Over the past few months, both in my personal and professional life, there has been one key theme that keeps cropping up. It makes people feel they have less autonomy, that they have to act a certain way because of what someone else has said. That notion is disempowerment.
Recently, I had an experience with somebody who I previously thought highly of, where I felt them trying to disempower me. Do you know what that feels like? To have someone project their own beliefs and fears onto you?
What struck me most about this was that I, a person who after years of hard work to reclaim their power, still managed to feel disempowered on a bad day. What if this had been someone more vulnerable than myself and yet to learn how to recognise when people are doing this to them?
Many of my clients have come to me holding beliefs that aren’t useful, beliefs that have literally altered the course of their reality, such as the belief that they can have either a career or a relationship – not both. This is quite a damaging ideology that they have absorbed from outside realms and given their power to, letting it shape their future. As we know, our beliefs shape our reality! Are you aware of what beliefs you have consciously or unconsciously picked up from others? Ones that have made you shift your course in life?
This is why, when communicating with vulnerable people, we all need to be more careful – especially as a coach, therapist or in any other role that is offering up guidance – of how we approach certain triggering topics to make sure we don’t disempower others. It is natural (if you haven’t thrown yourself into some deep kind of inner work) that you may project your belief systems and ideologies onto others and vice versa. Take a few minutes out and think to yourself – whose ideologies do I not want to be projected onto me? Who in my life has views and ways of living that aren’t aligned to my own or useful for my personal growth? Or am I holding someone back from their own path by projecting my fears onto them?
How can I stop losing my power?
Setting up strong personal boundaries is one way of stopping yourself from being disempowered. In many spiritual circles, it is sometimes seen as a negative thing to set up boundaries – there is a damaging ideology in these groups that as we are all connected we should always be open to each other and that boundaries create separateness, when in actual fact we can never be separate in consciousness but we are living out a human experience as an individual and should honour that.
In my experience, a lack of boundaries is severely damaging and simply isn’t the right way to approach life. Think of a time when you had no boundaries in a relationship – how did that work out for you?
Having boundaries also stops you from receiving unsolicited advice from others projecting their own fears onto you. Whenever somebody does this to you, before spiralling into fear and negativity, tune into your authentic self at that exact moment in time – what is your truth in the moment? Remember, always listen to your higher self over somebody else. We have an entire universe behind our eyes, an invisible world that we can tap into at any given moment – this connection is where your power lies.
There is something primal in all of us that makes us want to fit in and please others. But when we constantly go outside of ourselves to get the answers we are not only giving away our power but handing soul fragments to others, simply because we want to be accepted and validated. Learn to validate yourself, learn to love yourself, do you fully accept all of who you are? Even those shadow aspects?
We are all aware of the toxic positivity movement whereby people try to project a positive spin on every situation, rather than letting others simply express and feel negative emotions. How can we ever move past a genuinely traumatic situation if we disassociate in the moment, not allowing ourselves to feel the pain, embody it and allow it to move through us? Simple answer is we can’t, and then we are in trouble, creating even more pain and then physical manifestations of that trauma. After a period of time in any given situation you may naturally see a blessing and that’s where these movements are getting confused. Nobody is to blame here, these movements have good intentions but just need a deeper level of introspective work.
My years of personal experience and from also working with many clients has shown me that placing this type of positivity spin on your trauma while you’re still going through it, just makes it even harder for you to shift your current state, change your future, heal and recover from it. More often than not this will keep you trapped in a perpetual cycle of remembering the past and projecting a future vision based on that rather than consciously creating in the moment.
Consider what seeds the people around you are planting in your consciousness to try and influence you, and decide if these are seeds you want to nurture and watch as they grow and take up more space, or if you want to let them dissolve. People have to come to their own conclusions in life so they don’t give up on their dreams and aspirations for the sake of pleasing others. To bring about change, start aligning with our soul’s purpose and growing as a collective we all need to start doing this today.
Think about your current hopes and wishes. What’s stopping you from achieving these? Your reality, or somebody else’s?