We all want to feel powerful in our own lives. We want to know that we can make a difference in our experience. We want to act with confidence when we need to, and we want to have all the inner and outer tools for managing any set of circumstances.
And yet, our personal agency can feel chipped away at, eroded, and undermined – in so many ways.
Invalidation is toxic to agency. And it’s endemic. It’s in the media, politics, the workplace and intimate relationships. When you’re not seen as part of the solution, and you’re reminded every day that you’re ‘less than’, you begin to feel small. Then you act from that small place: fighting, defending, or just giving in.
But when you stand in your ability to make your own decisions, confidently, you play from your higher self. You become the gatekeeper of your own agency.
How do you learn to feel more powerful when everything outside of you feels invalidating?
You lean back into what’s true. You are the source of your agency. No one else. Nourish it. Give it the conditions to flourish.
Cultivate your agency:
- Notice how you invalidate yourself. Then, do the opposite. Instead of giving in to keep the peace, contemplate a response that better aligns with your innermost integrity. Instead of staying quiet because you’re afraid you’ll be disregarded, speak your mind as if you were the wisest person in the room.
- Incorporate the words “I choose” into your everyday language. Your choices matter. Even the small ones. They exercise the muscle for personal agency. The more you deliberately use the words “I choose…”, the more you’ll see your power, feel your self-control and strengthen your autonomy.
- Know where you have agency and where you don’t. When you put your energy where you don’t have it, you’ll feel ineffectual. No amount of effort in the wrong place can be effective. When you put energy where you do have agency, your results will be powerful. And you’ll feel more powerful too!
- Communicate what you want, not what you fear. Let your positive intentions do the leading. Be affirmative and active in your language. Put out the energy you want to receive back. Athletes know all about this. They focus on where they want their energy to go. Everything else follows.
Sync up your body and mind. Are you holding your breath? Is your mind faster than your body? Or the other way around? Take a moment to bring them together. Take a breath. Be deliberate. Focus on where you want to go, as if your mind and body were partners on the same journey.