If you’ve been a part of my community of Legacy Makers for any amount of time now, then you’ll know that in this corner of the business and career world, we’re all about breaking down societal expectations to create a life, legacy, and business that truly reflects YOU.
Whether it’s strategizing how to do less instead of more, seeing rest as revolution, or learning to have conscious conversations, I help my clients to feel confident to stand in their power.
For many of us, we have no true understanding of what it actually means to feel powerful until we feel powerless. When you find that you’ve been letting others disrespect your boundaries, when you regularly lose control of your emotions, and when you feel you have to play small, it can be hard to know where to begin to reclaim your power.
How do you define power?
What comes to mind when you think of power?
For many of us, our first understanding of power equates to having control over people or coming into massive amounts of money.
It’s important to understand that power is not what it may seem. It’s not the ability to manipulate or control others, either with intimidation or money.
When I’m speaking of reclaiming your power, I’m defining power as:
- Having a strong sense of self
- Owning who you are and feeling confident within yourself
- Developing and practicing self-control and self-regulation
- Understanding you have choices and agency over the decisions you make for yourself (you can listen to others without making decisions to please them)
Here are my best tips for how to reclaim your personal power:
1. Find Your Breath
So, it might not be the most exciting tip, but that’s the entire point. We can’t find a sense of inner power if we’re disconnected from our breath. On my podcast, I recently spoke to one of my Inner Circle clients, Brenda Moreno on the importance of rest. She so eloquently shared that, “ Breath is our one magical pause button in conversation with self, to understand and bring stillness.”
While its simplicity might make it tempting to overlook, our breath is one of our most important evolutionary tools we have. When threats (formerly predators, now intimidating supervisors or irrational anxieties) send you into flight or fight mode, your heart rate increases and your breath quickens, causing you to make impulsive decisions. If you can pause and tune into your breath, your body and mind slows, building capacity for relaxation and rationality.
Especially if you’ve been struggling with emotional regulation, impulsive reactions, anxiety, or if you can’t settle your thoughts, taking a moment to pause and connect with your breath (even for ten seconds) can be an incredibly reliable tool to reclaim your power.
2. Be Mindful of Your Self-Talk
Our words are our spells, so be mindful of what you say to yourself. Or, as taught by Buddha, “What you think, you become.”
If you’re struggling with your sense of self worth and finding it hard to stand up for yourself, tune in to what you’re saying either out loud about yourself or silently in your thoughts. Do you talk down to yourself? Do you find yourself thinking, “I can’t do that” or “I don’t deserve those things”? If you don’t believe positive things about yourself, how can you stand in your power?
While you’re bound to have bad moments, bad days, or even bad weeks, not letting negative self-talk get out of hand is essential to getting back on track. If you have no idea where to start, try incorporating affirmation meditations into your morning routine on a regular basis. Settling into an intentional guided meditation will help give you the structure you need to develop a new practice.
3. Move Your Body
I learned from the book The Body Keeps The Score that trauma and emotions are stored within your body, and if we don’t find healthy ways to access and then release the trauma, it continues to manifest throughout our lives–sometimes in ways we wouldn’t even expect.
I dive into this topic more in my podcast episode The Importance of Trauma-Informed Spaces with Adria Moses, which I highly encourage you to listen to if you have experienced significant trauma yourself or work with people that have.
Developing a regular routine of moving of body keeps our emotions from being physically pent up within us. It gets our blood flowing, releases endorphins, and keeps our brains engaged. And by no means am I suggesting you need to stick to a rigorous workout routine, in fact, moving your body in a way that is fun and joyful will benefit you much more over time than a workout you dread doing.
4. Remember You Are Human
As easy as it is to give advice over the internet for reclaiming your power, the reality is that you are human and you will make mistakes. There will be moments you struggle to react in a way you are proud of, times you struggle to enforce a boundary, and times you slip into a negative mental space. Berating yourself will only make it worse. Always remember to have compassion for yourself, even in the not so good moments, and certainly don’t let a bad moment set you back more than it needs to.
5. Find Flow and Create
Creativity sparks joy and let’s be real, living a life filled with more joy than despair makes things a bit easier. Throughout your journey to step into your own power, be intentional in finding time to set aside to just let yourself create. It doesn’t have to be masterful creation, but doing something that you enjoy and can get lost in opens you up to finding a state of flow–where time passes without distraction, the process is more important than the result, and your brain is engaged at the highest level.
6. Release What Is No Longer Serving You
A huge part of having a strong sense of self is learning to let go of what is no longer serving you. This can apply to business: letting go of an offer you aren’t enjoying anymore. It can apply to an idea: letting go of the idea that you should be making a certain amount of money at this stage of life. It can apply to people: letting go of a friendship that makes you question yourself or makes you feel guilty.
Just like trees drop their leaves every fall, you need to regularly assess what in your life has run its course and needs to be released. When you hold on to unhelpful ideas, people, or practices for too long, you hold yourself back from finding a new level of fulfillment. Be sure to ask yourself “am I doing these things because someone else wants me to, or because it feels right to me?”
I share my own personal reflection on this in Episode 35 of the Color Your Dreams Podcast, including how turning 35 and moving through loss and grief reminded me the importance of reassessing parts of my life.
Learning to step into your power to create the life you feel called to live is some of life’s most important work–it’s why I help women of color and allies like you to create the life and legacy of their dreams.
Are you resonating with these ideas?
Sign up for a complimentary 30 minute Legacy Business Review call with me and we can talk about it. And don’t worry — this isn’t just a sales call, you’ll receive 3 action items personalized to help empower you to step into your legacy. If we’re a good fit to work together, we can explore that too!
Related: Speaker for WOC
Related: How to Get Over Your Own Bullshit
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