Power. A word that is often seen as cold, rational, strong, controlling, a hardness.
Pow-er. It even sounds like it has an impact.
The impact, influence, and power, that you don’t believe or realise you have.
You may say these phrases:
- I don’t have any influence with that person.
- I’m not sure I would describe myself as powerful.
- I’m don’t believe I’m confident.
- I don’t hold the budget.
- It’s not in my control.
Here are three thoughts for you to consider:
You have the power within you to empower yourself.– Juliet Morris
As a noun, power is the ability to do or undergo something.
Think about that for a second.
The ability to do or undergo something.
Phrases I hear regularly:
- I need clarity
- I need confidence
- I can’t hire
- My teams are
- Give me a tool to
- Just tell me what to do
- I just need you to give me confidence
- I just need you to deliver 50 people
- I just need you to scale this with no money, no budget, no resources
Coupled with emitting a sense of defeat and despair.
Does this sound familiar?
Of course, life isn’t perfect. Gosh, there will absolutely be times.
Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”– Yehuda Berg
Let’s explore these 5 ways you are giving away your power (and perhaps without you realising it)
1. Not speaking up with what you want.
When something is wrong or you want to do something and your friend, colleague or senior leader is adamant on a particular topic. You may not say anything, go along with it, bow to the pressure of their communication.
What can you do?
Start with sharing how you feel. Ask questions. Get curious about the topic. Offer alternatives. Generate new ideas. Where do you feel it in your body? Head, heart, stomach? Where is the tension? If there is something you can do to help, offer a solution. It doesn’t have to be perfect; this is about you starting to share your voice.
2. You rely on someone else to make the choice because you are procrastinating or cannot find a perfect solution.
What can you do?
Listen to what your inner voice is saying. What your experience is saying. What would you like to do? What do you want (over need)? If you genuinely cannot make the choice, are there alternatives? Go with your best choice, for you. Your ideas and thoughts matter.
3. Believing it’s all your fault.
Humans are funny things. We absorb everything and most of it is rubbish – group think, persuasion, command and control, disagreement. All of this and more is what influences our decisions, even if we don’t want it or believe it. I’ve heard that people don’t have confidence, yet the things they have achieved are immense, and the secret? Often they are unknowingly being controlled by outside forces. Partners, bosses, money, things, organisations. Who is in your sphere of unknowing influence?
4. Playing the victim.
Everyone has some self-doubt and a splash of self-pity. The art is recognising this, talking about it with someone in confidence, and discovering the patterns. Because this spiral you can find yourself in will cause inaction. Ever ask yourself, I’m stuck?
What can you do?
Say I want. I choose. I will. Do one thing that will shift the gears. Find someone that you can talk through that ‘stuckness’ with.
5. Playing small.
Diminishing yourself and thinking that you are not good enough, your voice doesn’t count, becoming subservient.
What can you do?
Start by rewriting the narrative. If you want to do something and it’s bloody scary, do it anyway! Most people won’t notice. And those that will, will celebrate your braveness! Every time you move into the growth zone (discomforting I know), you will get better at it, and you can move into the next.
Before you go. If you are thinking, isn’t power a masculine word? Yes, it has been described as masculine in the dictionary. Conversely, weakness has been described as a feminine word!
In 2012, following the Forbes annual list of the world’s most powerful women, one female follower suggested that influential was a better word to use.
Think about this question:
- Who are you influencing?
- Who influences you?
- What influence would you like to have, on you, your family, your team, your business?
Now I have been known to have a magic wand, but you have one too. Don’t give it away readily.
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”― Marcus Aurelius
Start with one thing and play with it.
I believe in you.
Juliet is an award-winning executive coach, consultant, and leader. Her mission is to liberate a million dreams, one leader at a time. She is passionate about shaping futures by igniting possibilities and elevate your extraordinary.