It feels like I have been trying to step into my personal power my whole life. Somewhere along the way I learned that I wasn’t enough and was taken off course. This was the beginning of my life long pursuit for worthiness. Looking back I was worthy all along and my healing came down to realizing there was nothing to change, but rather harmful societal programming I had to unlearn that was holding me back from stepping into my power and living my most authentic life.
I have tried almost every healing modality because I was in search of my wholeness outside myself. I thought that if I could just change who I was, I would one day become loveable and maybe I would see my own value. This was my path to my power and it was a long dark path.
I had to move through deep pits of shame and unworthiness. I had to sabotage many of my intimate relationships. I had to endure the grips of a life changing addiction. I had to scrape and claw my way through the desperation of many dark nights of the soul.
It was through these experiences that I had the wake up calls I needed to finally realize that nothing needed to be changed about me, and it was more about learning to accept myself as I am and move forward so I can tune back into the powerful being to which I am and always have been.
It was my unlearning process that healed me. I had to challenge everything I was taught about the world around me growing up. I had face the many people who didn’t like me doing that because it made them uncomfortable to see me in the skin they had yet to learn to be in themselves.
This was my path to my personal power and I feel inspired to share with you 6 tips I have learned along the way.
1. Take responsibility for your own experience of life
Personal power happens when you take responsibility for your own experience of life. Taking responsibility for your experience of life can look like:
- Stop blaming your parents for your trauma
- Stop blaming your exes for your failed relationships
- Stop blaming others for your emotions
- Going to therapy or coaching to start healing your past
- Journaling and developing self awareness about the role you play in your own suffering/healing
Many highly sensitive people experienced some form of attachment or interpersonal trauma in their childhood. Since HSP have complex and unique needs, it is easy for some of these needs to go unmet. These unmet emotional needs can often lead to trauma. When we don’t have the skills to cope with this trauma or heal its impact, we can easily get caught in blaming our caregivers for not meeting these needs. Regardless of who was responsible for your trauma, if you don’t take responsibility for it now, no one else will and this will leave you stuck leaking your power.
I remember doing trauma healing work with a client and he could not wrap his head around the concept of not holding his parents accountable for his unresolved trauma. He said “they’re the ones who inflicted this trauma on me, am I not supposed to hold them accountable?” His definition of holding them accountable was to keep reminding them of how terrible they were to him. I believe in accountability and sharing with our caregivers the impact their choices had on us, but once we have communicated the impact, it is time to start moving towards healing rather than holding your parents hostage to the pain of your past.
I remember moving through those same feelings, and to be honest, they sometimes still pop up depending on my mood and how I am feeling about my parents that day. I am constantly asking myself “what am I getting out of holding onto this?” When you think about it rationally, not much. We think we are punishing our parents by remaining hostile towards them, but in the end, we are holding ourselves hostage and this is why we are not healing and stepping into our personal power – it’s a major energy leak. We have to set our parents free to set ourselves free. I did this by acknowledging my parents as human beings, and all human beings are fallible. We are all doing our best based on what we knew at the time, and this wisdom was the birthplace of forgiveness and healing for me.
2. Stop leaking your energy
To stop leaking your energy it requires you to know what your leaking your energy on. Here are some common things HSP tend to leak their energy on:
- Worrying too much about what people think about them
- People pleasing
- Misusing their empathy on people who take advantage of them
- Harbouring resentments on people who treated them poorly in the past
- Self-judgment and self-rejection
As HSP, it can be easy to leak our energy to others because we often possess deep empathy, take a genuine interest in others and enjoy energetically connecting with our environment because it fascinates us.
A deep self-awareness around what you are focusing your attention on is the best way to understanding what you are leaking your energy on. Wherever your attention goes your energy will flow. If you are focusing on the past you will feel the emotions of the past. If you are focusing too much on the future, you will feel the anxiety and uncertainty of the unknown future.
I have one rule when it comes to energy leaks: if it is serving me and making me feel good, I keep doing it. If it not serving me and making me feel bad, I stop doing it. I honesty don’t care what or who it is. I am no longer messing around with my personal power and I am quick to remove things or people out of my life that are getting in the way of me being the most powerful version of myself.
When we stop leaking our energy on others, we reclaim that energy and it can be used to enrich our own lives. You can use this potent process to reclaim your energy and practice getting good at what you allow in and what you don’t.
