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Personal Power Stoppers

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When we think of certain people, we get an image of them doing what they do most often.  For example, there’s “The Complainer” who is always kvetching and bellyaching.  Things just don’t go right in this person’s universe and the focus is mostly on what’s wrong.  This creates an energy field of lack and pain that begets more problems to complain about — and the cycle goes on and on – like a vicious circle.

Can the Circle be Broken?

Of course it can — by taking responsibility for our part in creating these cycles.  Are there areas in your life where you “just don’t have any luck,” such as romance, or “things just don’t go your way” like being passed over for job promotions?

Perhaps at some point you accepted conventional wisdom, “We Smiths just can’t get ahead like other families” or something traumatic happened and you made a decision, which then became a self-perpetuating “truth” that you tell yourself.

Taking Responsibility for Outcomes

When you take responsibility for your behavior, you take your power back, because you can change your behavior and ditch the endless cycle of problems that is working against you.  Here are four power stoppers that are helpful to recognize:


“I didn’t do it!”  “It’s her fault!”  When you blame someone else, you are not taking responsibility for your part in the situation.

It takes two to tango.  Instead of blaming someone else, ask yourself, “How did I contribute to this?”  Perhaps you went into a situation thinking it would turn out badly (time to clean up your thoughts and make positive intentions), or you didn’t actively “do” anything, but you allowed the situation to happen by being passive — another power drain!


Have you ever met a sad sack who is endlessly moaning, “Poor me, I never get what I want,” or “Nobody likes me.”  These people exude energy that no one wants to be around, creating a self-perpetuating cycle.  They are seeking sympathy, so when you suggest ideas to improve their lives, they are not interested.

Taking some action to get or do something for yourself and then expressing self-appreciation for your efforts can help shift self-pity.  The old adage, “To get a friend, be a friend,” is an example of taking an action that could create a new outcome.


Whether a rabble-rouser or doom and gloomer, most self-righteous people are extremely rigid in their thinking:  black/white, good/bad.  They don’t like to be wrong or admit mistakes.

A self-righteous attitude may leave you feeling victorious, but it can also alienate you from others and you may feel depleted afterward instead.  The key is to practice being more open-minded and curious about the other person’s viewpoint. You don’t have to change your mind, but you can agree to disagree, which leaves both parties feeling empowered.


Martyrs put themselves last and by doing so often feel a sense of superiority.  They say, “I’ll clean up,” or “I’ll stay late at work — I’m the only one who does things right around here anyway.”  A martyr will often justify their behavior by saying that others expect them to carry the burden or depend on them, but then resent it.

Putting yourself first for a change can give you a new perspective and help you to break free from this cycle.  Maybe, reward yourself for no reason and notice how that feels.


No one would do any of these behaviors unless there was a payoff.  Sometimes the “devil you know” seems easier and oddly more comforting than stretching your wings and discovering more pleasant ways of being.

To illustrate, it could be that Ms. Self Pity got a doctor’s kit with candy pills and tons of daddy’s attention at age 6, when she got the chicken pox.  Getting sick and being “poor me” paid off as a child.  Of course, it all started very innocently in childhood when there is insufficient cognitive development or conscious awareness to know otherwise.  When this pattern continues to unconsciously play out in life as an adult, the outcomes are probably not as satisfying.

When you notice yourself drifting into one of these behaviors, ask yourself:

“What is my part in this?”
“What do I need to change in myself to create a better outcome?”

Once you get clarity, you can cease these self-perpetuating loops.

The paradox of these four behaviors is that by humbling yourself and taking responsibility, you increase your personal power.  Your thoughts and beliefs create a positive or negative vibration.  In taking your power back, you are declaring that you are not a victim of a random universe where “That’s just the way it is,” you know yourself as a powerful creator with the ability to change your beliefs and any situation in your favor.

© Deborah A. Lindholm

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? You can, but you must include the following resource information in its entirety: Deborah Lindholm works with individuals ready to move beyond the fear, confusion or doubt that holds them back, by learning to work with their inner awareness and inner power and apply that deep inner wisdom in their life where it counts. If  you’re ready to awaken your inner power and surge forward in your life, get your FREE tips at

Categories : Health & Well-Being
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As always, please consult with qualified health professionals before putting session or workshop ideas into practice. The ideas and techniques are not meant to diagnose or replace the need for medical attention or professional mental health care.

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