Allison, 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. Allison 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 Allison was back on track and excited about the opportunities they were pursuing.
This encounter left Allison 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 if they speak their minds or share their accomplishments, their friends will say, “Who does she think she is?” They’re often afraid 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. You realize this process isn’t about “fixing yourself” but coming 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 (access your “belly voice” and try speaking low and slow) and express how you really feel. Stand in allegiance to yourself.
- 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! When it comes to friends, follow the beat of your own drum. If you’d rather go for a hike than see a movie with the gang—honor your needs. Have the courage to break away from the pack.
- 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?
- 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? The more comfortable you become owning your power, the easier it becomes to connect to your needs and desires.
I challenge you this week to find at least one opportunity where you can practice some of the strategies above and see how it feels to fully “own your power.” 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 how to own your personal power? Join me for an upcoming retreat, learn more about our international RTA-Certified Facilitator Program, or download one of my life balance telecourses (ideal if you like self-paced learning and support from the comfort of your own home, car or office). View all the ways we serve here.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by work-life balance coach/speaker/author Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find their center through the art/science of self-care, 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 self-care curriculum. She is the author of three books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 15 year-old son. More on her background here.
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