When you give another person the power to define you – you also give them the power to control you

Leslie Vernick

The issue of power

When we talk about power in this context we are thinking about our inner self.   The self which makes decisions, give a sense of identity and personality.  When you allow someone else to define who you are, then you are giving away your power to decide.  You are allowing another person to decide for you.  This results in you giving away your identity to another.  When I was small, I remember being bullied by someone at school.  They would throw insults at me saying I was ugly and a horrible person.   At that early age, I didn’t have the inner resources to refute their attack on me.  The result was I believed them and my emotional state was one of insecurity and self-shame.

Many of us give away the very essence of who we are when we are younger because we lack the inner confidence or self-awareness to counter any negative actions or words which are used against us.  As adults, we can choose whether to identify with their assertion about us, or whether to form our own positive opinion about ourselves.  Self-awareness is imperative to be able to remember and identify those times when we gave away our power.  Once we know and recognise what we did, we can rewrite the script and reclaim our power.

As an adult, I was able to reclaim my power by realising that the bully was wrong.  Their tirade against me was because of their insecurity.  I was neither ugly nor a horrible person.  I was a child with goodness and some mischief inside me.  All perfectly normal.  Recognising this allowed me to move past the negative feelings the experience of being bullied formed in me, and I was able to release them.


Here at People Development Magazine we showcase a selection of our favourite quotes. We love to give a short summary of what the quote means to us. This helps to provoke your own thoughts and perceptions as the reader. We hope you enjoy them!
Click on the category to access more inspirational quotes and their meaning.