It happens all too often. It happened yesterday. We do it. You do it. We give away our power. We don't even realize it. But other people do.
Here is Sandy's story about what happened yesterday:
I'm going to change a few of the details so I don't alienate anyone. I was out with a team from an organization that I have worked with in the past. Everyone present was an influencer in the organization. A woman at the table made a comment. She holds a senior leadership role. She said, as she dismissed an idea that was presented that was innovative and had the potential to shake things up, "We have to cater to our investors." I stopped the conversation and challenged her, "If you want to choose to cater to your investors, fine. But own it. You aren't a victim. You are making a choice here."
The truth is, I do the same thing all the time. It's just easier to see it in someone else. We need to be careful about the language we use. There is power in words. We invite you to think about your own power this week as you listen to our episode.
Start by reflecting on these questions:
1. When have you felt powerless?
2. How do you regain your sense of power?
3. When have you felt powerful?
We looked at these areas of power in our lives:
Positional Power - If you have a title that gives you authority then you have positional power. Examples are: parent, manager, fitness instructor, board member.
Relational Power - You can have power because of your relationships. If you are connected to someone in a powerful position you can have power through that relationship. You have power through your networks and the people you influence through relationships.
Personal Power - You have power in your own life. You have power to make decisions To not be a victim. To be the creator of your own story.
What other places of power do you think of? Share them with us!
As women we need to be aware of the story we tell ourselves about our power. We are not victims. We can develop our power in healthy ways.
Here are a few ideas:
Develop resilience: Deal with setbacks and negatives in your life. Learn how to handle adversity. Get support if needed.
Develop your network: There is power in relationships. Connect with the right people. We explored this more in Episode 38.
Keep Learning: Knowledge is power. Formal and informal education can help us increase and understand power in our lives. Being informed about whatever issues concern you can help you regain power. Read books by inspiring people can help you begin to shift your thinking in your life. Listen to podcasts!
Choose your words carefully: Do you say, 'should/have to/must/no choice' often? Reframe it! Every time we turn on the news or look at our twitter feed we can feel overwhelmed with the violence, corruption, threats of war and destruction of the environment. Now, more than ever, we need to own our power and not become victims.
We are in this together!