Reclaiming Your Power

By JP Sears, Holistic Coach

What would you be if you felt no power?  How frightening is it to think about feeling powerless?  Are you aware of the parts of you that are motivated to continually feed themselves with more and more power?  What would it mean to you if you found out that the more power you seek to accumulate outside of self, the more powerless you ultimately become within?

Our purpose in this article is to explore the paradoxical nature of power and powerlessness in our lives.  Without being able to differentiate between power and the illusion of power we are ultimately left to realize that the harder we run in life the slower we go.  I’d like to invite you to consider strategies and concepts that will put traction under your feet and clarity in your mind as you navigate yourself in the journey of attaining what having power represents to you.

An Abrupt Awakening

An important truth about every person is simply that the amount of power we seek in our lives is always equal to the sense of powerlessness that a part of us carries on the inside.  Is this inner part often outside the scope of our conscious awareness?  Yes.  Is our motivation to accumulate external power in life a simple compensation for our inner sense of powerlessness?  Yes.  Can we ever accumulate enough power on the outside to heal the void within?  No.  From my point of view, an inner void is not the result of the absence of situations, people, accolades, places, or things.

This would mean that, under the scrutiny of an introspective microscope, what appear to be our greatest strengths would always lead us to our greatest weaknesses and vulnerabilities.  And could it be that our greatest weaknesses are the seeds of authentic inner power?

What does the picture of accumulating power outside of self actually look like?  I believe there are as many versions as there are people.  However, there are some common archetypical examples we can use for guidance beginning with money.  Many of us have a part that feels gratified and therefore powerful with the accumulation of money.  Some use sexual energy to experience control which creates a sense of power.  Others use charm as a way of accumulating approval from others, which of course creates a sense of power as well.  Accumulating an academically sound intellect is another method.

And of course there are two polarities to everything.  Others would take on the opposite polarities of the above in order to feel a sense of power.  Always being broke is an equally common expression of using money to feel in control and therefore powerful.  Instead of using sexual energy to influence people, others will actually withhold their sexual energy to influence people.  Instead of being a charmer, some use anger as a method of feeling powerful.  And some will always figure out a way to have less knowledge than anyone else in their family or social network to feel power from the shadow side.

If the above examples don’t land on target for you, you may use controlling your partner, children, and employees, or instead, by being indifferent with them to get your power fix.  You will have your own version of what you use to feel powerful.  The one certainty is that if you’re in a human suit, you will have a method of compensating and therefore masking inner powerlessness.

Avoiding Our Weaknesses

Why do we seek external power in the name of avoiding our inner weaknesses?  Truthfully, we simply feel weak about our weaknesses.  There is a primal aspect of us that feels threatened by weakness and, in the name of self preservation, wants to avoid it, even at the expense of being in denial about them.  For the few who consciously embrace inner weakness through healing self, it could be said that we feel strong about our weaknesses. 

Injured animals in the wild are a clear reflection of this truth.  An injured animal is always the most viscous.  In the name of self preservation the animal avoids the threatening vulnerability of its injury by becoming very angry.  The anger is, of course, its method of using external power to avoid its inner sense of weakness.  For physical, as well as emotional survival, this is a natural process of self preservation.  However many of us get stuck in our compensations rather than using them temporarily to make it through an overwhelming period and then moving on.

Why External Power Breeds Powerlessness

I would like to venture into the paradoxical nature of power and entertain the notion of why the more power we seek, the more powerless we remain.  Said with other words, why is it that the more we chase the illusion of power the further from true power we get?

For me, the illusion of power is anything external of self that we may use to gratify our power needs.  The above examples of using money, sex, and other people in order to generate an emotional satisfaction of power are all illusions of power.  Then what is true power?  There could be many opinions of what an appropriate definition of true power is; for me an acceptable one is that it is a sense of compassionate acceptance and surrender of self realized from within, by self and for self.

As long as we’re caught up in the behaviors of accumulating the illusion of power, our true void will continue to remain empty and thus perpetuating the same compensation patterns in our lives.

Why Embracing Powerlessness Births True Power

When we are actually able to summon the awareness it takes to walk straight through the door of our vulnerabilities we can actually begin to heal our inner wounds rather than going further into denial about them with the suppressive external power accumulations.  The truth is that we can’t heal what we can’t feel.  Nor can we free ourselves from compensations that are caused by what we haven’t healed until we invest in the healing.