3. Spend time with your emotions
Emotions are messengers with valuable messages trying to show you what needs your attention. Emotions are pointing out to you what needs may be going unmet for you. Your unmet needs are likely the main reason you are leaking your personal power. A common pattern people play out is to recognize we have unmet needs and feel too insecure to communicate them. We then play out dramatic sequences in life to try and get our needs met – this vicious cycle is exhausting and will always lead to strain in your relationships.
Emotions lead to understanding your needs, your needs lead to understanding your boundaries, and your boundaries lead to getting your needs met. This is a healthy sequence that will lead you out of straining your relationships, but the sequence must always begin with your emotions. Without the emotions we don’t get the valuable data that shows us what we need to feel good.
In my opinion, not feeling our emotions as a society is the leading cause of leaking our personal power. An empowered person is an emotionally intelligent and expressive person. They communicate their needs and desires and because of this they are often happy and fulfilled.
For tips on how to feel your emotions you can check out this video.
4. Heal your past and learn to let go
The painful memories of the past are usually major barriers to being able to step into your personal power. When we heal our past we become less fixated on our past memories and we can start to learn to live in the present moment. The present moment is where all of our power lives. If we are always outside the present moment, we are always going to find ourselves outside of our power.
Healing your past requires you to take responsibility for your past and begin to reparent your inner child into states of empowerment. You may need to learn to speak to yourself differently. You may also need to learn to focus your attention on what you want to feel rather than what you don’t – two huge traits of someone who is in their personal power.
Healing your past and learning to let go means to acknowledge it but not remain stuck in it. I use the phrase “look but don’t linger” when doing this work. We need to spend time looking at our past but if we spend too much time there we get paralyzed in fear and unsure how to let go and move forward.
To heal your past is to get present and feel the past memories that are presently in your body. This is a play on offering yourself daily time and space to feel what perhaps you didn’t allow to be felt in the past.
5. Set boundaries and stick to them
This word has almost lost meaning its used so much – but for good reason. Boundaries are so important for HSP to stay in their personal power because it is the birthplace of getting our needs met. A HSP who is getting their needs met is a powerful HSP because they feel good. Being in your power is all about feeling good and allowing yourself to feel good about feeling good – none of this dimming your light bullshit, we don’t do that anymore.
Boundaries are so potent because they are the messages we send to others about how they can meet our needs and make us feel good. We first listen to our emotions, then we get clear about what our needs are so we can set boundaries effectively from this place of deep inner knowing.
How you feel about yourself is the birthplace for how others will feel about you.
To learn more about boundaries and how to set them, you can take my free masterclass: How authenticity is the key to becoming a badass boundary setter
6. Stop meeting others needs at the expense of your own needs
People pleasing is a huge issue amongst HSP because we tend to feel what others are feeling and struggle being with others disapproval of us. Most HSP feel terribly uncomfortable with the discomfort of others because we can feel it as if it’s our own.
The best way to overcome people pleasing is to develop a tolerance to your own emotions. You cannot actually feel someone’s emotions – that would require you to be in their body and experiencing their nervous system. What you are feeling is your own emotional energy that is being stimulated through your mirror neurons (empathy). This means that if you learn to process your own emotions in healthy ways you wont feel consumed by others emotions.
We may have learned in childhood to be codependent and focus on others needs and emotions. This may have led to abandonment of your own emotional world and this is why there is a lack of ability to process your own emotions and you become fixated on the emotions of others.
The two keys here are to make time each day to check in with your own needs/emotions, and learn to move towards discomfort rather than discomfort moving towards you. Discomfort is less challenging to deal with when you consciously choose it. Here are some ways I use to move towards discomfort:
- Cold plunging
- Fasting and consciously choosing to be with my hunger
- Having difficult conversations
- Listening to a random playlist and not changing a song I don’t want to listen to
Many HSP struggle to step into their personal power because they have internalized the message that their sensitivity makes them inferior or defective. Your sensitivity becomes a strength when you start to view it as one. Once this happens, your personal power will be more readily available to you. Its already inside you but perhaps you are leaking your power to things that don’t serve you.
Most of the things we do that leak our energy are like putting an elastic around a rose and restricting it from opening. Take the elastic off so the rose can blossom into a beautiful flower. You are no different, and if you stop working against yourself you will see how fast you’ll bloom into the beautiful flower you are meant to become.
Most of us need to go through a healing journey that requires us to unlearn programming that taught us that we aren’t whole and then relearn that we are enough just as we authentically are.
If you are looking for emotional or spiritual guidance on this healing and empowerment journey please reach out and set up a consult for my private coaching services. I would be honoured to walk alongside you as you come home to your most authentic and powerful self.