Now I believe in venting, but not complaining. Here’s how I view the difference: Venting is a short-lived expression of pain with the goal of letting it go; Whereas, complaining is venting with no intention of personal change. Venting can be a healthy way of releasing our frustration, while complaining is an unhealthy way of spreading our frustration. It’s one thing to vent to your boss about a coworker’s irresponsible behavior, but it’s another thing entirely to just complain to all your other coworkers. One is productive, and the other is counterproductive.
I have learned that complaining is really the result of having an inaccurate paradigm: Complaining is what we do when we believe we are a victim and have no control over our lives. But we are not victims, we are powerful. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into this powerless way of living.
So what do we do with life’s frustrations? I suggest venting, but only to people who will not leave you in a place of weakness and helplessness. Turn to people who will listen with empathy, but then gently remind you of your power. I have several of these friends who will give me my time to rant, but then remind me that I have the freedom to choose my response, decide what action I can take, and hold on to my personal power.
#7. One of the biggest ways we give away our power is by not having a clear purpose for our lives.
If we do not have a clear purpose and vision for our lives, our daily lives will be stolen from us. ”If we don’t have a plan for our lives, someone else will.” If you don’t have an agenda for your life, somebody else does. And when it comes to our futures, we can’t afford to let others rule our lives. Our lives are our responsibility. It’s time we live them according to our values, our priorities, and our purpose. And no one can decide those for us!
By far one of the most effective tools I have used to living my life on purpose, is the use of a personal mission statement. (In fact, it has been so powerful, I will be devoting an entire blog to this in the near future.) Having a personal mission statement is a great way to keep you life focused and prioritized around your values. If we don’t take a proactive approach to our days, weeks, and lives, we will find them getting swallowed up by other people’s agendas. We must take back the reigns of our lives and our futures by living a life that is congruent with our purpose. This is one area (our lives) we cannot afford to outsource.
#8. Another way we give away our power is by refusing to face our fears.
It takes a lot of mental and emotional energy to avoid facing our fears. For instance, if we know we need to confront someone but we are afraid, we use up a lot of energy avoiding them. When we are afraid of intimacy, we have to create ways to keep people at a distance, and again, that requires precious energy. If we know we need to start a budget but are too afraid of what we might have to face or sacrifice, we will continue to use our energy (and sometimes more money) avoiding the issue.
You might be tempted to think that facing our fears would take more of your personal power. And in the beginning, you are right! Facing our fears does require more energy initially, but the results can be staggering! Think of an instance when you suddenly broke through a feeling of fear. I’m sure it was a very powerful moment!
Don’t waste any more power avoiding the issues in your life. Get a life coach. Get a counselor. Do whatever it takes. It all starts with a decision to not give away any more your power. Make the brave decision that you will no longer give your power away to fear!
#9. Another way we give away our power is by making excuses.
When we make excuses for the results in our lives, we waste enormous amounts of energy. While making excuses may make us feel better temporarily, they keep us stuck and feeling bad about ourselves. Furthermore, when we make excuses, we cut ourselves off from the very solutions we need for a breakthrough! Excuses keep us in a state of negativity and helplessness! (Doesn’t that word just make you cringe?! I hope so!!) But you are not helpless. Take responsibility for your life and begin to take back your power!
The day we quite making excuses, is the day we regain power and control over our lives. Don’t look for someone to blame. Quit trying to figure out what went wrong. Just move on! For example, have you ever got lost on a road trip? How much did it really help trying to decide who was to blame? Did it make you any less lost? Of course not! Or how much did it really help making excuses for missing an exit? Were you any less lost? No! Quit looking for someone to blame and quit making excuses for being lost in life, and just get back on the road to your powerful life!
#10. The last way we give away our personal power is through self-pity.
(FYI, this is where I spent the first half of my adult life.) I don’t think people go here intentionally, but it’s just a natural response when we feel pain and we don’t know how to change it. And the truth is,feeling sorry for ourselves makes us feel better, at least temporarily! (Yes, there is a payoff or we wouldn’t do it!) Self-pity has its “reward”, but it also has a greater cost! Namely, we stay trapped in our own helplessness. We remain weak and powerless. And we waste valuable energy we could use to make positive changes in our lives.
You have what it takes to create your best life. Don’t settle for these power-thieves in your life. Make the decision to eliminate them. Your future is at stake. You have what it takes. Take back your power, and take back you life!