You have a certain power about you. It’s your personal power, and it’s innate. But you may not know it, or unwittingly diminish it. Personal power is that power you have simply for being who you are. Like most other things in life, you can use it or lose it.

You lose your personal power when you shrink into yourself, don’t stand up for yourself, and let others push you around. It can seem easier to go with the flow and do what others push you to do, but that can sometimes mean you are not honoring who you really are. And that’s where your personal power starts to slip away.

That can be a recipe for frustration, stress, and unhappiness.

If you’ve been going through life letting others push you to be who they want you to be, rather than who you know in your heart you are, then it’s time to push back. It’s time to stand up for yourself and own your personal power.

When you claim your personal power, you’ll find a greater sense of happiness and fulfillment, as you finally choose to own who you are and let your voice be heard. It may seem weird, or even uncomfortable at first, but it can pay off in reduced stress as you finally stop experiencing conflict with who you are on the inside and who you are pretending to be on the outside. The more you choose to claim your personal power and stand up for yourself and be who you are, the more opportunity you will find for happiness.

This can lead to not only happiness in life, but fulfillment at work, as claiming your personal power can allow you to engage in those beliefs and actions that lift you up and allow you to shine. Claiming your personal power is essential for anything from asserting who you are to building a brand to growing a business.

Want to try it? Want to claim your personal power?

Here are three ways you can do it.

#1. Speak your mind. You have a voice. And it deserves to be heard. You don’t have to sound off on every single thing, but neither should you continue to be silent as much as you have been. Many of us bite our tongues or hold back on our opinions for fear of offending or “rocking the boat.” But if this holding back is causing you to live a life that isn’t really making you happy or it’s causing you to do things you know you would rather not, then it’s time for a change. Speak up when you see something that goes against what you believe, or when others are pushing you to do something you know isn’t really in keeping with who you are.

While this can help you personally, it can also help in your career, as you may find that speaking up at work allows you to finally get noticed for the work you do. This can result in more opportunities, including promotions or new clients.

Use your voice and let others see who you really are.

#2. Take responsibility for your life. Stuff happens. We get that. And for some of us, we use that as an excuse for where we are. Things happen to us. Our parents were awful. Our boss is a bully. The spouse is mean. Whatever the case, we look at those around us as why we are where we are. And while, of course, others may be contributing factors to where we are, when we choose to claim our personal power, we realize we can’t look to others for excuses, but we look to ourselves for solutions. We are the solutions to our own problems, because our decisions will provide the solutions or they will provide more problems.

Claim your personal power by taking responsibility for your own life, acknowledging the decisions you make — and those you don’t. You see, not making a decision on something is actually making a decision, because time will still pass and things will still happen. If you have been thinking about starting to work out but you keep putting it off for later, even though you tell yourself you’ve not made a decision, you actually have. You have made a decision to continue the current path, and you invite into your life the results you are currently getting, even though they may not be what you want.

#3. Go big. You are not meant to play small, though you may have been doing just that. Consider this fact: You are here. Someone else is not. Not everyone made it to this point; not everyone who was born around the time you were born or who grew up with you is still here. Yet, you are. And because of that, that means you have the opportunity to do something significant in your life. It’s not enough to waste it sitting in front of the TV eating potato chips every day. So why not do something that means something? Why not do something big in your life? It doesn’t have to change the world, but it could very well mean the world to somebody around you.

Use your gifts and talents, your expertise, your big ideas. If you search within yourself, you’ll realize there is something you feel strongly about. You are passionate about it. You are good at it. And others can benefit from it. This thing, whatever it is, may be your big thing. And finally choosing to pursue it could be a way to claim your personal power by showing up as this gifted, knowledgeable, passionate person you are.

You have personal power, but it’s up to you to claim it. Claim it for more happiness, less stress, and more impact in life and work.

Originally published at