When certain blogs touch me I share them with you, with a few short paragraphs from me about how it pertains to my life in recovery…Dee Harris
5 Tips to Cultivate Personal Power and Self-Confidence
By Linda Dierks
When you step into your power, you cultivate self-esteem and personal worth. A new sense of freedom emerges, doubts fall away, and you quit being a marionette to other people’s expectations or vulnerable to external circumstances. This new confidence allows you to let go of the need to judge, criticize, or compare yourself to others. When you claim your power, you also claim your greatest potential as an expression of your source creator.
Prior to stepping into my power I had to unlearn most of what was shell-shocked into me as a young child. Most of who I was to become came from the experiences in my first decade of life. We come from the womb so innocent and pure, so curious and excited to learn. And then “the real world” enters our virgin bubbles and starts to corrupt our innocence.
I “thought” I was in my power as the highly intellectual being I had become. Thinking. No feeling. Feeling was for the weak. But wait. I lacked self-esteem and personal worth. I lacked purpose and happiness. I lacked a reason for living.
It wasn’t until I learned to live from my heart and not my head did I begin to cultivate self-esteem and personal worth. It wasn’t until I admitted I was an alcoholic and checked myself into rehab did I realize how fear-based and dysfunctional I was. I was that marionette to other people’s expectations. I valued your opinion of me more than my own opinion of myself (which was a LOSER anyway, so didn’t much matter).
Embrace your power by following these five building block practices and rise to the top of your personal game and spiritual path.
1. Define Who You Are
When you know who you are, you lay a foundation on which to build. As you define your abilities and qualities, you connect the dots and the picture of who you truly are emerges. Once this image develops, you become genuine, authentic, and comfortable in your own skin. You can start by asking yourself:
When I let go of fitting in, what is it about me that rises to the top?
The child in me. That eager to play and learn child. That child who has not yet been bullied or pressured into fitting in, lest be ridiculed. That child free of the past and the future. Just being in the moment. That is the me that rises to the top when I let go of the fear of fitting in.
What gifts are distinctly mine? What rings sterling and true about my abilities and personal qualities? Are there talents or tasks where others seek my help or advice?
My story, my journey, my puzzle pieces, are distinctly mine. We all have that. It’s up to each individual to consider it a gift or not. Today I choose my journey as my greatest puzzle piece.
My journey brought me to a very dark place of drugs and alcohol. It wasn’t until I realized that I could not go a day without alcohol (that seemed to go on for half my life) that I surrendered in guilt and shame and asked for help. That is when I started to see, and feel, my gifts…all blossoming from the bottoming out of my addiction.
In recovery I practice loving myself for who and what I am. I live rigorously honest. I live in the moment with no regrets of the past nor worries of the future. I live my life with faith in a Power Greater Than Myself over whom I can turn my will and my life. I live with humility and the utmost of gratitude.
I seem to attract others into my bubble with this presence, compassion and mindfulness. I can today be respectful of YOU as our time together is not about me. I can love YOU, until you can love yourself, as was done for me in early sobriety. YOU teach me and bring that childhood eagerness to learn out in me. We feed off each other. It’s a win-win.
What did I love to do as a kid that got “practicalized” out of me?
I loved to play and be care-free and just be me. And then I went out in the real world. Sometimes I got bullied for being Asian in a mostly white school. Somehow I got scared of being called on by the teacher and not having the right answer or any answer at all. I don’t remember any instance of being ridiculed or demeaned by this, but I took it upon myself to always have the right answer.
I no longer played nor was care-free. I studied and became obsessed with being perfect. I lost my childlike innocence.
When that force of intuition and desire tugs my sleeve, where is it pointing me?
It points right back into the present moment…to that place right in front of my nose. It points to my heart and not my head. It points to faith in my Higher Power and not my ego. It points me to humility and gratitude for where my journey has brought me…to this moment.
What qualities light me up?
Respect. Gratitude. Honesty. Mindfulness. Compassion. Love.
Am I practical or a daydreamer?
I am both. As a business owner I must be practical and committed to my customers. As a recovering, and grateful, alcoholic I must be committed to my sobriety and to myself which brings out the child in me and the daydreamer in me.
There can be a happy medium. For this alcoholic staying in moderation takes work. I’m an all-or nothing kind of person. But remembering to stay in the moment keeps me on an even keel, remembering to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand God and knowing, feeling, that everything is perfect at this very moment.
Do I seek adventure or quiet solitude?
