Julia, one of our coaching clients, had a rough week.
After she received a disconcerting email from her new business partner, it became clear they were not on the same page. Julia 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 a nearby 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, Julia was back on track and excited about the opportunities they were pursuing.
This encounter left Julia feeling strong, happy and aligned. She knew what needed to be said and handled the situation professionally, gracefully and with integrity. She was owning her personal 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?
My 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 how you communicate with others?
- Let your light shine. Most of us are more afraid of our own light than of our 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!
- 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 personal power.” Author/catalyst Marianne Williamson shares, “When we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” Yes!
WANT SUPPORT FOR FINDING YOUR CENTER? HERE ARE FOUR OPPORTUNITIES:
- *ALMOST FULL!* October 13-15th ~ Awakening Your Wild Soul: A Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Berkshire Mountains, MA). Packages start at just $635. Enjoy gorgeous leaf color and crisp, refreshing mountain air; Kripalu is pictured above. Learn more/register. Can’t make it? Join me at Kripalu Jan. 19-21 for Sing, Dance, Pray: Romancing the Beloved women’s self-renewal retreat.
- Oct. 26 – Jan. 26 ~ Growing Grace, Power & Intuition: A Women’s Self-Renewal Circle. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the invitation list. Details coming; in-person in Brevard, NC, 45 min. from Asheville. This exciting new program will meet for 10 classes. Open to women of all ages.
- Wild Souls Nature Adventures (based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC): authentic movement classes, community song circles, full moon hikes, meditation workshops, women’s circles & more. New offerings are listed each week; have me design a custom experience for your team/friends. Join us Sunday, Sept. 24th for Wild Souls Authentic Movement class near Asheville, NC. Learn more.
- Download your self-guided retreat today ~ Ready to prioritize your self-care, relax your body and enjoy empowering mentoring from Renee 24/7 from the comfort of your home, car or office? Our highly popular self-paced online retreats are only $59. Download & enjoy today. Learn more.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness coach/author/speaker and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, Renee has been facilitating high-impact, interactive workshops for Fortune 500 companies, national nonprofits/conferences and organizations/teams worldwide for 25 years. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Fast Company, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, AARP, Spirituality & Health and more. She and her team have certified more than 450 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead self-renewal groups/retreats based on her pioneering self-care curriculum. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. She and her husband live in Western North Carolina and Austin, Texas; her latest venture is Wild Souls Nature Adventures. More on Renee here.