Personal Power: the influence one has over another person where the influence resides within the person rather than the position one holds.
Robert Firestone, Ph.D., in an article entitled, The Human Experience wrote that: “Personal power is based on strength, confidence, and competence that individuals gradually acquire in the course of their development. It is self-assertion, and a natural, healthy striving for love, satisfaction and meaning in one’s interpersonal world. This type of power represents a movement toward self-realization and transcendent goals in life; its primary aim is mastery of self, not others. Personal power is more an attitude or state of mind than an attempt to maneuver or control others. It is based on competence, vision, positive personal qualities, and service. When externalized it is likely to be more generous, creative and humane than other forms of power.”
We all are able to recognize how difficult it is to understand our own personal power. It is even more difficult to understand our personal power within a relationship. What is important to recognize is that each person comes into the relationship as a unique, whole being. When people are secure within themselves, they are able to be secure within the relationship. Patricia Evans explained some nice components in her book, “The Verbally Abusive Relationship”:
In order not to exert power over another person each must realize ideally how to:
Your own power is a wonderful thing when used in healthy manner. Your power when in relationship with another’s power can be magical when both use their respective power in a healthy manner. How do you use your personal power?
“What lies in our power to do; lies in our power not to do.” – Aristotle