Personal Power

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”
– Margaret Mead

“Personal power” means we carry a unique and individual potency – a combination of strengths, effectiveness, influence, energy and impact. Our job is to befriend and apply those gifts. They are the agency through which we create a meaningful life, a contribution to our families, workplaces, and the wider world.

Many of us measure our value and worth in comparison to other people. Little wonder. We live in a “contest culture.”  Western society promotes a star system for almost anything and everything.

The idea only the few are gifted is destructive. Everyone has a singular array of gifts, talents, character qualities and other inner resources. They form our unique signature.


We each have at least 100 inner resources at our command. Can you name yours?

Most of us can name our faults in a New York minute. But, when it comes to our resources, we often find naming them difficult work. If we cannot name them, we cannot call on them.

The hidden costs of such self-sabotage are steep. When we are unaware of our gifts, or are overly critical of them, we injure our ability to be our best selves and act with mastery. This results in a form of instinct injury.

On (dates) we are offering a workshop called Gathering Your Power (click).

Gathering Your Power is a two-day deep-dive into understanding and claiming your gifts.

And, claim them we must. They are hidden treasure waiting to be discovered and shared. “True happiness,” suggests John W. Gardner, “ involves the full use of one’s power and talents.” 


It is especially vital that we remain connected to these resources, especially during times of change or challenge.  Difficult conditions, like personal or professional transitions, require faith in our selves.  Staying connected to our inner powers help us carry the day.

Our personal gifts – those that we’re born with, those we develop through experience, and our hidden resources – are just waiting for us to claim them. Taking time to explore our own vast combination of gifts helps build the confidence to live an original life.

As cultural anthropologist, Angeles Arrien reminds us, we are “original medicine.” In her book The Four-Fold Way she writes:

“Many indigenous societies believe that we all possess ‘original medicine’: personal power, duplicated nowhere else on the planet. No two individuals carry the same combination of talents or challenges; therefore, when we compare ourselves to others, native peoples see this as a sign that we do not believe that we have original medicine.”

Our personal story, then, does not need to be a comparison study. It can be an authentic and creative expression of our personal powers. Gathering and applying our gifts will make us happier and the world will be a much better place as a result.

Posted on March 11, 2014 .