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Rev. Sandra Schubert

Personal Power:
A Short Guide to Getting it, Keeping it, and Giving it Away
by Sandra Lee Schubert

Getting It:

I am all for this personal power thing.  After all, who doesnít want to feel powerful walking down the street or into a room full of strangers?  But what is this thing called personal power?  By its simplest definition, power is the capacity to perform or act effectively.  Personal would mean pertaining to or coming from a particular person.  So in essence, personal power is the ability of a person to act effectively.  That is easy enough.  I know lots of effective people. I know when I am good at something the sense of accomplishment is very satisfying.

The ability to produce a result makes you a more desirable person.  A business is happy with the salesperson that brings in the most business.  An effective government can make its citizenry content and more supportive of that government.  When you can achieve things in life you are generally a happier person.  Knowing action begets results makes you more willing to take chances that seemed riskier in the past.

You may not be one of the lucky people born with an innate knowledge of their power and gifts. If you are not now effective how you can turn that around?  It is the cumulative effect of trial and error that will help you develop your power muscles.  You canít operate at 100% all the time. You may fail 90% of the time -- but that 10% is what knocks the ball out of the park.  There will be gaps in what can be achieved. Accepting this simple fact may change your life.  The trick is to having the 10% become the most effective you can make it.

The courage to take a chance and make a decision increases your effectiveness. It also means learning and growing from the mistakes you make as you go along. Fine-tuning the process helps you to create better results. Those decision-making muscles will lead you to make better choices.  Now you take on bigger projects, make even better decisions, increasing results and your effectiveness.  This is a nice personal power roll you are on. But how does this apply to your life?

You stop wasting time.  Less time is spent being in the kind of relationships and careers that donít support you.  This can sound dry and unemotional.  Yet it is the opposite.  You donít mess around with your life in the same way.  Letís say you have goal to be a good artist -- but you really like TV.  At some point you will need to decide less TV, more art.  It may take a little self negotiation.  One hour of TV per night and the rest of the time it is all art.  Relationships take on added dimensions when you are no longer interested in superficial interactions.  Personal power is making the decision to be fully engaged in living your life.  No holds barred. 

Keeping it:

Personal power is a big seller.  Do an internet search and you will find many ways you can get it. Just buy a book, the ten week course, or five set CD program.  I walked across fiery hot coals to get a little personal power.  Let me be clear -- I am not knocking the seekers, or those who want to lead you to the golden gate of power.  Be careful of the distraction of the carrot on stick that keeps you just seeking and not living.

I have a column on writing.  I read books on how to write better, different, and how to sell that writing.  But I can get caught up in the reading of how to write and forget to actually do the work of writing.  The knowledge is only effective when put to action.  Sometimes the teacher comes along to give you exactly what you need.  Still you must strike out on your own if you are going to find and keep your personal power.

Along the way you can falter or come to a dry patch where nothing seems to work in your favor. Even the most creatively productive person can expect a time when life holds no inspiration. The trick is to not view this time as defeat or a set back.  There is an art to nothingness.  When you are in a personal power mode you may come to view these periods as the time to reflect and take stock.  Do a life inventory.  Think about what you would like to achieve for the future.  Do some research; take classes -- learn a new skill.  The opportunity in a fallow period is to rest, rejuvenate and to learn.  The quest for and maintaining personal power shouldnít be a competition for the most you can get, but for the best that you can attain. 

Giving it away:

Become the teacher. Who doesnít want to sit at the feet of wise person and gather much needed knowledge?  A mentor is a wonderful asset to the person struggling to know who they are and how they are going to achieve what they want.  Once you have learned something about being a successful person, consider sharing that knowledge with others.  Write that great inspirational book. Open up your studio and invite school kids over.  Give them paints and help them discover color. Discuss creating with them. Power can be lorded over those who are weaker or it can used to build people up. The choice is yours to make.

Final thoughts:

Personal power is a skill we can develop through perseverance.  You can be born knowing you are powerful or come to understand that you are.  Buy a book if it helps.  Take a course.  Be authentic in your choices.  Remember power comes from you.  Use it wisely and it will serve you well.

© Copyright 2007 Rev. Sandra Lee Schubert.  All Rights Reserved. 

Rev. Sandra Lee Schubert
Rev. Sandra Lee Schubert
is an interfaith minister, writer and founder of Wild Woman Ministries and Wild Woman Network.  Rev. Schubert helps people discover and unlock their creative potential--through creating art, producing classes and workshops or just pursuing a life long goal--and is committed to assisting people in fulfilling their dreams. She also leads workshops and facilitates a popular writing program called the Wild Angels at the historic Cathedral of St. John the Divine.  Her subscription e-course - Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own is available at:

Email: wwn@wildwomannetwork.com, 212-642-5042 




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