And no, it's not binge-watching Netflix either.
It's autonomy, the feeling that your life's activities and habits are self-chosen and self-endorsed. And when we have autonomy in our life, when we have the mentally exhilarating power of choice, we must spend it wisely.
But far too many counter the high from being empowered with the low of engaging in a destructive habit--disempowering self-dialogue.
We give away our power when our inner monologue turns on us, like a drunk hockey fan on 10-cent beer night. We ask ourselves disempowering questions like "Why can't I catch a break?" "Why did I screw that up?" "Why did he get promoted instead of me?" "What's wrong with me?"
We'll beat ourselves up incessantly with limiting thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes. We often don't realize we're doing it, or if we do, we can't help ourselves.
It's like we can't give away our power fast enough.
So why do we do it?
The same damning belief, the same root cause, in one form or another, keeps surfacing over and over again, as hypnotherapist Lisa Zaccheo, author of Free Your Genius, explained to me.
"I'm not good enough."
The crazy part is Zaccheo says this belief is most often based on a misperception or a personal experience taken the wrong way. Zaccheo says this belief has become an epidemic in the workplace; we beat ourselves up, project our "not good enough" onto others, and then they volley it right back. And everyone spirals down in a disempowering death spin.
The point is that to stop your disempowering self-dialogue you must stop telling yourself you're not good enough.
As Zaccheo further explained:
"'Not good enough' comes from differences--we think our differences are a curse instead of a blessing. We think our differences make us lesser than, but they make us greater than. We simply must get in touch with 'I'm good enough' and 'I'm meant to make a unique contribution'. You must believe you are exceptional. You must believe you have the potential for your special kind of greatness, and that you're getting better each day."
I had other well-researched wisdom to give you to help put an end to your disempowering self-dialogue. Suggestions about building positive affirmations into your life and ditching the negative-Nelly personalities you associate with, talking to yourself like you would your best friend, that sort of stuff.
Instead, let me simply reiterate these crucial words from Zaccheo, so you can focus on taking them to heart:
"We think our differences make us lesser than, but they make us greater than."