< Return to List
October 19, 2022
0 Min Read

Self-Authority, what?

I talk a lot about claiming your own Self-Authority. For me it’s a pillar of what I’m trying to do here at The T Hive.

Recently, I’ve started to realize when I speak about Self-Authority it often gets a head scratch as I’m doing my chatter. After the initial nodding along there’s a moment when I either get agreement or bewilderment, but last week someone said, “That sounds like something I want to do, but what does it mean?”

My impulse whenever I get a “what does it mean” question is to ask of the questioner, “Well what does it mean to you?” In the work I do I try to be careful about sharing my opinion. My opinions and advice are from the place where I am standing. That’s great for me, wonderful in fact, but I’m unsure how useful it is for someone else. That’s a big role to take up in another’s life.

I’ve found much of who I am and how I work is about offering perspective. Yet, when it crosses over to “I think” opinions and advice and away from “what I’m hearing or seeing” is where I find discomfort. As an external source I’m not looking to set myself up as an authority in anyone else’s life. I am driven to create a safe and open space where people can be with themselves and be their own authority.

If you’ll indulge me I’d like to take a look at this concept of Self-Authority.

I’m pretty obsessed with words — definitions, synonyms, antonyms, and etymology. Due to this obsession it’s always the place where I start when I’m trying to understand or share a new idea. For Self-Authority I’d like to share with you the earliest definition I can find of each of the components.


n. [Anglo Saxon, German, Gothic] The individual as an object to his own reflective consciousness; a person as a distinct individual; -hence, personal interest, or love of private interest; selfishness.

                                                     - 1871. The Cabinet Dictionary of the English Language

From this earliest definition there is much to unpack, but the essence for me is that “self” is each of us being aware that we exist. The acknowledging and claiming of I. Now let's have a look at authority.


Legal power; influence, credit; power; rule; support, countenance; testimony; credibility.

                                                            - 1790. A Complete Dictionary of the English

When I first read these early definitions, it was one of those times where I wanted to shout from the roof tops, HELL YES! It led me to my personal definition of Self-Authority — Power and rule together with support and credibility. Defining this was the ultimate aha moment. The clarity that if you have power to rule over something/someone that of course you must support it/them, be believable, and worthy of credit. It was if I’d been given a key to a secret part of myself

Through this definition I have come to my current understanding and feelings on Self-Authority. After an initial feeling of overwhelm, which came instantly in the moment I accepted the definition, the experience has been empowering. That moment became the one where I recognized I have the power. I am fully aware of the privilege inherent in the statement of claiming one’s own power, but I won’t shy away from encouraging everyone who can to do it.

Having the great privilege of being an able-bodied human, that has grown into legal adulthood, and was born in a free society has come to mean that I am responsible for, and to, me. I’ve decided that I can claim who I am, and that I get to decide how I move through the world. Yes, it was initially scary, daunting even. Yet, over time I have come to realize how lucky I am by nature of my ability, age, and birth to have this opportunity. To not stand in this power in my life feels like squandering the kind of opportunity that comes along once or twice in a lifetime.

Claiming my Self-Authority has moved me into a state of excitement about life, and filled me with deep gratitude for being alive in this incarnation and time. It’s led me to want to hold space for others to claim it for themselves. My personal acceptance of what it meant sent me down the path of personal discovery, which taught me to trust myself. I have learned to operate in an intentional way, own my voice, and be madly in love with the being that I am. Gaining these internal gifts has also given me an appreciation of and compassion for my fellow human’s that I didn’t know I was capable of.

In my current state, curiosity with the self, the willingness to be with what you discover and accept it, and then acting upon what is true for you is what self-authority is all about to me. It’s the place where you know “I’ve Got the Power.” This week I invite you discover what it is for you, and how you can claim in your life.

I love hearing from you! Please comment below, or click over to the Connect page and send me a message.

Thumbnail Photo by Miguel Bruna