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Is your inner worth at the heart of your power?

by Lori Hoeck on February 16, 2010

BeYourselfWhen it comes to defending our inner well-being or our lives, it’s important how we view the world’s impact on us. We need evaluate our feelings about personal power.

For example, do we feel our lives are like yo-yos, dependent on the input or feelings of others:

  • Does our day and energy go up and down with the situations around us?
  • Do we feel proud when someone brags about us, but down when we aren’t recognized?
  • Do we fear looking out of place or saying the wrong thing most of the time?

If our inner state is dependent on how well received we are by others, our well-being is a boat bouncing on the sea of circumstance. Our inner well-being will always be buffeted by the next withering glare, shrunken by someone’s embarrassment at us, or squelched by a more powerful personality wanting to exert itself.

Yes, it’s tough to:

  • disregard the opinions of others
  • have the inner strength to shrug off criticism
  • feel comfortable in our own skin

But when we give away our inner state to the whims of others or to circumstances, we will be less inclined to defend ourselves, to stand up for our ideas, or to make sure no one crosses the line with us.

Compare that mindset to these three quotes:

From now on, I’ll connect the dots my own way. ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes

I LIVE to think for myself. I refuse to be a mindless sheep following the crowd into cookie-cutter oblivion. Otherwise I’d just be a zombie with no heart or passion in life. ~Hervey Taylor IV

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. ~Dr. Seuss

Question:
What empowers you to stand up for yourself?

——————–

Thank you for visiting!

Lori Hoeck

Photo: Monsieur Gordon

{ 12 comments }

1 suzen February 16, 2010 at 10:07 am

Hi Lori! Bopping over from Lance’s – great post/blog! I’m particularly fond of the quote from Dr. Seuss. I never gave much thought to what “empowers me to stand up for myself” – I guess confidence in just who/what I am.
Hugs,
suZen

2 Mark February 16, 2010 at 10:16 am

I am empowered to stand up for myself by being true to my authentic self and not being influenced by the external. Living love means knowing who I am and not being caught in the breeze of popular opinion.

3 Davina February 16, 2010 at 10:31 am

Hi Lori.
When I am confident about something I have no qualms about standing up for it or myself. It’s not a means of putting someone else down in order to do it, nor is it a matter of being “seen”. It’s just a matter of communicating truth.

4 Lori Hoeck February 16, 2010 at 10:39 am

Hi Suzen,
Welcome and thank you for bopping over form Lance’s site!

If you could bottle this “confidence is just who/what I am,” you would be a millionaire!

Hi Mark,
Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.

What we let in from outside is our choice, isn’t it? And yet, sometimes it’s a tough thing to learn!

Hi Davina,
Greg and I have been talking about the power of communicating truth recently. When our words come from that place, it seems our confidence is more natural.

5 Hilary February 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Hi Lori .. just by wanting to be independent – my own person. I’m sure that’s what’s kept me being who I am. I am over confident and that can be a problem .. but I just do my thing within the boundaries of life – I have to have faith in myself .. I can’t rely on others, or be propped up by them ..

Good post and thoughts to dwell on ..

6 Betsy Wuebker February 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Hi Lori – I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a high amount of inner worth is attractive, as well as empowering. Confidence attracts. Instinctively we know this, and we gravitate to it, even if we’re misinterpreting something else as it. Being completely convicted in purpose and deed is truly inspirational and magnetic, too. Zeroing in on meaning in life and living mindfully with good intent makes us worth getting to know.

7 Lori Hoeck February 16, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Hi Hilary,
Having faith in yourself, being your own person, not being propped up by others — sounds like you have a strong foundation. I bet few people mess with you!

Hi Betsy,
“Being completely convicted in purpose and deed is truly inspirational and magnetic” — I’ve noticed this helps someone become a leader who has never tried to be one before. It is powerful stuff.

8 Walter February 17, 2010 at 12:45 am

It has always been our instincts to depend on the perception of others. Perhaps it was endowed unto us as part of our instincts for survival. We need to be aware of this manipulation of our instincts if we want to emancipate in life.

Our greatest gift is that we are all capable of defying our nature. We have to use this gift to make the best out of life. :-)

9 janice February 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm

What a great question, Lori, and I love how you always make the connection between inner strength and the more physical aspects of self defence.

I’ve never had any problems standing up for myself with others; I was always that quiet wee girl who stepped up unexpectedly to confront a bully or an unfair teacher to protect someone vulnerable. I’ve always had supportive instincts and a deeply rooted sense of fairness.

But I’ve always found it much harder to stand up to my own ego if it gets out of control and starts creating self doubt, unhelpful comparisons with others and pointless self-censorship. I’ve been waging war against dodgy, wavering self esteem for years, and like most folk, because the origins go way back, the problem can sometimes rear its ugly head like a virulent virus when I think I’ve finally exorcised the demons.

Four things come to mind that empower me. My faith, because it’s always there and isn’t vulnerable to the shifting sands of circumstance; my husband, who has always seen and nurtured the best in me; my kids, who represent unconditional love and for whom I try to be my best self, and my writing. I’ve never bothered what folk thought of it because I know who I am, why I write and where my writing comes from. It keeps me present, engaged, grateful and connected, and I’ve always treasured those moments of connection with folk who have genuinely appreciated it and have reached out to tell me.

10 Lori Hoeck February 17, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Hi Walter,
The power of choice is one amazing force we all have, I agree.

Hi Janice,
I think a lot of people have a sense of fairness that helps them speak up for others, but past issues that make them less likely to speak up for themselves. I’m glad you have four pillars to draw strength from!

11 CZBZ February 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm

“What empowers you to stand up for yourself?”

‘Cuz I just stinkin’ have to.

So far, even though I’ve given it my best shot, the world isn’t an altruistic place where lambs and lions lie down together and all god’s chilluns want only the best for one another. I tried living life with that vision and all it got me was a lousy t-shirt. a divorce, and a couple of years in Alanon.

What empowered me to stand up for myself was the realization that I was worthy of taking up just as much space as any man and breathing as much air as anyone else. That I am ‘good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn-it, people like me.” Seriously….I took a few women’s studies classes and they changed my life for the better. (My kids lives too).

And that’s another important motivation for ’standing up for me’: Kids learn by example.

Very nice post…thank you for the question!

Hugs,
CZ

12 Lori Hoeck February 20, 2010 at 9:19 am

Hi CZBZ,
Worthiness seems to elude a lot of us. I wish their was a fool-proof parenting tip that imparts worthiness to kids without giving them a sense of entitlement.

I took Women’s studies classes and learned how mind-boggling tough pioneer women were because they made almost everything from scratch, including soap. I figured if those women could do so much, so well, who was I to value myself less in this day and age?

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