Health & Medical Self-Improvement

The 4 Fundamental "Powers" of Life

Over the past 12 years, as I have been coaching more than 600 people, I've discovered that there are 4 fundamental Powers that lead to a fulfilling, balanced life.
When you have fully developed all of these powers, you'll have the greatest opportunity to experience life as joyful, free and meaningful.
However, fear and self-doubt will, to varying degrees, block your ability to attain mastery of your 4 powers.
Confusion, frustration, boredom, and feeling stuck are signals that one or more of your Powers needs attention.
Let's investigate how strong you are in relation to each of these basic powers.
You'll identify doubts and fears along the way, leveraging these opportunities to free yourself from the self-defeating patterns that prevent you from making the most of your 4 Powers of Life.
Power #1: The Power to Act When you fully own your Power to Act, you have the confidence to trust your choices and your abilities.
You're willing and able to do what's needed to get what you want.
You won't fall into the trap of second-guessing yourself or worrying about how others will react to your actions.
Feedback is welcome information you skillfully leverage to your highest benefit.
You use the data to overcome obstacles to attaining your desires.
But your progress in attaining this level of personal development is hampered by a specific set of fears and areas of lack of self-trust.
Fears that can impede your Power to Act are: • Fear of being rejected (as damaged, flawed, worthless, or less-than) • Fear of being criticized • Fear of being judged (as unintelligent, incompetent or inappropriate).
Holes in your self-trust that can impede your Power to Act are: • Not trusting that you can sustain your progress over time • Not trusting that you can fulfill your responsibilities • Not trusting your ability to recognize and choose the options that will lead to the most beneficial outcomes.
These fears and doubts will cause you to fall into the trap of second-guessing yourself and worrying about how others will react to your actions.
When you're trying to please others, you can't move forward.
Instead, you'll be paralyzed indefinitely.
Your own desires go out the window when your focus is on avoiding rejection.
Coaching Questions for your Power to Act • How do you handle feedback? • What beliefs block you from making the most of opportunities? • How far are you willing to go to avoid rejection? Power #2: The Power of Free Will When you have fully developed your Power of Free Will, you'll confidently hold the reins of your life.
You'll consciously use your passion to guide your choices, actions and behaviors.
While you'll consider the opinions of others, you know that you ultimately make your own decisions, and you trust the choices you make.
You'll be flexible.
You'll feel competent to maintain your equilibrium by recognizing and responding effectively to ever-changing external factors (economic, financial or relational).
Your ability to create a balanced, joyful life will render addictive substances or behaviors unappealing.
You won't relinquish your power to anyone else.
You won't allow anyone to have dominion over you, nor will you try to control others.
Power plays become irrelevant.
You won't engage in them, nor will you participate in others' power plays because it disrespects everyone concerned.
You'll express your opinions, needs, desires and boundaries appropriately to each unique situation.
In all interactions, you'll seek mutual respect and a peaceful, balanced, fulfilling life.
But your progress in cultivating this level of personal development is hampered by a specific set of fears and areas of lack of self-trust.
Fears that can impede your Power of Free Will include: • Fear of being dominated by others you perceive as being more powerful • Fear of being perceived as aggressive or selfish if you fully express yourself • Fear of loss of control over your environment through financial insecurity • Fear of loss of control over your body to an addiction.
Holes in your self-trust that can impede your Power of Free Will are: • Not trusting that you can express your opinions and needs powerfully and appropriately • Not trusting that you can set appropriate boundaries and stick to them.
The misperception that you have less power than others leads to another form of paralysis.
As you feel less able to do what you need to do, your world shrinks.
The areas you feel you can control will become smaller and smaller.
Your choices will be limited just to what's easy.
At this point, you've stepped into the trap of the victim.
Your thoughts will focus on blaming the powerful ones for your plight.
You'll feel no responsibility for your actions or your situation, because you're powerless to change it.
Eventually, your actions will become self-destructive.
You'll blame others for the negative consequences because you're no longer responsible for the behavior you've been pushed into.
Coaching Questions for your Power of Free Will Which fears provoke you into engaging in power plays in relationships? With whom and under what circumstances do you give away control over your choices? Who do you try to control, and why? What stops you from expressing yourself honestly and openly? In what situations do you rely on the opinions of others, rather than trusting yourself? With whom and under what circumstances do you settle for less than equal power in your relationships (personal and professional)? Power #3: The Power to Exist When you have fully developed your Power to Exist,you know you have a place on this earth; you belong here.
People you hold in high regard see and appreciate you for the brilliant, multi-faceted diamond of a person you are.
You believe you can provide for your needs.
As your life evolves, you trust your ability to ensure your physical survival and a lifestyle that reflects your evolving values.
Your possessions, career, financial status and relationships all align with the ideals that give meaning to your life.
But your progress in cultivating this level of personal development is hampered by a specific set of fears and areas where self-trust is weak.
This group of issues cuts to the core of your being.
The deepest doubts you face here question your very will to live.
Do you even want to be here? Every other issue in life is inconsequential until this one is resolved.
