How You Give Your Power Away

February 2nd, 2010 by Steve Pavlina

One of the themes that repeatedly came up at the last Conscious Growth Workshop was the problem of giving your power away. Instead of focusing on your true desires, you erect false structures in front of your desires and then feed your power to those structures as a delay tactic.

Here are some typical scenarios of how people give away their power in different areas of their lives:

Relationships

Let’s say that your true desire is to be in love. You want a relationship with someone special. You want someone that you can smooch, cuddle, play with, and make love to. You want to be with someone who totally loves you just the way you are.

But instead of focusing your power on creating that, here’s what you do instead. You decide that before you can attract a new relationship, you need to get into better physical condition first. You have to “fix” your diet and hit the gym for a while. You need to lose some weight.

Or maybe you decide that in order to be more attractive, you need to get your career on track first. Maybe upgrade your finances a bit.

Or maybe you hold yourself stuck in a relationship that isn’t what you want, one that will never become what you truly, deeply desire. That relationship serves as a convenient block to keep your true desires out of reach.

The basic pattern is that you decide something else has to happen first before you can attract the relationship you truly desire. However, those extra steps you add to the process are not absolute prerequisites for your desire. You’re using them as excuses, creating unnecessary roadblocks to delay yourself from receiving what you want in the present moment. You push your goal into an imaginary future instead of allowing it to come to you right now.

Career

Suppose your true desire is to do work that fulfills and inspires you. And you want to do it in a way that’s practical, grounded, and financially sustainable. You want to make a positive difference in the world. You want to contribute and to feel good about it. You want to feel passionate and motivated while working. You want to express your creativity and enjoy positive, worthy challenges.

But instead of using your power to create that, you stick with unfulfilling work to make ends meet. You feed your power to your bills, as if those small pieces of paper somehow control your destiny for the near future (which includes ALL of your present reality). You use your bills as artificial barriers to delay you from experiencing what you actually desire. Do you realize how stupid that is?

Alternatively, you might feed your power to a vision of building a new business that you believe can make you a lot of money. Once you achieve a certain degree of financial abundance, you tell yourself, then you can use your wealth to finally have some breathing room to figure out your purpose, do what you love, and make a real contribution. Step 1: Become a worthy millionaire. Step 2: Do something more rewarding and fulfilling.

Dork!

I often see very bright young people obsessing over grand plans for a career path they believe will make them rich. When they tell me their plans, I usually get nauseous. Most of the time their plans are heartless. Stupid MLM crap is common, not to mention lots of ideas for me-too Internet businesses that don’t really need to exist. The whole scheme is centered around trying to make as much money as possible, so they can eventually cash out and later do what they love and make a difference. They feed their power to these false plans as a delay tactic, so they can avoid summoning the courage to start making a difference right now. It’s a cowardly ploy, a classic case of giving one’s power away.

Social Life

Suppose your true desire is to be surrounded by friends and family that uplift, encourage, and support you. You want to be around like-minded people who are smart, fun, and happy. You want to hang out with people who empower you.

But instead using your power to create that, you feed it into your existing disempowering relationships. You obsess over what others think about you, people who really don’t encourage you to be your best self anyway. You worry about what your Mom thinks about you. By clinging to disempowering relationships of any kind, including blood relationships, you block yourself from receiving what you truly desire. Seriously… who the hell cares what your Mom thinks anyway? Let her live her own life. You go live yours.

Alternatively, you may feed your power into relationships with your TV or your computer instead of real face-to-face connections with human beings.

Again, the pattern is giving your power away to something you don’t even want as opposed to channeling all of your power into what you desire. When you feed your desires, you simultaneously starve your non-desires. If your Mom keeps sending you critical emails that bring you down, simply flag her email address as a spammer and be done with her. Then go out and recruit fresh social connections with people who are willing to support and encourage you along the paths you wish to explore. Be loyal to those who are supportive of your desires, not to those who do the opposite.

Stop Creating False Prerequisites

The idea of feeding your power to your desires is incredibly simple. All you need to do is decide what you want and then focus your thoughts, feelings, and actions on those desires. Identify your desires and then run straight at them. Be totally shameless about it. Intellectually this is not a difficult concept to understand, is it?

Please take note that moving directly towards your desires is not remotely the same as erecting all sorts of silly prerequisites in the way of your desires.

Sure some goals involve multiple steps, but let’s get real for a moment. Are your plans clogged with steps that are not absolute prerequisites for getting what you ultimately desire?

