One of our career coaching clients, Alicia, had a rough week.
After she received a disconcerting email from a new business partner—it became very clear they were speaking different languages and not on the same page. She paused and decided to stop the email tennis match, pick up the phone and set up a walking date with her colleague (forging new relationships via email has to be the worst possible way to build strong partnerships!). During a stroll around the lake, the women had a somewhat uncomfortable but direct conversation and they clarified how best to communicate moving forward. Alicia and her new partner were back on track and excited about the opportunities they were co-creating.
This encounter left Alicia feeling strong, happy and powerful. She knew what needed to be said and she handled the situation professionally, gracefully and with integrity.
Many of us feel uncomfortable when we’re required to take a stand, shine and let others see our brilliance and unique talents. Why is this?
My coaching team and I regularly meet clients who feel held back in their lives and careers due to insecurities, inadequacies or fears of how others will perceive them.
They often worry that if they speak their minds or score big accomplishments, their friends will say, “Who does she think she is?” They often fear that if they break away from the pack, they will be ostracized in some way. So they stay safe, play small and never really tap into or express their full potential—or personal power, as I like to call it.
When you begin to access and own your power, you align with your life purpose and authentic self. And you begin to come into the highest expression of who you are.
Standing in your personal power takes time, practice and courage. Here are some ideas from Nurturing the Soul of Your Family, to get you started:
- Find your voice. When you disagree with what is being presented, do you remain quiet? Speak your mind and express how you really feel.
- Make your self-care a priority. This is one of the best ways to send a message to yourself that you are worthy. Nurture yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
- Stop caring what others think. You’ll be working on this your whole life. Imagine who you would be or what you would do if you didn’t care what others thought of you!
- Become comfortable using your masculine and feminine strengths. We all have both. Living powerfully comes from the ability to know how to balance both energies and when to call on these strengths (ex: is it time to be collaborative or lead?).
- Practice being more direct and more assertive in your communication with others. Notice how people respond to the way you communicate. Do you feel good about how you state your needs and desires and communicate with others?
- Break away from the pack. If you’d rather go for a hike than go see a movie with the gang—listen to your needs. Don’t just go along with what everyone else wants.
- Let your light shine. Most of us are more afraid of our own light than of our own shadow. Let others see your talents and gifts. Don’t hold back.
- Become financially savvy. Creating your own nest egg, managing a household or business budget and developing a financial plan can be empowering and liberating!
- Stop settling. What do you really, really want? Stop settling. The more comfortable you become owning your power, the easier it becomes to connect to your needs and desires.
I challenge you this month to find at least one opportunity where you can stand up for yourself and let your light shine. As author Marianne Williamson shares, “When we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”
If you’re interested in learning more about how to own your personal power, I invite and encourage you to join me at one of my upcoming retreats or take a peek at all the ways we help clients/companies. We’d love to hear from you!
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by work-life balance speaker/author and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning curriculum. She is the author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 11 year-old son. More on her background here.
Photo: My good friend author/wellness guru Deb Kern and I at one of my self-renewal retreats. Collaborating with and advocating for other women has been a great way for me to learn to own my power. (Join Deb and I at Omega Institute Sept. 22-26 for a week of extreme self-care!)