I thrive on quiet solitude. That is my happy place, my safe place. But I “make” myself get out of the box, my comfort zone, lest I fail to learn what I feel God wants me to learn, and to share what I learn. I cannot share my experience, strength and hope with you if I am in my box, my Dee Bubble, and sharing is my purpose today on this planet, a true gift given me from being a recovering alcoholic, whereas in my disease I was a waste of space on the planet with no direction, and no life. I was a LOSER.
Is my life a bustle of activity or tuned to a laid-back pace?
Today I “choose” laid-back because today I have choices. I don’t “have to drink” today which is always a great place for me to get back in the moment. I don’t have to be a go-getter today because I have unlearned that and many other unnecessary and unhealthy traits that was rammed down my throat by society.
Yes, today I choose laid-back because it serves me best. And today I choose to take care of myself and my well-being. Today I love myself for who I am and the choices I make.
Do I recharge my batteries in an exuberant crowd or curled up with a book? Am I happiest when I stand out or when part of a larger whole?
My recharging comes from my Dee time, which is quiet, alone time. Curling up with a book is always icing on the cake to me. When I’m in my practical side I don’t often choose to let myself read, or watch a movie, or meditate, or do yoga. These are ways I recharge my batteries.
And today I am happiest when I am with like-minded fellows, especially in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. This is where I can truly be myself, to be rigorously honest, to hear what I need to hear, to feel what I need to feel. I no longer have to stand out for that fear-based trait no longer serves me. I can be that child again.
Knowing who you are generates practices that best care for your needs and gives rise to a lifestyle that matches your authentic nature. You’ll feel more and more anchored. As the effervescence of your true self bubbles to the surface, you quit trying to be liked by everyone else, let go of being pulled in multiple directions, and are more resilient to life’s challenges. Dare to be special!
2. Embrace Your Gifts
Shine your light on the world. You are endowed with distinctive talents, skills, and interests that mark your magnificence and set you apart. Do your gifts launch or languish behind old voices? Are you saying to yourself:
“Don’t be too big for your britches.” “Quit being a show-off.”
“Look at the smarty-pants.”
“Act like a lady/gentleman.”
Does the term, “fear of outshining” resonate with you? Do you downplay your skills so that you won’t stand out or threaten others? Have you turned down the volume on your talent in favor of fitting in? If your light is barely peeking out from under that bushel, allow yourself to shine—you will inspire, not intimidate. Broadcast what is special about you.
This is what we need to teach our children in their first decade of life! Then we wouldn’t have to be telling this to ourselves, and me to YOU, today as a reminder of what we already should know! We are a gift! We have gifts that no other human being on the planet holds. Never forget that. Always be grateful. Always be humble. And SHARE YOUR GIFTS!
And, damn, don’t give a shit about acting like a lady/gentleman. That’s fear-based garbage drummed into our heads when we were children. Just be YOURSELF, respectful, mindful, compassionate. Don’t worry about fitting in. No one’s paying attention to you in that light anyhow. BE YOURSELF!
3. Love Yourself
Love is the highest frequency and gateway to your dance with the divine. The benefits of self-love are instant and enormous.
Try it, right now, by sending love down through your central core in a steady flow. With a flush of warmth and expansion, you ignite the heart and wash away doubt, insecurity, and self-limiting thoughts, and infuse calm and confidence. Move from being your worst critic to being your best cheerleader, and the world says “yes.”
When you infuse yourself with love, you honor and become more closely aligned with your creator. Set up your day—before getting out of bed, infuse yourself with love and reinforce it throughout the day. Turn your phone on selfie and have an eye-to-eye, heart-focused chat with yourself if you lose your center or if your confidence wanes. The combination of self-love and operating out of authenticity makes you invincible. You are perfect, whole, and complete.
If I didn’t love myself, I couldn’t be sharing this blog with you in a rigorously honest way. I wouldn’t be sharing my story of my dysfunctional alcoholism with you. But I have learned to live without guilt and shame today. I have learned to love myself for who and what I am with all my defects of character…and all my gifts.
Today I honor myself. Today I have contentment and peace. Today I have a purpose to share my journey with you. And if just one person walks away with a little glimpse of hope and optimism, my purpose was served. Today I am perfect, whole, and complete. YOU are perfect, whole and complete.
When I was in rehab the affirmation I chose to share every morning whilst in Group was, “I am a good person. I am a whole person.” This affirmation sticks with me to this day, two decades later.
I chose that affirmation because on that day I felt anything but good nor whole. Remember I was a piece of shit, a LOSER, a waste of space on the planet. I couldn’t go a day without drinking, lying, cheating, hiding. It was horrible and exhausting.