At the root of the dysfunction in our power struggle is, of course, using the illusion of power to stay numb to the feelings we’ve yet to heal, yet are too threatened by to consciously embrace.  One of the most potent methods our power is continually compromised is in the disowning of the part of us that carries the hurtful feelings.  Whenever we’re in denial of our feelings or numb to them, it also means that we have to be denying the part of us that owns those feelings.  This leaves, usually subconsciously, a sense of being less than whole as we abandon the wounded part of us out of the shame of vulnerability, which instantaneously creates a sense of powerlessness.  Feeling less than whole is why we all become so motivated to use external power to feel whole again.  If we are fortunate enough to have our eyes open at least half way, we know that we can never find enough of anything on the outside to complete what is missing on the inside.

How to Reclaim our True Power

Where do we find this source of true power that allegedly resides within yet may seem so far away?  When we walk through the door of our powerlessness we come to be present in an upwelling of authentic power.  We come to the opportunity of realizing this authentic power by becoming consciously aware of our inner sense of not being whole.  Through this awareness of our inner vulnerabilities we’ve paved the road to inviting in compassionate acceptance of self, our authentic power. 

To find sources of powerlessness, so that we may reclaim our true power, we can begin finding our way by following the trail of bread crumbs that we leave ourselves.  To do so I would first ask you to consider what external sources of power you use most in your life.  To say the same concept with different words, ask yourself “How do I get my emotional needs met?”  Acknowledging this symptom is the genesis of connecting to the dot of the real issue.

In finding our external power addictions you may consider these areas as they relate to discovering how you get your emotional needs met.  Remember, as we discussed earlier, there are two polarities to consider with each area.  To find which polarity you reside in for any of the areas below, ask yourself if you seem to be overly active or overly passive within its context?

·      Money

·      Social status

·      Friends

·      Intellect

·      Professional accolades

·      Work

·      Relationship with your partner

·      Relationship with your parents

·      Religion

·      Athletics

·      Body image

·      Sexual energy

·      How you treat others

·      How you get others to treat you

Moving further toward discovering our powerlessness, you may ask yourself the following question and without thinking about the answer see what flashes into your mind first, “At what age did I feel most powerless?  You may then choose to mature the richness of the information you get by seeing which of the following your internal pendulum swings to when embracing the question, “Who did I feel most powerless around when I was that age?”

·      Mom

·      Dad

·      Sibling

·      Grandparent

·      Teacher

·      Partner

·      Friend

·      Someone else

As you let your consciousness sail into past experiences, consider even further maturing the process by taking an inventory of what emotions, if any, you experience when contemplating your answers to these questions.  Also considering what type of body sensations you can feel in the moment is helpful.

Our purpose here is to give ourselves the gift of true power by consciously acknowledging where, and with whom, we felt powerless so that we don’t have to be sentenced to a life of being stuck there forever.

As a side note I would ask you to consider two thoughts.  The first is that some of us have very frightening and overwhelming skeletons in our closets that we may or may not be aware of.  Accordingly, an experienced coach can be a very valuable team member to guide us in a safe and efficient manner while working on our issues.  The second thought I will ask you to consider is that finding our core issues that are ultimately robbing our true power can be elusive.  The questions in this section are very simple yet quite effective in my experience.  Even at that, some of us will still be very blocked in making important discoveries about ourselves.  An experienced coach may be very helpful for you in this regard.  With clients, I regularly use and highly value the tools of intuition and kinesiology for finding issues that are buried in the subconscious.  What we can say for sure is that the design team makes us all with closets, and they don’t make closets without skeletons. 


When walking a conscious path we will still oscillate back and forth from discovering deeper realms of true power to compensating with accumulating illusory power in our lives.  The miracle is that we can at least be in a more peaceful balance.  Unless we choose to embrace our inner powerlessness in the name of transmuting it into realizations of true power through acceptance and compassion for self about our vulnerabilities, we will have to accept the consequences of the shame of never feeling like enough, or at worst, being in denial about the shame of never feeling like enough.  Piercing through the seductive falsifications of power with vulnerability and surrender is what allows new realizations of authentic inner power to be.

About the Author

JP Sears is a Holistic Health Coach in San Diego, CA.  His one-on-one client practice specializes in holistic emotional healing and resolving self-sabotage issues.  JP regularly facilitates classes and workshops nationally and internationally on a variety of inner healing topics while being widely acclaimed for his heartfelt and dynamic style.  For more information on upcoming classes, tele-classes, or becoming a client, please visit  You can also subscribe to JP’s YouTube Channel at and follow him on Facebook at