. This is also why working to build self-worth and self-compassion, which many of us are unfamiliar with and in childhood may have even been punished for or discouraged from learning, can open the flood gates to healing and personal growth and development. Read more on self-compassion and self-care here.
We can also easily get stuck in our character development and emotional development and maturity when we are blind to opportunities that will benefit us. We may not set and achieve goals because we may not believe we can achieve them or are worthy of achieving them. Hence, we are not able to clearly see their value. Opportunities for learning that can bring much value and personal growth and development are, then, lost. What are these barriers that can blind us and prevent us to become the best we can be? Here is a list of some but not all of the common ones we all frequently deal with:
- Comfort with status quo
- Inability to delay gratification/ no will power
- Familiarity/normalization of discomfort/dysfunction
- Ego-driven needs
- False beliefs related to personal power
- Skewed perception
- Lack of resources
- Lack of a support system
- Need for acceptance
- Character disorders
- Low “selfs:” Low self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-respect
- Too much shame
- Fear of success/Fear of failure
- Grandiosity/High level of unhealthy narcissism
Goals Help Us Convert Work to Wisdom
Notice that all of the items in this list above relate to obstacles to success we routinely have to deal with like faulty thinking, pain, fears, and discomfort. So this is why it takes hard work and courage to build character and to heal, to change, to adapt to adversity, and to be able to source and build your authentic personal power.
We convert our work and our efforts and our discomfort into lessons learned that enhance our skills, knowledge and abilities including our optimism, will power, and critical thinking. We then use these to drive our decisions and beliefs and chisel our characters that we source for power and resilience to set and achieve goals that benefit us and that we are confident we can attain and know we are worthy of attaining. We are happiest when we are setting goals and working to achieve them that our brains were specifically designed for. Making mistakes along the way and course and thought correcting are how we develop and mature our skills, knowledge and abilities as well as the personality and character qualities and the corresponding belief systems on which they rely. So the integrity of our beliefs impacts our personal power including our self-worth 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 authentic 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 happy. Developing personal power, in addition, supports our adaptability to change and unpleasant people and situations and not fear them.
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 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 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 power through our lives. The Five Pillars of Personal Worth and Power, outlined below, allow us to comfortably accomplish this.
- Integrity of Character
- Healthy Relationships
- Emotional and Physical Fitness
I explore these in greater depth in The Five Pillars of Personal Worth, Power, and Authenticity.