AuthorConnect Chat: Paul Napper & Anthony Rao Discuss “The Power of Agency”

Paul Napper and Anthony Rao share the importance of developing agency.

We currently live in an “age of overwhelm”—overwhelm being the loss of capacity to adapt to stress. Our society feels a high level of stress daily. Furthermore, many people aren’t living the lives they want. Factors that contribute to our anxiety and overwhelm are overextending ourselves, not taking time to reflect, making poor decisions, and being distracted from what really matters. According to Paul Napper and Anthony Rao, we need to develop agency in order to adapt to the changing demands we face.

We sat down with the two psychology experts to chat about agency and their new book, The Power of Agency: The 7 Principles to Conquer Obstacles, Make Effective Decisions, and Create a Life on Your Own Terms

The Relationship Between Anxiety, Overwhelm, Confidence, and Agency.

Anxiety and overwhelm have an inverse relationship with confidence. Thus, confidence decreases as anxiety and overwhelm increase and vice versa. In this case, confidence is produced when you make good choices that are within your control to make.

Agency is being able to exert power for yourself, exert free will, and refers to the ability to make independent creative decisions. Mastering the 7 components of agency will lead to a better, more balanced life. These components are: control stimuli, associate selectively, move, position self as a learner, manage emotions and beliefs, check your intuition, and deliberate, then act.

How we can adapt to changing demands.

• Take inventory of yourself. First, assess your professional skill set. Know where your strengths lie. Then assess your managerial skill set. This includes managing yourself, your projects, as well as others. Finally, know where your attention tends to go and limit your distractions.

• Get in touch with your vision for yourself. Make strategic investments in yourself and learn how to manage your anxiety and overwhelm. It all comes down to making sound and thoughtful decisions.

The life you create is the sum total of all the decisions you make over the course of your life.


For the full AuthorConnect Chat, check out the video below. Purchase copies of The Power of Agency for members of your organization to foster the development of agency within their lives.

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This post was written by Shelly Ye, the Marketing Intern at BookPal.  She is currently reading The Emotion Code by Dr. Bradley Nelson.

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