Take Your Power Back!

Once you’ve identified that you’ve lost your power somewhere along the way, how do you get it back?  Don’t expect someone to give it to you.  You take it back!  Remember this: No one can take your power from you without your permission.  If you’ve lost your power, it’s because you have given it away.  However, you and only you can take it back.  And you can take it back the very moment you decide to take it back.  Here’s how:

(1) Identify what decision-making you have abdicated to someone else.  Remember that one of the signs you have lost your power is that you’ve relinquished decision-making to someone else.  Whatever the reason, once you decide to take your power back, you must immediately start making decisions for yourself rather  than allowing someone else to do it.  This can be as simple as what time you go to bed, when you go to the gym and what you have for dinner.  We sometimes allow people to influence these decisions when we have abdicated our power.  (Some examples: Don’t eat that, eat this.  Are you sure you should be doing that? Do it this way).  So if you’re allowing this in your life, stop! You do you!

(2) Take pro-active steps to further your desires.  Identifying areas you are passively allowing others to make decisions for you is the first subtle change.  But you must also take affirmative action too!  That means taking direct measures to achieve your desires, however big or small they may be.  If it’s something as small as getting to the gym every day, YOU decide when, how, where, etc.  Do what you need to do to make it happen.  Carve out time on your calendar.  Make it as important as everything else in your day.

(3) Establish goals.  Whatever your desires are, write them down on a piece of paper or add a note on your iPhone.  Put the list someplace you can review periodically at least once a day.  Read your list daily.  Remind yourself of your goals every day.  Change your list as you fine-tune your goals.  Having desires is the first step but writing down clear goals helps you to really clarify them.  Desires should lead to results.  Goals = results.   A desire without a plan is just a wish.

(4) Do at least one thing every day to further your goals.  Just thinking about your goals every day isn’t enough.  We could think about the things we want forever,  but if we don’t ever take any action towards getting those things, we will never see any results. If your goal is to find a new job, what are you doing to reach that goal?  Here are some ideas: update your resume, upload it to various recruiting websites, research job ads on those websites, make a list of potential employers you would like to work for and check out their websites, send your resume to the higher-ups at those companies, research recruiting events you can go to.  These are just a few ideas.  When you commit to doing at least one thing every day to further your  goals, you will likely not just stop at one.  You will also come up with other ideas to further those goals as well.  Doing nothing breeds nothing.  So dosomething!

(5) Eliminate toxic people from your life.  As you continue to evaluate your desires and things you want in your life, and as you start planning how to achieve those desires, you will begin to see that there are people in your life who are constant obstacles.  These people are the ones who always seem to have something negative to say about the things you want to do.  Or they always seem to be at the center of everything that presents problems in your life.  Quite simply, you need to eliminate these people.  If you were driving and you had mud on your windshield, you wouldn’t continue to drive, right? You would have to clean off your windshield. It would be silly to think you could operate the vehicle with an obstructed view. Well, those toxic people are obstructing your view.  Some people are easy to eliminate.  That friend that never has anything nice to say – just call less (or not at all). Don’t text her back.  Don’t call her back.  Just be busy all the time.  For those people that you can’t simply eliminate for whatever reason, read on below.

(6) Establish appropriate boundaries with people.  Not everyone is meant to have the same role in your life.   You don’t have to give everyone – or anyone for that matter – “full access” to your life.  YOU decide what people have access to what information.  Just because someone is your sibling, parent, child, etc. doesn’t mean they have to know everything all the time.  YOU also decide how you wish to conduct those relationships and what role they play in your life.  Just because someone is your relative, or because you have known them a long time, doesn’t mean that you have any obligation to them to conduct your relationship the way you did in the past.  We’ve all had friends with whom we were inseparable at one time. But things change.  Life changes, circumstances change. Our desires change.  That means that the roles people in our lives play change too.  It’s perfectly acceptable for you to decide to place limitations on people’s roles in your life.  This may mean making certain topics off limits. Or limiting the personal contact you have to only occasional phone contact or limiting the frequency of the contact you have with them.  YOU decide on these limitations though.  And if you need to verbally communicate these limitations to someone, don’t be afraid to do so. Just make sure your actions are consistent with your words.

(7) Know what you want.  And ask for it. Last but not least, this is some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.  Of these two components, knowing what you want can often be the most difficult part!  If you employ the other suggestions above, you will be well on your way to identifying your true desires and achieving them.  Part and parcel of getting what you want is asking for it.  I have found that very often people just don’t pick up on hints or cues.  Sometimes you just need to be direct and say what it is that you want.  This may seem difficult at first, but once you get accustomed to it, you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

As always, be kind to yourself!  Once you start employing these measures to regain your power, try to be consistent.  Make it a priority every day.  Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t have the best day on any given day.  Keep going.  Keep pushing forward.  The only way out is through.  Your inner powerhouse wants to come out!

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google