May 13, 2015

Reclaim your Power with this One Simple Question.


I remember a time in my life when I was convinced everyone hated me.

In fact, a girl in middle school told me everyone hated me, and I believed it.

I remember caving in and turning my light off. I told myself it wasn’t safe to expose the truth of who I really am, because that truth is not likable. So I gave my power away and changed myself. I developed a likable personality based on the approval and disapproval of others.

Now as a conscious adult, I realize that not everyone is going to like me. Not everyone will approve of me, and sometimes people will judge me and even be mean. As much as I have consciously accepted these aspects of life, I am noticing they can still be triggering and have a deeper impact on me than I want: they can still cause me to give my power away.

Just recently I had an experience where this happened. I met a great guy with whom I had amazing chemistry, but I didn’t get a clear read on whether or not he wanted to see me again. I had been my complete self with him—real, raw, vulnerable and exposed. After we parted, I felt powerless. I couldn’t understand why, until I realized I wanted to know if he wanted to see me again so I could be sure the realness I showed him was likable and worthy of love.

As someone who prides herself on being a powerful, independent, wild woman, I couldn’t handle this kind of dependence. I know that love and affection and approval are beautiful and necessary in my life, but I also know I don’t want to give my power away to someone in this way, relying on their approval to help me feel safe at the core of my being. To help me know it’s okay to be me.

I knew I had to get my power back, but I didn’t know how. I tried affirmations, mantras and spending time with my solar plexus, but I couldn’t reel myself back in. I kept pining for his approval. My desire for approval felt so deep, it felt like it would take years to figure out. This only made me feel more powerless.

And then I was introduced to a question that instantly brought my power back. In a second, everything made perfect sense, and all the power I’d been giving away flooded back into my body. I released the pressure I was putting on this guy, and surrendered to an inner knowing that whatever is supposed to happen will unfold exactly as it should.

If you are experiencing something in your life where you feel powerless, where you feel like you have no control, or where you are afraid of the rejection or judgment of others, ask yourself this:

Who do you want to be in the face of not getting what you want?

There are many aspects of our lives we can’t control, but we can always decide how we want to respond. Choosing who we want to be when we don’t get what we want—including the approval of others—is how we reclaim our power.

Who do you want to be if others reject you? Judge you? Are mean to you? Do you want to change and adjust yourself for their approval? Or do you want to stand firm in your realness, in the raw, powerful vulnerability that makes you who you are? That realness that allows your uniqueness to shine. That true, authentic self that yearns to share its gifts with the world.

You have the power to decide.



The 5 Principles of Authentic Living.


Author: Allison Dryja

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Pixfav/Flickr

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Kim P Aug 6, 2015 8:27am

Ahhhh just what I needed…just met what I felt to be the love of my life…a soul mate…a twin flame….and he broke if off because he wasn't ready for it. I've really struggled with it I feel the loss like little else I have experienced. Who do you want to be in the face of not getting what you want….will become my mantra.

Mel Jul 20, 2015 12:12pm

So powerful and profound. I have had the exact same thing happen to me within these two weeks as far as meeting someone I really like. I can’t stop thinking about him and that worries me. I don’t want to force anything, but also don’t want to lose such an incredible person. He makes me realize I wish to see in myself that which he admires in me. I also have faced a lot of challenges and adversity these past few weeks (losing my car, not having enough savings for travel, not getting the score on a test I studied 4 months for,etc). It can really make me feel stuck and unsure of who I am. I’m glad I can refocus. This article is so insightful. Thank you for sharing!

Sheena May 16, 2015 7:20am

Truly what I needed. Right now I’m in a tough place wanting and needing the acceptance of others. Granted just reading the question and your story doesn’t help right away, but I believe with time I can regain my power back. Thanks!

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Allison Dryja

Allison Dryja is a Women’s Empowerment Coach committed to helping women create lives they love and heal their relationships with their bodies and food. She spends a lot of time in her head, and understands how important (and challenging) it can be to listen to your body and give it the pleasure and self-care it needs. She offers 1×1 remote and in-person coaching out of Brooklyn, NY and teaches yoga at Shambhala Yoga & Dance. Visit her website.