Are you being the most powerful version of yourself?
If you had to pause to think about it, the answer is probably no.
Everybody has different facets of their personality, and we act on them based on the context we’re in. It’s a social adaptation tool: you are not the same person with your friends as you are with your parents. Moving through these easily is a sign of high psychological function.
We are acquainted with the versions of ourselves that are current life requires. We know who we need to be at work, at home, or in love. But we are often unfamiliar with the person we need to be in order to move our lives forward.
There’s a popular therapeutic method called “inner child work.” In this process, you visualize and address your younger selves, often down to a specific age, depending on which version of you was traumatized. You communicate with that inner child self, learn from them, protect them, or give them the guidance that they needed when they were young.
This proves to be profoundly healing for people, mostly because we do not evolve past our former selves, we simply grow upon them.
However, this practice can work the opposite way as well. You can also visualize and connect with your future selves—the version of you that you are growing into, or the traits that you may have pushed toward the sidelines of your mind.
What would my most powerful self do today?
The first step to becoming your most powerful self is to literally envision that person. Don’t take yourself out of your current context, either. Begin to ask yourself: What would the most powerful version of me do right now? What would they do with this day? How would they respond to this challenge? How would they move forward? How would they think? What would they feel?
Your most powerful self needs to be the CEO of your life. It is the person making managerial decisions, governing everything else. This is the editor-in-chief, the matriarch or patriarch. You are working for your most powerful self.
Once you have a clearer image of what your most powerful self is like, you then need to evaluate what habits, traits and behaviors are actively holding you back from fully embodying that person.
Be aware of your weaknesses.
Powerful people are not delusional. They do not believe they are perfect, all the time, at everything. This is not what makes them mentally strong. Instead, powerful people are very aware of their varying strengths and weaknesses.
In business, powerful people will often outsource the tasks that they are not as skilled at. In life, powerful people know where their limits are, and what their triggers might be. This allows them to move through their lives with more ease, and to give themselves the time and space needed to work on their faults.
The ability to say to yourself: “I know I struggle a lot with this, so I’m going to take my time and work on it” is one of the most powerful things you can do.
Be willing to be disliked.
Powerful people are not the ones who are most universally liked.
They are also not the ones vying for others’ approval, and that’s the key.
To be a truly powerful person, you must be willing to be disliked. This is not to say that you behave in any way that’s malicious, but it is to say that no matter what you do, others are going to judge you. Powerful people know this. There is no path in life that you can take that will be free of resistance from others, and so it is important that you not only become okay with being disliked, but you anticipate it, and act anyway.
Act on purpose.
Powerful and purposeful are one in the same.
To be a truly powerful person, you need to have complete, unwavering conviction about what it is that you want to create. To do this, you have to shift from a “live for the moment” to a “live for the legacy” mindset.
Your purpose is a dynamic, evolving thing. Most of the time, it is at the intersection of what you are interested in, what you are good at, and what the world needs. Having a clear vision of what it is you want to create and accomplish is essential to finding your inner power. You will not feel strongly about a dream that is not part of who you most essentially are.
Do your inner work.
This is perhaps the most important, and yet most commonly overlooked, because it is the least comfortable.
To do your inner work means to evaluate why something triggered you, why something is upsetting you, what your life is trying to show you, and the ways in which you could grow from these experiences. Truly powerful people absorb what has happened to them and sort of metabolize it. They use it as an opportunity to learn, to develop themselves. This type of inner mental and emotional work is non-negotiable to be truly powerful.
Powerful people are not the most aggressive, aggression is usually a self-defense mechanism. Powerful people are the ones most unfazed by small disturbances, and most willing to fully process and work through the big ones.
Of course, this is the foundational stuff. Next, you have to work on simplifying your life, talking less about your ambitions and showing more of your accomplishments once they are completed. Gradually making health improvements over time. Assuming that everyone, and everything, has something to teach you. Become comfortable with vulnerability, as vulnerability precedes almost every significant part of your life, and intentionally design your daily routine.
Through everything, you must be thinking as your most powerful self would. If you learn to see the world, and your life, through that lens, you can create a life that reflects the intentions of that side of you. It already exists, you just need to know how to tap into it.