How do you take the back seat and let others take control? The idea of "giving your power away" may seem like something you can pull out of any random self-help book. But as astrologer Cindy Mckean tells Bustle, it actually happens a lot more than you probably think.
"Whenever anyone successfully has a negative influence on your day or finds a way to disrupt your own personal baseline even just a little, you've given your power away," she says. The major problem with this is it creates a "steeper slope" towards achieving your goals. "When we don't even realize we're doing it, day-to-day life can start to become a struggle," she says.
Giving your power away can happen in any aspect of your life. It can happen in your relationship, at work, or even at the grocery store. Basically, whenever something brings you down or forces you to lose your cool, you give your power away.
Depending on how you deal with negativity in your life, you can either quickly recover and take your power back, or allow it to consume you for an undetermined amount of time. Identifying the problem is the first step in overcoming it. As Mckean says, to get past a temporary loss of power, you must "recover your strength and focus, and get back on track to your daily happiness."
So here's how you give your power away without realizing it, according to your zodiac sign.
1. Aries (March 21 - April 19): You Allow Others To Define Your Success
As "headstrong" and "pioneering" as an Aries can be, you're still a sensitive soul deep down. Since you're the first sign in the zodiac, you're all about being number one. "Aries live to win," Mckean says. When you don't win, it can affect you in ways that most other signs don't get. But thing is, what is winning anyway? According to Mckean, often "the pie in the sky is defined by someone else" and not you. So take your power back by putting the focus back on you and only you. "Setting your own goals and definition of winning is the way to go for you," she says.
2. Taurus (April 20 - May 20): You Get Your Rage Out All At Once
Taurus is one of the most, if not the most, patient signs in the zodiac. "You're known for being able to keep on standing after the load on your shoulders would have crushed others early on," Mckean says. But everyone has a breaking point. When a Taurus reaches that point, "the legendary bull" surfaces. "If you're a Taurus, you know that moment of blowing up like a volcano can feel really good," she says. "But in doing so, you give away your power." For you, bottling things up can seem like an exercise in patience. But when you hit that breaking point, there's no stopping you. So the best things for you to do is to avoid blowing your top all at once by letting off steam more frequently. According to Mckean, "When you unload more often, it won't come out as anger, and you'll literally feel lighter for making that your new routine."
3. Gemini (May 21 - June 20): You Get Easily Influenced By Others
"Gemini is a mutable sign with a talent to morph according to the ambiance, occasion, or people around them," Mckean says. It's an excellent character trait. But if you're with the wrong crowd of people, it can bring out the worst in you. "My advice for Gemini is to also play up their curiosity and zeal for variety," she says. If you mingle outside of your immediate circle of influence, it could be just the wake-up call you need at the right time.
4. Cancer (June 21 - July 22): You Put All The Blame On Yourself
Life is all about ups and downs. But when things get rough, Cancers tends to put the blame on themselves. According to Mckean, it's your way of coping with it instead of fighting it. But taking the blame for things you have zero control over gives your power away. "You should conjure up more of your cardinal energy to help you understand that sometimes things are just meant to happen no matter what," she says. "It's not for you to take the hit or internalize."
5. Leo (July 23 - August 22): You Rely On Others To Validate Your Self-Worth
"Leos love to shine," Mckean says. They also love the praise and recognition they get from it. To be fair, it's always nice to receive positive recognition. But keep in mind, not everything you do is going to garner attention. "Whenever Leos don't get adulation (or enough of it), they emotionally take it to heart," she says. "The advice to you is to never forget who you are, you mighty lion." In other words, your self-worth shouldn't be defined by others.
6. Virgo (August 23 - September 22): You Don't Think Before You Speak
Virgo is a very detail-oriented sign that enjoys their routines. "Being an Earth element, they are practical," Mckean says. But ruled by Mercury, "the winged messenger of the gods," you are going to feel inclined to think out loud. Without you realizing it, that's the very thing that gives your power away. "While that is very helpful in helping you problem solve, others will hear it as you frequently venting about trivial things," she says. If you're around more sensitive people, they may avoid working with or even being around you. The best thing for you to do is watch yourself. "While thinking out loud is productive for you, try to make it a new habit to be mindful of how you say things," she says.
