5 Ways We Give Our Power Away

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” ~Brene Brown

“When you make it a strong habit not to take anything personally, you avoid many upsets in your life.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz

“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” ~John Burroughs

“A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.” ~Vernon Howard

“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” ~Socrates

I find it is all too easy to give our personal power away to others. We all want to be liked, admired, accepted, approved of and loved. I find, however, we often feel that in order to be liked, admired, accepted, approved of, and loved we have to sacrifice our own sense of self-worth or personal power.

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Nothing could be further from the truth. Learning this lesson in life will enhance your life immeasurably with increased happiness, health and freedom to be the best possible version of yourself.

Here are five ways in which we tend to give our power away.

Not setting healthy boundaries

At some point in time we need to learn what our boundaries are in life. These boundaries include the way we allow people to treat us, the type of people we spend time with, the activities we participate in and whether or not they are in alignment with our values. Far too often we allow people to treat us in ways that are disrespectful, unkind and truly harmful to our self-esteem. We go to events or places that do not bring us joy and deplete our precious life force, and we do things that are not congruent with the person we are striving to be or become.

We can’t blame anyone else. We can only decide what our boundaries are and make different choices—choices that do not give our personal power away. Every time we make a choice that is not in alignment with what we want out of life, and who we want to be in life, we are giving our power away.

Taking things personally

This lesson is a tough one for many to grasp, assimilate and quite literally get their hearts and minds around. One of the reasons is we believe what others do or say about us is our belief that we caused their opinion. In reality, what another person does or says about us is about that person. It is that person’s story and the person they are showing up as. We are just an innocent (or not so innocent) bystander, caught in the trigger of their unresolved issues, traumas, disappointments, and low self-worth. Often, these people are projecting what they need to heal in their lives onto us. So it really is not personal.

Even when others insult us, yell at us, or criticize us, it is all just a reflection of how they are performing in the situation. We have to remember however, it does take two to tango and how we respond (the not so innocent part of us) is a reflection of us. This is where taking responsibility for our part increases our personal power. Taking their behavior personally only decreases our power. We get to choose.

Blaming others

They made me do it! How many times have we heard this statement? Just imagine all these people walking around with these invisible guns to their heads, taking no responsibility for their own choices.

Like it or not, when we do something, say something, or behave in a certain way we made the choice to do so—whether consciously or subconsciously. Blaming someone else for our behavior and choices in life is nothing less than giving our personal power away and serving it up on a silver platter. It weakens us, although our ego likes to convince us it is a sign of strength and power.

Next time you find yourself in blame mode check in with yourself and see how this weakens you, then take responsibility and check in again to see how much your sense of personal power increases.

Approval seeking

On a soul level, deep down hidden beneath the tip of the iceberg, we all know the only approval worth seeking is our own. Yet, we have been brought up in a society that breeds needing the approval of others to determine our self-worth. So we do things, buy things, wear things, and say things all at our own personal expense, be it our reputation, our finances, our boundaries as noted above, and our values.

Spend some time seeking your own approval—the person you are, the choices you make and the life you want to live. This is one of the most difficult spiritual hurdles in life for many people, and it does take practice. However once you can let go of seeking the approval of others, your sense of self-worth will increase dramatically. Take your power back!


I have to admit gossiping about others is becoming one of my least favorite things to do and when I am the recipient of it or participant in it I can feel my energy draining immediately. Gossiping about other people’s lives serves no one, neither them nor us.

I like to use an analogy I heard many years ago as a reminder to refrain from Gossiping and it goes something like this: Think of your life as a garden in which you can grow beautiful flowers. I order to grow these flowers you need to water it daily (good thoughts, activities, food, etc.) as well as pull out the weeds (negative thoughts, toxic food and people, harmful activities). Creating a beautiful garden takes daily focused effort and intention. However when we are continuously giving our time and attention to other peoples’ gardens we are neglecting our own. We are arrogantly thinking our garden is perfect, not in need of our attention, and we must help others with their gardens because it is easier to focus on someone else’s weeds than our own. Focus on your own weeds and increase your personal power, focus on other peoples weeds and you decrease it. It is that simple.

Stop doing these five things and take your power back.

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