personal power

I love this photo of a child’s hands holding the whole world. It reminds me of one of the first times my son as a baby realized the enormity of his world. That week he had just begun to take a few steps at a time so we took him outside to the tiny yard in front of our apartment. As he stood swaying to maintain his balance, he glanced from side to side trying to see the whole outdoors. Finally, as he swung his arm in a sweeping arc to indicate everything outside, he said with awe, “Look!”

His sense of accomplishment at being able to stand, to take steps, then to see the whole world was huge. At that moment, he was the image of Personal Power—the third aspect of self-awareness. In EQ, personal power is a strong sense of one’s self-worth and capabilities. It’s having self-confidence; being assertive.

People who lack this trait are likely to give up easily and run from conflict even when it’s in their best interest to address it. Decisions are hard for them and they aren’t always comfortable with change. Because they tend to value the opinions of others over their own perceptions, they find it difficult correct those in authority even when they know the truth. To live this way is miserable.

Is your son overly shy? Does your daughter give up easily? Maybe you have valid concerns for them because you have some of the difficulties described in the previous paragraph. It’s true that some personality styles are naturally more reserved but having a solid sense of personal power is possible for every personality style. Having a solid sense of personal power is an EQ competency; it’s a skill that can be taught.