Real Personal Power

thrill of effective negotiation

Real personal power is an intangible thing; it can’t be bought or sold; it can’t be quantified or measured, and yet throughout the world, it is highly valued and is given great weight.

It’s not magnetism… that rare and innate quality that pulls us into its orb. It’s quieter. It has no special interest in making itself known to others; and much as the self-help books and gurus suggest otherwise, it has no real interest in persuading or influencing others. It’s enough for the possessor to know it as the constant companion on which they can utterly rely.

And yet for all its quietness, it’s instantly recognizable once it shows itself to others, whether it emanates from the quiet person everyone listens to when they speak, or the gregarious happy-go-lucky soul who, upon hearing your difficulties, has the muscle and humility to take themselves and their ego out of the equation and buttress you through the storm.

It cannot be said that those same people don’t experience fear, worry, and grief like everyone else, but the time they spend in those places is shortened by something deep within that lets them move through whatever challenges they face.

That ‘something deep’ is trust.

It’s trusting that you’ll disperse negativity before it can grab hold. It’s trusting that when things go awry, there will be a way out of the thicket ‒ that once the initial fight or flight impulses subside, more-evolved instincts will point you in the right direction… for those instincts spring from an inner but as yet, unrevealed plan that has the uncanny ability to link future circumstances with growth opportunities.

But what if you’re not born trusting yourself and the world around you? And what if your family and friends didn’t help you develop it? How on earth do you go about building it?

If you think about forming trust in the same way as you would construct your dream house, you’ll instantly understand that the foundation is core… for everything that comes next will rest upon and rise from it. You’re not going to use shoddy material—you’re going to find and use a substance you know you can rely on. When it comes to building trust, it’s the same thing… the order is simply reversed. You find things you can rely on, and then through them, get to know the substance of yourself, or as some say: your true essence.

Some people rely on meditation. Others on a sense of spirituality or on prayer, or they find the truest part of themselves in the practice of tai chi or martial arts. Many rely on the Zen of music, dance, or a sports activity… especially on one that demands the body, breath, and mind be in sync. Some take a daily walk. Some write or journal, garden or paint, draw, or practice crafts from knitting to tinkering with mechanical devices.

Those last few things may sound like mere hobbies; but whatever you love to do; whatever centers you; whatever brings a sense of ‘oneness’; whatever you can rely on to keep you in touch with yourself, let that be your foundation. For when things start to fall apart; when the job or relationship crumbles; when friends fall away; not only will the core of you hold together—you’ll know it will hold.

That’s trust.

From there it’s a matter of progressively learning to make new and better choices… the kinds of choices the people you’ll meet over the course of this year made. So, see you in the next issue, with the story of one of the most intimidating and toughest negotiators we’ve ever met. Yikes!


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