Alicia, one of our career coaching clients, had a rough week.
After she received a disconcerting email from a new business partner, it became clear they were not on the same page. Alicia 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 their walk around the lake, the women had an initially uncomfortable but ultimately productive conversation. They clarified their individual needs and how best to communicate moving forward; after their conversation Alicia was back on track and excited about the opportunities they were pursuing.
This encounter left Alicia feeling strong, happy and aligned. She knew what needed to be said and she handled the situation professionally, gracefully and with integrity. She was owning her power.
Many of us feel discomfort when we’re required to take a stand, speak our truth or let others see our brilliance and unique talents. Why is this?
Our clients often share they “hold back” in their lives and careers due to feeling insecure, inadequate or paralyzed by fears of how others will perceive them. They often worry that if they speak their minds or share their accomplishments, their friends will say, “Who does she think she is?” They’re often afraid 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 my most recent life balance book 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. Read more.
- 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?). Read more.
- 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?
- Follow the beat of your own drum. If you’d rather go for a hike than see a movie with the gang—listen to your needs. Don’t just go along with what everyone else wants; have the courage to break away from the pack.
- 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. (Read Sisterhood.)
- Become financially savvy. Creating your own nest egg, managing a household or business budget and developing a financial plan can be empowering and liberating! (Read more from our newsletter archives.)
- 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 own your power. As author Marianne Williamson shares, “When we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”
TAKE ACTION: Interested in learning more about how to own your personal power? Join me for an upcoming retreat, learn more about our international RTA-Certified Facilitator Program, download one of my life balance telecourses (ideal if you like self-paced learning and support from the comfort of your own home) or view all the ways we serve here.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/author and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Offering speaking, custom workshops, training, books/telecourses and individual coaching focusing on self-renewal for women, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining Personal 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 14 year-old son. More on her background here.