Sunday, April 16, 2017
P is for Power - Regain a Sense of Power in Your Life
Pressure can be a positive force as long as you're in control of the situation. Lose your sense of control, however, and it is not long before you feel overwhelmed and anxious. Developing an internal rather than external attribution style can enhance your ability to monitor and cope with mounting pressure. An internal attributional style means that you believe that have control over the important things in your life. Those with an external attributional style believe that others or fate control their lives.
When we feel that other agents are acting upon us and we can do nothing to influence the course of our own lives a couple of important results occur. First, there is a loss of motivation to act. If we feel nothing we do has any effect on our lives why bother trying in the first place? It would be waste of time and lead to more frustration, anger and the sense of being overwhelmed. This is what learned helplessness means. When we have been exposed to a number of situations in which we did everything thought was right and effective in achieving a goal only to have things outside our control determine otherwise, we may start to feel this sense of helplessness.
Another thing this process may result in is a biased view of what takes place in our lives. When not in a positive frame of mind we are most likely to remember the negative things in our lives, the criticisms and instances when we believed we failed at something. We are less likely to pay attention to and sometimes even remember the positive things that occur on a day to day basis. This can help convince us we lack the ability to be successful which just adds to the problem caused by believing others control our present and our future. Without knowing it we may even go a step farther – we may act in ways that sabotage our own efforts proving that nothing we do has an effect. This is what is meant by the term self-fulfilling prophecies. You believe you are powerless so you act in ways to prove it.
The opposite side of the coin can obliterate this negative cycle of defeat, However. when you believe that you are responsible for your own success you will act in ways to make that success happen. Believing that you can have a positive influence on the situation you're in will lay the foundation for this to occur. But it takes consistent effort to consciously rewire your brain to relive your past wins more often than your failures.
“Easier said than done,” I hear many of you saying. If you are mired in a pool of negativity and the certainty that you do not have the power to change anything it may seem that this is the case. But by taking small steps, baby steps in the words the words of the main character in the movie “What About Bill?” you can start to regain a sense of control over your life along with all the perks this will lead to.