The present research examines the relationships between political influence perception and political participation. Classic studies have linked participation to political interest. However, they did not consider that people may become interested in politics especially when they feel it impacts their lives. In this research, we assumed that political participation would be based on the belief that politics affects one's life. This hypothesis was tested among Polish (Study 1, n = 1000 and Study 3, n = 627) and British participants (Study 2, n = 476). We found positive links between political influence perception and various forms of participation (Study 1, Study 2). In Study 3, we experimentally manipulated thoughts about highly effective politics, which increased political influence perception and was further linked to an increased interest in politics and political participation. We discuss the role of the way people perceive politics in political participation.