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Are You “Standing in Your Power”?

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If you are “standing in your power” your thoughts, feelings and actions are aligned with your values and are leading you toward your goals and dreams.  You feel connected to yourself and your life.  You are clear on where you want to go and yourchoices reflect your priorities.  Even when life gets hectic you feel you are moving in the right direction.

It is not uncommon to realize that your are not “standing in your power”.  This is something you most likely will experience at different times throughout your life.  Maybe you followed a path based on what other people wanted or believed was right for you and one day you realized you were living out their dreams for you instead of your own.  Possibly you have been giving much of your time and energy to help others or possibly your employer, and one day it became clear that you were helping them live their path in place of moving forward in your own life.   Perhaps you started down a particular path and at some point it began to feel less right.  You never adjust because you felt guilt and/or feared the unknown.  Whatever happened, one day you woke up feeling a little lost and craving to feel more like yourself again.

This is not a lifelong prison sentence… you can figure out how to “step back into your power” again.  Being in your power, it is all about proactively making choices based on what we really really want.  You may need help seeing how your choices are creating your life, but the choices are always there.  Be prepared, and know, that everyone may not be as ecstatic as you are about your choices.   Sometime when you make changes, it may change a way of life that someone else is perfectly happy with.  Standing up for yourself can feel unnatural and scary at first.  It is common to feel guilty or odd about making yourself a priority.  This can be a big shift, as you may not be used to putting yourself anywhere but last on your list.  Many nurturing people are expected to take on the responsibility of caring for others and are left with no one to take care of them.  If you do not start creating the life you desire, who will?  If you continue down this path how will you feel about your life in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years?

Possessing the ability to express your needs is critical to “standing in your power”.  Being confident in what you want to say will enable you to have productive conversations where you calmly and clearly communicate your thoughts.  This will enable others to hear you and to understand your needs.  People will often do anything to avoid having “tough” conversations.  It may seem easier in the moment not to have them, but avoiding uncomfortable topics leaves people feeling: disconnected, exhausted and/or resentful.  On the flip side, figuring out how to have these conversations provides numerous long term benefits. Your sanity as well as your physical and emotional health top the list.

There is no way to change history.  Therefore it is helpful, and can be more productive, to focus your energy on how you can move forward into your desired future and spend less time trying to prove points regarding the past.   There are three basic steps that will help you have the conversations needed to “stand in your power”.  Start by getting really clear about what you want, then work through the emotions that surround what you want to say and be prepared to move forward no matter what response you get.

I suggest you work through these steps not just in your head, but on paper too.  Ideally you will discuss your thoughts with someone else too, as this will enable you to see things you can not see alone.  There are more details about the three steps below.

Are you “standing in your power”?  If not... What do you choose to do?

 

3 Steps to Help You Have “Tough” Conversations

 

Get Clear About What You Really, Really Want…

This seems like a no brainer but often we are so busy reacting to life that we don’t take the time to figure this out.  Most people are not crystal clear about what they really, really want.  It is not only important to know what you want, it helps to know why you want it.  What is the outcome you desire?  What will having that give you?  Give yourself time and mind space to think about this.

Suggested Action…  Ask yourself the question above over and over again.  Find 15 minutes everyday day for a week to and write down what comes up.  Once you are clear, check in with yourself on a regular basis (once a week or once a month) to see if anything has changed.

 

Release Emotions Prior to the Conversation…

How you express yourself is just as important as what you say.  After all, you want people to hear you right?  It is common to bring emotions, about the past and the present, into a conversation.  When this happens people tend to be so busy thinking about how to defend themselves that they do not hear or understand you.  It is critical think about how what you are saying will be received.  How can you avoid putting the person you are speaking to on the defensive?  How can you express yourself calmly and respectfully so you can be heard?

Suggested Action…  Practice what you want to say with someone who will be kind, objective and will be honest with you.  Have them tell you how they would feel if they were on the other end of the conversation.  Work through your emotions until you are able to release them enough to have a calm convesation. 

 

Be Prepared to Move Forward…

It is the difference between wanting someone to hear and understand you and needing a specific outcome to occur.  When you are “ok” with the best case and worst case scenarios, this helps you move forward.  You can not control what people other people hear, do or say, you can only control yourself.  Think about what will help you move forward no matter what?  How are you looking for life to change?  What is most important to you?

Suggested Action… If you can, talk this through with someone who is kind, objective and will be honest with you. Think through the best and worst case scenarios.  Then, think about what life will be like in 1 year 3 years and in 5 years for both outcomes.  How will that affect you?  This will give you clarity about what you want to do.

 



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