What is External and Authentic Power?
Updated: Mar 19
To tap into your authentic power, I do believe it is important to distinguish the
difference between authentic power and external power. To live a life of authentic power
instead of external power, it is important to understand the importance of authenticity and
what you can do to master aspects of yourself which will support you to become more
An explanation of Authentic Power:
I am still on my journey of embodying authentic power, but I will share my ideas and
feelings of how it feels when I am in authentic power. In a state of authentic power my mind
is still, and my heart is open. Therefore, my awareness is in my heart, which withholds me
from judgement of self or others and enables me to see the beauty and meaning in the tiniest flower, which is a state of bliss and satisfaction. The mind starts to listen to the heart; hence thoughts, emotions and actions are in uniformity, and life can be viewed from a place of love instead of fear. This creates a sense of enthusiasm and meaning to life. In this condition your heart is open to compassion, loving and caring. According to authenticity you give yourself permission to live the life you want to live, instead of trying to please everyone else. I do believe that you deserve to be genuinely you. I will suggest that you take the time to contemplate or journal how you feel when you are in your authentic power as I do believe
everyone has experienced the power of authenticity.
Humans’ natural tendency is to strive to become more authentic, developing in the
direction necessary to reach their full potential, like plants growing toward the light (Joseph,
2019). Authenticity is not a destination; it’s a way of being (Gan et al., 2018). When you
harness your authentic power, you will live a full, meaningful life (Joseph, 2019). A life that
excites and drives you. A life where you will respect others, and in turn will be respected.
That’s the result of authentic power.
An explanation of external power:
In the mindset of external power our mind controls our heart as the mind focuses on
fear. This fear expresses itself as greed, control, manipulation to name a few, it also creates a
feeling of disempowerment and anxiety. When driven by external power the main object is to be seen, accepted, and approved by others.
External power often arises with position, status, money, or education. External power
is when we are attached to something outside ourselves which holds fear, as it is usually
something that can be acquired, lost, bought, or stolen (Zukav, 2021). One belief that drives
external power is “survival of the fittest”, this belief holds fear, hence people try to control
and dominate their environment and others (Zukav, 2021). The fear of losing one’s power
gives people the desire to seek power. Hence, people are continuously in conflict with one
another, competing with one another as they seek power. External power also surfaces when
we are obsessed with possessions or status which also leads to the fear of having less than
others as this may influence our social position and value. Power over others is weakness
disguised as strength (Tolle, 2006). Another way to explain external power is when we
attempt to live up to external standards usually at the cost of others.
External power gets driven by our ego’s:
The ego is created from a set of beliefs, patterns, and ideas, that most people label
“personality”. The ego has an image of your identity, hence if you think thoughts which are
outside the box of your beliefs and behaviors anger will kick in, as the ego feels most out of
control when it is challenged. The ego believes that our ideas and beliefs determine who we
are. The ego needs the external validation of material possessions, and it always strives after
control or power as it needs confirmation of itself. As Joseph (2019) reminds us, isn’t it true
that for much of our adult lives, we put on a show? During the day, we may experience only
fleeting moments where we are truly ourselves, saying and thinking exactly how we feel
External power holds unto these Ego Beliefs (Dryer, 2005). These negative beliefs drive
1. I am what I have. My possessions define me.
2. I am what I do. My achievements define me.
3. I am what others think of me. My reputation defines me.
4. I am separate from others from everyone. My body defines me as alone.
5. I am separate from all that is missing in my life. My living space is disconnected from
Brown, B. (2018). Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole
Hearts. (First Edition). Random House.
Dryer, W. W. D. (2023). The Power of Intention by Dyer, Dr. Wayne W.
(2005) Paperback (1st ed.). Hay House Inc.
Joseph, S. (2019). Authentic: How to be yourself and why it matters (Reprint).
Tolle, E. (2006). The Power of Now (Reprint). Yogi Impressions Books Pvt
Zukav, G. (2021). Universal Human: Creating Authentic Power and the New
Consciousness. Atria Books.
Quinton Mundell INC.
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