We All Need to Feel Powerful

by Carolyn Babcock, Ph.D.

Are you stuck in a job you hate?  Unemployed?  Bored?  Lack purpose?  Do you feel that you have little or no control over your life?  If the answer to any one or more of these questions is “yes” then you may feel like a “victim” of your own life.  It is easy enough to feel this way.  Life often throws curve balls at us.  When it does, our dreams can seem to evaporate and we can feel we are destined to just plod along.

It does not have to be that way.

When you are “stuck” – whether in a lackluster job, or with no job, or simply bored with your life, you will find yourself in a “position of weakness.”  It becomes difficult to negotiate the terms of your own life because you feel like you lack the power necessary to make the choices that can create change.  There are many ways to regain power, such as physical and financial fitness.  If you firm up your body to do things that you could never do before, like run a marathon, or, if your firm up your savings so that you can finally experience financial freedom, you will, once again, have a sense of control – or power – over your life.  Of course, physical and financial power are not exclusive of one another.  You can have both.

Another avenue of creating power is education  (again, not exclusive of other types of power).  When you have expanded your range of knowledge, when the “ah ha!” moments begin to ignite your mind like fireworks, then you can feel the power that education provides.  What is interesting is that once you begin to feel powerful in one area, that same sense of strength begins to overflow into other areas.

A previous blog entry, dated 7.19.10 (“When It Comes to Income, What Difference Does College Make?”), provided a link to a government chart indicating the relationship between education and income.  Education can lead to financial independence, or at least financial healing.  You become emboldened with a new sense of purpose, and a new sense of self.  You begin to realize what you are capable of.

I have stated in previous articles that the math requirement for college was the primary obstacle in my enrolling in community college.  I knew I would fail math.  I felt that something that should be so easy, like enrolling in a 2-year college, was being made difficult because of the math “curve ball.”  Finally, after five years, I did it.  I sampled a course that interested me (“Marketing”), did well, and then ventured forward.  On to math – where I earned three “A”s for the three math courses I was required to take.  Yes, as I aced each of those math courses, I did feel powerful.  And yes, the cliché ran through my head over and over:  “If I can do math, I can do anything.”  THAT is power!

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