What comes to mind when you think of power? Is it greed? Anger? Force? Is it scary?
Power was all of these things to me, before my perspective shifted. In my experience, these things are a common perception of many people: especially, kind people and especially women.
What I would like to do today is soften your opinion of personal power.
First, let's create an image of a powerful woman. Play along with me for a minute. This woman could be a mother, a wife, and maybe she even owns a business. These things are not the things that make her powerful, however. What makes her powerful is her conduct - the way she thinks. Her thoughts about herself and others are constructive. She does not stay in the presence of those that do not support her. Even though she is gracious and kind, she does not compromise her desires and stays in alignment with her values; no one can derail her. When she is negatively affected by another's behavior, she immediately addresses the matter graciously and firmly; she does not tolerate bad behavior from others. Her own health, both physical and mental, are at the top of her priority list - and she dresses the part, however that looks to her. Whenever someone demands time and attention that would take away from her own self-care or values, she politely disappoints them.
To me, a woman could not be more powerful than this. It does not matter what role she is playing, what her career is, or how much money she makes. And yet, this woman is not terrifying. She is not greedy, angry, or selfish. She is not scary. Sometimes, I feel we get so scared to be perceived as powerful, because we have a skewed idea of what it means, internally. That inner critic comes out and says, "Who do you think you are? Do you actually thing people will like you behaving this way? Keep a tight lid on that authentic stuff." Whenever you are tempted to give in to this voice, create your own divinely powerful woman and imagine how unscary and unthreatening she really is. Then, go for it!
In order to shift into your powerful self, here are some tips to get you on your way:
Focus on your best qualities.
Seriously, make a list. Really put some thought into who you are, what you value, and how you impact the world around you. When any self-minimizing thoughts surface, take pride in who you are and release any thoughts that tell you any different.
Create power statements.
Turn any negative or disempowering thoughts into powerful statements that encourage you to be authentic. "I always push myself too hard and am disappointed in myself for failing to do what I enjoy" might become "I am worthy of my own time, energy, and attention, and I am deeply committed to giving myself this gift". "I always tolerate my husband's yelling at me and treating me without respect and I am disgusted with myself for allowing this behavior" might become "I am in the process of learning to set healthy boundaries and I am deeply committed to walking away from situations that do not nourish me". Write down the statements that you come up with and read them every day.
Create new habits.
Creating new patterns and new behavior can be scary, but it is so rewarding. Let that authentic, powerful person out of the box. Just take one new step every day. If nothing changes, nothing changes. However, if just one tiny thing changes everyday, magic happens. Start implementing those power statements and let the creation of new power statements become part of your everyday life. Then, enjoy the miracles that follow.
I would love to hear about your miracles and how you are feeling empowered to take new steps to free your authentic self! Please comment below and share your own experience!
Jillian Landis is a Self-Care and Empowerment Coach at Evolve Personal Coaching, blogger, and writer for Nourish + Bloom. Jillian's passion is encouraging individuals to love and care for themselves deeply, so they may serve this world at their greatest potential. Prior to coaching, Jillian served in the mental health profession for 10 years and has a vast knowledge of human behavior, which she utilizes to create effective change in the lives of her clients.