What does the idea of “stepping into your power” suggest to you?
Here are responses from some professional mothers who have attended a workshop on the subject:
What resonates with you?
Where in your life do you already feel powerful?
Here is what some women have said. Notice the verbs that they use:
Anything sound familiar to you or give you ideas for yourself?
What is Power?
Our personal power comes from within when we accept our full being when we let all of who we are show up and communicate with a sense of wholeness. When we dare to be our full selves even if we experience a world that is trying to diminish us.
Whereas control comes from grasping at what we are afraid we can’t contain, power derives from a deeper place.
Imagine the difference between a grasping clenching fist with knuckles facing up and fingers folded inward, and an open palm rising. One tries to close around something in order to contain it, the other opens up towards possibilities. The grasp is what happens when we reflexively hang on to something we are afraid we will lose. The open palm starts deeper in our body and literally uplifts as it raises someone or something. One pulls inwards towards ourselves and the other extends outwards, an invitation to include others.
Who Am I to Assume Power?
Often as women, we are reluctant to speak with confidence and conviction. We don’t want to sound boastful, step on anyone’s toes or make anyone feel bad. So, we pull back. We apologize with our bodies, our words, our tone of voice.
Which of these behaviors sound most like you when you feel less powerful?
Simple Exercise for Experiencing Power
Here is a simple exercise that can reveal to you the ease of feeling your personal power.
Answer each question in your head, then answer out loud:
Can you notice and feel in your body the easy confidence and conviction behind your answers?
You have nothing to prove, no uncertainty to overcome, no fear of offending anyone, of seeming overbearing or of being wrong. There are no emotions to hide, it just is your name. You are expected to know your name and age, and to be the expert about those personal details. Thus, you allow yourself the confidence and conviction in your answer. Most likely, you did not show any of the equivocating signs that I mentioned above.
What if you could bring that ease, certainty and relaxed authority to elsewhere in your life?
Give Yourself Permission
“Be loud and wrong” is the nicest thing I had ever heard anyone say to me in an audition. Permission to be loud, out of bounds, and wrong gives us immense freedom.
Years ago, when I was teaching in an elementary school in Texas, we had a program where teachers donated one free period a week to tutor a fifth-grade student who was struggling with state standardized test. In our first session, I watched my student nervously take a practice test. In the second session, I told her, “Today, just go for it. Go ahead and get them all wrong.” That was all she needed. From then on, she always answered everything correctly. It was a lesson I will never forget. Just having permission to be wrong replaced her fear of being wrong and changed her performance.
What freedom do you need to feel powerful?
Free from perfection?
Free from mistakes?
Free from always being nice?
Find the Courage
How might it be easier to step into your power if you knew that you could handle any fearful challenge that arose?
Amy Cuddy teaches us that we can feel like Wonder Woman and gain some of her strength and courage by posing like her. Stand with your feet shoulder-distant apart, put your fisted hands on your hips.
Feel what it’s like to open between the shoulder blades take up space and feel physically expansive. Can you feel the strength? Can you find more courage standing in this pose?
Feel the Support
Thich Nhat Hanh teaches, “True happiness and true power lie in understanding yourself, accepting yourself, having confidence in yourself.” What are you looking for elsewhere in the world that you can find within yourself if you only dared? Plan some ways that you can give this to yourself. One way is to surround yourself with people who believe in you.
Who in this world supports you and figuratively stands with you and behind you? Feel those people’s presence with you as you take risks.
Try this exercise:
Sit in a chair with a back support and let your feet gently touch the ground. Feel the bottoms of your feet and the surface area that makes contact with the floor. Know and trust that floor is supporting you. Feel your weight on the chair, know that chair is holding you up. Lean into the back of the chair. Feel the surface area of the chair make contact with your body. In your mind draw those points of contact. Now let go into the chair and the floor. Trust all that supports you in the world.
If you can trust that you are supported, that all will be okay, how does that free you?
What does the idea of “stepping into your power” suggest to you now?
Hopefully, with these strategies, you can gradually step into owning more of your own powerful presence.
To take a bigger step, sign up for my newsletter to learn about upcoming live and online workshops or contact me for a complimentary coaching session.