Losing weight and getting in shape are not prerequisites for attracting a deeply loving relationship with someone you’re incredibly attracted to. This is not even close to being true. If you need proof, simply go outside and look around for a bit. This line of thinking is nothing but a silly limiting belief. If you want to attract a wonderful relationship, you can begin feeding your power to that right now in this very moment. There is no need to block it. Nothing else needs to happen first.

Making millions of dollars is not a prerequisite for doing what you love and fulfilling your life purpose. Nor is having all your bills paid. Nor is being debt-free. You can start doing what you love today. Nothing else needs to happen first. Imagine if Gandhi or Mother Teresa or Jesus said, “I really need to find a way to make millions of dollars. If I only had enough money, I’m sure I could get something going here.” Maybe you should follow their lead and stop trying to use money as a substitute for real power and courage.

Improving all your broken, disempowering relationships is not a prerequisite for attracting an amazing social life. Your social skills don’t need to be upgraded either. You can simply let go of the dysfunctional relationships and immediately begin feeding your power to create the social life you desire. Nothing else needs to happen first.

I repeat: Nothing else needs to happen first!

Why You Give Your Power Away

Fear.

That’s the main reason. We fear the consequences of our power. Sometimes we fear the responsibility that comes with power.

You may not feel ready to wield so much power. When you realize that you can manifest your desires quickly and definitively when you go after them directly, it’s a bit of a head trip. It takes a while to get used to a reality in which your desires manifest so quickly and so strongly. Consequently, it’s very tempting to redirect your power into creating false delays and phony obstacles in the form of prerequisites, so you can satisfy yourself with the illusion of progress, even though you’re just spinning your wheels and going in circles.

I’ve been guilty of this too of course. I make the same stupid mistakes in this area that everyone else does. For a long time I wanted to do public workshops. But it always seemed like something else had to happen first. I need to build a product line first, so I can have something to sell in the back of the room. I need to build a staff first. I need to lose a bit more weight first. By feeding my power to those phony prerequisites, I was able to delay doing workshops indefinitely. There was always something else to occupy my time and attention — and to drain my power away. Consequently, when I used my power this way, the workshops never happened.

Eventually I realized what I was doing, saw through the phony prerequisites, and acknowledged that I could make a workshop a reality if I fed my power to that desire directly. So I did that. At that point the fake prerequisites dropped away, and I began working through the real steps to make this desire happen, like booking a venue, selling tickets, and designing the workshop content.

Notice the difference between real action steps and phony delay tactics. In the first case, you’re feeding your power to your true desires. In the second case, you’re feeding your power to something other than your true desires — some kind of false idol like the perfect body or more money.

The question you have to answer is whether or not you feel ready to channel your power directly into your desires and thereby attract, experience, and enjoy those desires in short order. If you aren’t ready to take your life to that level, that’s okay, but it’s better to acknowledge that you don’t feel ready yet and to maintain a conscious holding pattern as opposed to pretending you’re ready and then creating false subgoals that drain your power and waste your energy.

Resistance Is Futile

When you get used to feeding your power to your desires, resistance takes on a very different role. Instead of feeling disempowered by that which seems to block you from your goals, you’ll find that any resistance simply serves to strengthen you. Resistance becomes resistance training.

Resistance only becomes a block when you feed your power to the resistance instead of your desires.

It takes a bit of practice to keep redirecting your power towards your desires instead of automatically feeding it into resistance and thereby creating artificial blocks. But it’s a worthy practice to be sure.

For example, when I announced at the start of this year that I intended to explore domination and submission, some people were resistant to it. No surprise there. I could have fed my power to that resistance and let it slow me down, but instead I used that resistance as a form of personal training. If people took issue with what I was getting into, I often played back at them. I would tease them about it… see if I could uncover a few more buttons they needed to have pushed. This helped me release any lingering internal resistance to the idea and to become increasingly congruent with it. The more people resisted what I was doing, the more it gave me a chance to practice dominance with them (such as by teasing them and pushing their buttons), and the more power I channeled into my actual desires. This might sound a bit strange, but it’s incredibly effective. I basically took the energy other people sent my way and re-channeled it in the direction of my desires.

Yummy

By feeding my power to my desires and by using resistance as training (instead of as disempowering criticism), my desires have been manifesting so quickly in this area it’s been making me ridiculously happy. I won’t get into all the details, but suffice it to say that she’s absolutely yummy. ;)

Now what sense does it make to fuss over losing a few more pounds, paying down your debts, or worrying about what other people might think *before* you give yourself full permission to feed your power to your desires?

Perhaps if you’d spent more time focusing on and creating what you truly desire instead of feeding your power to false prerequisites, you wouldn’t be stuck with so many disempowering burdens right now.

