Mary Chiaramonte – Little Tornado Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.
Personal power is about having qualities like strength, courage and resilience, especially during a personal or global crisis. It is related to developing a confident and assertive mindset.
In this post, I have chosen three aspects of personal power that may help us all during this awful time of Covid-19. I hope it will bring you some comfort and inspiration.
I have illustrated the writings with some stunning art portraits of women who appear to exude their own personal power.
Below are three thoughts about personal power, highlighting some important qualities:
- The Importance Of Developing The Ability To Withstand Difficult Times.
“Personal power is the ability to stand on your own two feet with a smile on your face in the middle of a universe that contains a million ways to crush you.”
Winslow Homer. The Gale [1883–93] Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.
- Coping with difficult times demands resilience and strength of character. Experiences such as the current pandemic test our mettle, our ability to withstand restriction, stress and loss of all kinds.
- During these periods in our lives, if we can, it helps to be able to face trials and tribulations with philosophical and wise ways of thinking, the kind of thinking embodied in the quotations in this post.
- In order to do this, we need to develop self-worth, to feel confident in who we are as people and not to allow ourselves to be defined by what happens to us or around us.
“Whenever you should doubt your self-worth, remember the lotus flower.
Even though it plunges to life from beneath the mud, it does not allow the dirt that surrounds it to affect its growth or beauty. Be that lotus flower always. Do not allow any negativity or ugliness in your surroundings destroy your confidence, affect your growth, or make you question your self-worth.”
Joke Frima – Simulacrum. Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.
2. Our Attitude To Life Plays A Crucial Role In Developing Personal Power.
“The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
Charles R. Swindoll
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
- How we look at the world, and at what happens to us in our lives, is crucial in terms of maintaining our mental health. We can interpret the world as we choose and our sense of personal power partially depends on our ability to process what we experience in a way that is constructive and healthy.
“…….for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
- For example, if we cannot control what is happening, then we need to look around and try to see what aspects of our life we can have control of. We may not be able to do much at the moment, before the vaccine arrives, to prevent it. This is obviously a bad thing. But our thinking can help us sink or swim in terms of our mental health.
- We can take care of ourselves and ensure that we adhere to the safety precautions. We can control how we live each day, despite the current restrictions on our lives. Within those limiting constraints, we still do have choice.
“Whatever happens to you, you can either see it as a curse and suffer it, or you can see it as a blessing and make use of it.”
Alex Katz. Blue Umbrella.(1972) Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.
3. Having Self Knowledge and Self Control Is Paramount:
“Attempting to constantly control everyone and everything around you is not only exhausting…it is also futile. The only real power you can achieve in this life is being in control of yourself.”
Anthon St. Maarten
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power.”
“He who gains a victory over other men is strong; but he who gains a victory over himself is all powerful.”
- Gaining self-knowledge involves the ability to share one’s feelings and ask for help, enabling feedback and being open to the opinions of others.
- Personal strength is about having the courage to appropriately share one’s problems and difficulties. It is not about keeping a ‘stiff upper lip.’
“When have you been at your strongest?” asked the boy.
“When I have dared to show my weakness.”
- It is also important to be in charge of our anger and to channel angry energy appropriately, without it leaking out all over the place.
- If we cannot do this, we will inevitably find ourselves in a weak position, perhaps regretting our uncontrolled outbursts of the temper.
- Being able to accept and manage our anger gives us more personal power.
“I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmitted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmitted into a power that can move the world.”
Leo Putz – Portrait of a Woman [c.1910] Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.
“You have power over your mind -not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” Marcus Aurelius
- We need to take ownership and be proud of our personal power, believing in ourselves.
- Authentic personal power comes from within, enabling us to gain the respect of others, show assertiveness and stand up for ourselves.
“I’m finally ready to own my own power, to say, “This is who I am.” If you like it, you like it. And if you don’t like it, you don’t. So watch out; I’m gonna fly.”
Scott Burdick – From the Dominican Republic. Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.
“So few people listen to their own voice because they are taught not to trust it. We are encouraged to adopt others’ ideas, thoughts, beliefs, all the while never developing and believing in our own. We inevitably give up our personal power in favour of one less than our own.”
- My previous posts have emphasised the importance of having full recourse to our imagination and our internal landscapes. This is never more important than in a time of crisis.
- We need to be able to allow ourselves the freedom within to develop and enhance our creativity, to take us out of the difficulties we face at present, even for a short time.
- If we devote ourselves to the work, leisure activities, and to the people, places or animals that we love, we will inevitably feel better and more energised.
“When the big things feel out of control
focus on what you love right under your nose.”
Duffy Sheridan – Head Study with White Scarf
[Oil on linen]
The Laughing Heart
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvellous
the gods wait to delight
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