Inherent in the decision to stay is identifying a compelling meaning or purpose of what you'll do while you're here.
As a human being, you're wired to derive meaning from the connections you have with others and the world around you.
But you'll cross a line if you allow a connection to define who you are.
This is a common experience in our society, and it happens when you: • Equate the dollar value or sheer number (more is better!) of your possessions with the value of your personhood.
So if you lose your "valuables", you lose your sense of self-worth.
There's a reason hoarding has reached epidemic proportions in this country! • Define yourself in relation to a role.
So if you're a test pilot, then you're nobody when you can no longer do that job.
• Derive your self-esteem from how well others say you perform each role.
So you can feel good about yourself only when others tell you that you're a good son/daughter/parent/employee, etc.
The Power to Exist is connected to your will to live, identifying a meaning or purpose of what you'll do while you're here, then creating a lifestyle that reflects your values.
Fears that can stymie your Power to Exist include: • Fear of not having a compelling reason to live • Fear of the loss of meaning or purpose for your life • Fear of losing the identity you attach to your lifestyle (I am my job; I am my stuff) • Fear of anything your perceive as an insurmountable threat to your physical survival • Fear of losing the physical, mental, intellectual or emotional power to provide for yourself • Fear of losing your lifestyle (possessions, living environment, job security, financial status, relationships).
Holes in your self-trust that can stymie your Power to Exist include: • Not trusting your ability to find meaning in your life • Not trusting your capability to shift your lifestyle to match your ever-evolving self • Not trusting your competence with knowing yourself as a multi-faceted person; knowing and valuing yourself at a level beyond labels (e.
g.
, son/daughter, husband/wife/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend, employee/employer, engineer/attorney/chef, golfer/gardener, consumer/seller/producer, homeowner/renter, etc) • Not trusting your facility with being creative and flexible in how you respond to change and get your needs met • Not trusting your competence to keep yourself safe from harm • Not trusting your resourcefulness in creating a lifestyle that fulfills your evolving desires These fears and doubts can suck you into a quagmire that can seem inescapable.
Remember, you identify yourself in relation to those around you.
With family, you're a son/daughter, husband/wife/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend, in-law, etc.
In business, you're an employee/employer, engineer/attorney/nurse (every job title fits here), consumer/seller/producer/inventor, etc.
You also identify with the lifestyle you choose.
Whether homeowner or renter, you choose the size, layout and amenities that reflect what you value about a space.
Is it cozy, spacious, bright, energizing, serene, traditional, contemporary, cluttered, tidy, etc? The culmination of the Power to Exist is the freedom to create a lifestyle that reflects your values.
So set yourself free from the societal tar pit of deriving your self-esteem from how well others say you perform a role.
Regardless of cheers or jeers from the peanut gallery, know in your heart that one thing never changes: you're spectacular on so many levels! Coaching Questions for your Power to Exist • What questions have you not yet answered about the meaning and purpose of your life? • What have you given up to maintain your physical security? • When you set aside all of your roles, who are you? • What are your challenges in how you get your needs met during changing conditions? • What shifts in your lifestyle do you feel incapable of or unwilling to make to match your ever-evolving self? Power #4: The Power to Love Yourself and Others When you have fully developed your Power to Love Yourself and Others, fully embrace loving yourself, loving others, and allowing others to love you.
You'll be skillful in expressing your emotions effectively and balancing your needs with others' needs.
You'll trust your wisdom in choosing an appropriate partner, opening your heart to love and maintaining healthy boundaries.
You'll be willing to risk loss because the love you experience is so much greater and long-lasting than transient grief.
You'll know you're resilient, so you won't be obsessed with avoiding pain at all cost.
Fears that can handcuff your Power to Love Yourself and Others include: • Fear of losing the ability to love or be loved • Fear of being overwhelmed or consumed by loneliness • Fear of being vulnerable to betrayal, rejection, and judgment • Fear of losing your autonomy if you commit to a relationship • Fear of losing your identity to a more powerful partner • Fear of regretting your choice to: • settle for a safe, but unfulfilling relationship, • waste time with a less-than forthcoming partner, • pass up a relationship that would have challenged you to grow in a healthy way.
Holes in your self-trust that can shackle your Power to Love Yourself and Others include: • Not trusting your ability to manage your emotions • Not trusting your ability to open your heart when you're ready to love • Not trusting your resilience-your ability to thrive in any situation • Not trusting your ability to maintain the boundaries of your personhood • Not trusting your ability to choose an appropriate partner These fears and doubts will cause you to fall into the trap of being influenced by the emotions you haven't yet mastered.
You'll be consumed with avoiding loneliness, rejection and loss of autonomy.
Instead of enjoying the moment, you'll ruminate about the great stuff you might be missing in a better relationship (if you could find one) and wondering if you'll later regret settling for this partner.
Coaching Questions for your Power to Love Yourself and Others • What are you willing to sacrifice to avoid loneliness, rejection, and judgment? • What indirect (passive-aggressive, manipulative, coercive) means do you use to assert your autonomy when you fear losing it? • When you look back at why you regret the things you regret, what pattern(s) do you see? • What stops you from opening your heart more deeply to intimacy?

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