7. Libra (September 23 - October 22): You Let The Small Things Get To You
Libras are all about balance. According to Mckean, harmony is required for balance to happen. "A crooked painting or photo on the wall will not go unnoticed by you," Mckean says. "As a matter of fact, it may be the only thing you notice until it's finally 'fixed.'" Allowing those little things to "swing your scales" is how you might unknowingly give your power away. The best advice for you is to harness the power of your ruling planet, Venus. "You'll be more accepting and with that, the small things can't and won't throw you off," she says.
8. Scorpio (October 23 - November 21): You Stay Stuck In The Past
Love and hate are two very powerful emotions, but as Mckean says, they are also two sides of the same coin. "As a Water sign, you're going to be sensitive and have a long emotional memory," she says. "As a fixed sign, you can sometimes be inclined to hold grudges." Seeking revenge might come naturally for Scorpios, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. It's in your nature and everyone has aspects of themselves that need to be worked on. But stewing on those past hurts and pain is what causes you to give your power away. "The best advice for you is to harness your ability to play the long game," Mckean says. "Sometimes things just take care of themselves."
9. Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21): You Don't Really Set Boundaries For Yourself
One of the Sagittarian's greatest virtues is being open and willing to "go beyond horizons." It's also can be one of your greatest vices. You're pretty non-judgmental, but therein lies the problem. "Unfortunately, some people fail to see how accepting you are and instead take advantage of your open mind and good nature by being rude," Mckean says. Since you're pretty go with the flow, you tend to let things go and give your power away without realizing it. But rude is rude. When someone is being unkind to you, don't laugh and go along with it. If something doesn't sit with with you, speak up. "Be frank about your perspective when someone crosses that line with you," she says.
10. Capricorn (December 22 - January 19): You Don't Stop To See The Bigger Picture
Capricorns, arguably the hardest working sign among the zodiac, are known to be good at long-term goals. When you set your sights on something, absolutely nothing is going to stand in your way. You just have all the tools necessary to achieve your goals, regardless of the obstacles that get in your way. "Unfortunately, being so focused on your goals, gives your power away without you knowing," Mckean says. It's OK to work smarter, not harder. The best advice for you is to realize, "there's more than one road to Rome." Explore your options. Take a step back and see the bigger picture. "Sometimes the path of least resistance is the wisest in the long run, or you could end up winning less than you gave up without realizing it," she says. No one's going to think any less of you.
11. Aquarius (January 20 - February 18): You Focus On The Bigger Issues You Can't Fix Right Away
Aquarians have a big heart for the underdog. Disparity, inequity, and inequality in the eyes of an Aquarius is plainly unfair, Mckean says. Many Aquarians like lending time to a cause. Without doing so, she says they end up feeling like they're part of the problem. In many ways it's true. You should always stand up for what you believe is right. But unfortunately, you can't always fight the big fight and expect to win. In doing so, you give away your power. "Sometimes it's just the little things that make a big difference," she says. "Sometimes you can't remedy the cause, but taking care of the symptom is the more appropriate thing to do."
12. Pisces (February 19 - March 20): You Let The Negativity Really Get To You
Pisces are one of the most sensitive signs in the zodiac. "If anyone knows the world is full of beauty, kindness, and grace, it's Pisces," Mckean says. "But you're also painfully aware that it's full of storms, change, and unpredictability." Since you've likely had your fair share of ups and downs, you're going to be much more sensitive to the unpleasant side of life. Letting that negativity overwhelm you is how you give your power away. "Instead of escaping or seeing things through a rosy filter, understand that beautiful things, like the two fish that represent Pisces, comes in pairs," she says. You can't truly appreciate the light without experiencing a little darkness.
Giving your power away is all about allowing outside influences to mess with you. But knowledge is power here. If you're aware that these negative people, situations, and behaviors can affect your life, you can do what you can to prevent it from happening. That way, you won't be so quick to give your power away.