Today I AM a good person and I AM a whole person. It’s taken a long time and a lot of hard work to get myself to this place. But I didn’t do it alone. Today I have a God and a fellowship of like-minded people who loved me until I could love myself.
Affirmations seem to appear out of nowhere when I need them most. Signs from God. Just the right words or message I need to see at that particular moment to bring me back right-sized, grounded and centered. To be able to chill out and stop causing so much drama and chaos. To remember that I am not in control and let God do the driving; I’m just along for the ride.
So one of my purposes today is to create inspiring, yet fun affirmations and inspirational quotes. I put them on mosaics which can be placed in strategic places to remind you to “Don’t Be a Shitty Person” in the bathroom (no pun intended) to start you off first thing in the morning, or “Everything is Perfect at this Moment” or “Just Breathe” to hang on your rearview mirror of your car to get you centered while you’re stuck in traffic.
Another of my purposes today is to write these weekly blogs. When I receive feedback I am reassured that my purpose was served…to share my experience, strength and hope…and my message was heard. I also speak at DUI classes which is where my message is really heard loud and clear. I feel so full, so grateful, so happy when I walk out of that classroom.
4. Walk with a Higher Presence
Since prehistoric man, we have expressed spirituality in countless ways that are personal and unique to each of us.
When you incorporate spiritual practices and live by spiritual principles, you raise your vibrational frequency and become more closely aligned with a Universe that is invested in your highest good. A meditation practice increases this connection; however, anything that brings inspiration and joy will open your crown chakra, creating a deeper energetic connection with this wisdom and bounty. Don’t overlook the importance of joy in your life.
As you partner with this higher presence, you anchor your power. Confidence flourishes when you know that you are never alone and have an ally that’s invested in your joy, wellness, and prosperity. The hard edges of life soften, and you are propelled as the barriers of self-doubt and fear fall away. Partner up and become a co- creator of a life of abundance and wellness.
My life made a complete turn around when I learned I could make up a God of My Own Understanding. Having no religious background in my childhood all the way up to getting sober, I lived a life based on intelligence, thinking, the brain. When I “made up”, “pretended”, “day dreamed” a Power Greater Than Myself to which I was able to turn my life and will over, I finally found myself, felt myself, in the Spirit of the Light. It’s amazing!
The weight was lifted off my shoulders about EVERYTHING! I found that things were happening just as they were supposed to unfold…PERFECTLY! I receive God-shots which I can’t explain with my intelligence. Yep, truly amazing!
5. Engage, Expand, and Express
Engage your power by using these tools. Realization by realization, each step feeds the next in an ever-escalating ladder of growth and expansion. Express it. Show up and shout it out. When you sing your song and put your skills out in the world, you generate an energetic cycle of vitality that says to the Universe, “Give me more!” Reinforce the energetic loop by supporting and mentoring others. You are part of a sacred cycle of vitality.
Personal power and self-esteem are the foundation for creating joy and wellness. It motivates you to be more. It gives you resiliency in the face of adversity. It’s the root of mental and physical health and opens you to positive interaction with the world and a higher power.
When you step up to the plate and invest your time and interest, the Universe invests time and interest in you. Take the plunge, go out on a limb, put on your cape, and read your poetry to the trees. There is a great void just waiting for you to fill it.
So here I am finishing this blog. I awoke this morning with gratitude and an excitement of what the day, what my God, has in store for me today. I want everyone to have that! I want to inspire YOU to be your best YOU. Love yourself for the unique and awesome person YOU ARE. And then share your inspiration with those who enter your bubble. The ripple effect, yeah? Together we can make this world a better place to live with love and understanding, compassion and mindfulness, in a non-judgmental and respectful way. Let’s ripple!
Thank you for being part of my day and allowing me to live my purpose…and my passion. I encourage feedback. I want to hear your story. I want to learn from YOU! With the warmest of aloha, Dee Harris
For those interested in checking out my affirmations, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com. Mahalo and enjoy!
About the Author: Linda Dierks Teacher and Author
Linda Dierks is a pioneer of creating core wellness through the science of energy, the spirituality of personal empowerment, the power of thought, and the power of love. Linda triumphed over cancer and depression after studying advanced wellness philosophies and several alternative health modalities. Now as a teacher, speaker, and author, she illustrates the methods behind her success through workshops and the Creating Joy and Wellness blog. You can learn more about her at http://www.spinstrawtogoldnow.com or catch Linda’s full Step Into Your Power series at blogtalkradio.com/internationalangelsnetwork.
from The Chopra Center