We can all agree there is no shortage of free advice and information available for anyone who wants it. It seems everywhere we look, we find another book author, another television host, another web doctor, or another internet personality, ready and willing to tell us how to eat, think, exercise, have a good relationship, and anything else.
Looking at it one way, this is an incredible time to be alive! The thought that anyone can access a world of resources, most of it free, all of it available 24/7, is fairly mind blowing. Viewing it another way, we can see how the sheer volume of competing and often conflicting information just never stops. This saturation of information continually shouts for our attention as it appears relentlessly on our phones and desktops, ready to distract us from our lives on a second’s notice. It’s great to be able to turn to these resources when figuring out tough problems. But, it’s not so great to start believing a lot of what we see and hear, or worse, to assume what works for others will immediately apply to us.
Giving our power over to so-called experts and so-called remedies is one of the scary outcomes of living in such an information-rich environment. Turning our health over to people we’ve never met, or accepting advice from someone with a financial interest in keeping us sick is a common result. Giving our power away like this isn’t just a weakness or a habit, but can have very dangerous consequences. Powerlessness and dependency becomes the fate of people desperate to find answers.
We’ve all known people, maybe even been one of those people ourselves, who run from doctor to doctor or read one self-help book after another to solve a challenge. And while that pattern might yield some answers in the short-term, it’s another illustration of giving our power away long term. By looking outward and forgetting our inner wisdom, we lose the ability to decide what’s right for us. By always looking to outside sources, we can forget the intelligence and that power lies right within ourselves.
Giving away power can be hard for people to recognize within themselves. In a culture where we’re taught to listen to people with authority, experience or distinction (like teachers, clergy, or doctors), giving away power is the expectation — it’s just the way things are done. Turning our backs to power figures is risky business, making it less appealing to try. As anyone who’s ever voiced a different opinion or followed an unusual path will explain, refusal to follow the mainstream is called reckless and stupid, causing breaks in the foundation or even dangers to society.
In everyday terms, every woman can probably recall a time when she compromised her beliefs to avoid causing a conflict. Most women have also experienced times when she’s kept opinions to herself when she felt it wasn’t safe to share them. These instances chip away at the power that is truly hers, but she so easily gives away, because the consequences aren’t always easy to handle. And though the tide is turning, change takes time, and time takes too long for women needing change right now.
The good news is that despite this early indoctrination and the intense pressure to conform, it’s possible for any woman to hold on to her power with a little effort and some ongoing practice. Not only is it possible, it’s critical for her well-being. For any woman who has ever been diagnosed with mystery illness or given a fake diagnosis, for any woman who has ever been brushed off or accused of making it up, for any woman who has ever been told there is nothing ‘they can do’ or she has anxiety or she needs more exercise or it’s all in her head, taking back her power is essential to healing. Her inner wisdom won’t stand for it. Her power is hers and hers alone to sustain her on the healing path.
Like so much in life, it can be easier to let others govern than to figure things out for ourselves. But the amazing thing about power is that holding onto it helps us grow new muscle, and it becomes easier and easier to safeguard the more and more we practice. We’ve all heard the mantra of taking responsibility for ourselves, but few know what that really means — power. By refusing to give ours away, we can stay in charge of our innate intelligence, our instincts, our opinions about our own health, and guide ourselves along the healing path that is perfect for us.
Why would anyone ever give that away?
As a coach, writer, recovered over-doer and busyness addict, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle while the mind tries to sabotage your success. In my journey to vibrant health, I created a personalized health system of nutrition and supplementation, lifestyle changes, and I retrained my mind and the energy of my body. I view my success as the formula to my happy, healthy life. I now empower other women to create their own personalized formulas, including the tools and strategies just right for them! Amazing life shifts come from our relationships. I look forward to helping you, too!