Where did those extra pounds come from anyway? Were you trying to use food as an emotional substitute for what you really want???

Where did that debt come from? Were you trying to buy your way to happiness maybe??? Or possibly overspending on an unnecessary college degree as a false prerequisite for doing what you love???

Where did all those disempowering relationships come from? Were you trying to substitute shallow and/or negative connections for true intimacy and love???

Does it sting a bit to realize that you’re the one — the only one in fact — who’s been piling all the crap onto your own plate. You’re the one who created the extra weight and the debt. You’re the one who keeps choosing to maintain the disempowering relationships in your life. You’re the one who keeps showing up to do unfulfilling, uninspiring work.

Making the Shift

There are no prerequisites for using your power to create what you desire. Stop blocking yourself. Stop feeding energy into what you don’t want.

I had a major, major shift in my thinking when I was $150,000 in debt, roughly 11 years ago. I’d spent years feeding my power to that debt, making it into something big and real. One day it finally dawned on me just how insane it was to keep feeding my energy into something that made me feel weak and helpless. I’d been giving that debt the power to take over and run my whole life. In that moment I decided I would no longer give that debt my power. So I actually started ignoring it. I re-channeled my power into my creative output, and I wrote a cool new computer game during that time. I changed my phone number, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the 10+ daily phone calls from creditors. Several months later I declared bankruptcy. I couldn’t afford a lawyer, so I did all the paperwork myself. I actually found that to be an empowering process because I channeled my power into the vision of being debt-free and financially stable. The bankruptcy eliminated the debt and gave me the fresh start I needed. Eventually this allowed me to figure out how to run a financially successful business (and then another one after that), which enabled me to pump significantly more value back into the economy than the original debt withdrew. And the turnaround began with learning to channel my power and energy directly into my desires, regardless of external circumstances.

It’s perfectly fine to have lots of different goals and desires, but don’t create false structures whereby you make one goal an unnecessary prerequisite for another. Allow the whole bundle of your desires to manifest simultaneously. That’s a lot more fun — and much more fulfilling and creative — than artificially linearizing the process to slow yourself down.

I’m often amused at life’s little quirks when it comes to how desires manifest. For example, when I dropped the idea that I had to lose a few pounds before I could attract a new relationship, a very yummy partner showed up. And the funny thing is that by spending so much time with her, I dropped a few more pounds last month without even trying. Sometimes I was just too busy enjoying our connection to have time to eat. And there was no point in eating for emotional reasons because she’s a lot more emotionally stimulating than any food I can imagine, despite the fact that she makes the most delicious raw vegan delights. ;)

Where are you giving your power away? What false prerequisites have you put in place to block you? What path would you take if you had unlimited courage? What’s stopping you from welcoming your desires into your life right now, regardless of circumstances?

Courage or Cowardice

When you feed your power *directly* into your desires, progress can be very rapid. But when you shrink from your desires, you substitute cowardice for courage. Courage manifest results. Cowardice manifests non-results.

How much longer are you going to settle for non-results? How much longer will you keep applying the cowardly approach of feeding your power to something other than what you truly, deeply desire?

Do you really need the perfect body right now? Do you really need more money? Or are your true desires elsewhere?

What kinds of life experiences have you been putting off? What sorts of goals always seem to get shoved to the bottom of your to-do list, drowning in false prerequisites? What would you finally do if you already had the perfect body and unlimited financial abundance? Start feeding your power to those desires right now.

If you want to travel, then feed your power into travel. Start planning and scheduling your first trip today. Buy a ticket. Make a reservation. Set a date for a road trip. Ask around till you find a free couch you can sleep on. You don’t need to get rich first. Just go do it, and stop piling unnecessary crap in front of that desire.

If you want a new relationship partner, then tell the whole world what you’re looking for. Don’t keep it a secret. Don’t feed your power to some people’s adverse reactions. Boldly and unashamedly proclaim what you want. If anyone has an issue with it, tease them about it. Own your desires. How else will your potential partner know you’re looking for someone just like him/her? If you want someone yummy to cuddle at night, then feed your power directly into that.

Ultimately the advice in this article is very simple and very straightforward. However, it’s sadly uncommon in its proper application. Rest assured that I will continue to beat you over the head with these ideas until you start applying them. Moreover, as long as you continue feeding your power to what you don’t actually want while seeking validation for time served on the wrong path, I shall do my best to continue serving as an obnoxiously irritating personal example of how to apply the principle of power to attract what I actually desire.

And I shall continue to enjoy her yumminess. ;)



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