Dear MaD advice:
I am a 31 year old woman and have been struggling with this complex question….When will I get my power?
Our interpretation of your question is: When will I feel confident/When will others see this confidence? Since we are both women, always seeking confidence, we have decided to write this week’s response together.
Power, to us, is actually empowerment. It is an internal confidence that you build by having successes and learning from failures in your life. These successes should be determined by your own personal standards, not by the worlds. Real empowerment is when you don’t need compliments from others to feel good about your life, your look, and your decisions.
We will ask a few questions in order to answer your question more fully. Have you ever felt empowered? Is someone or something preventing you from being empowered? Have you had some life changing transitions that are making you feel powerless?
You may have fleetingly felt this power/confidence in the past and this is something that you can reflect on in your search. What were you doing in your life at the time – at work, with friends? Were there any specific opportunities or activities you were pursuing? This reflection may bring you back to some things and people that have made you feel grounded and good about yourself. Start re-incorporating these things and people.
You may feel that your starting point is somewhat inadequate. This is not true. Now incorporate passion. You don’t need experience to have passion. Passion is a positively fierce quality to those around you. It is at the root of empowerment, as without passion/motivation, how are you empowered to do anything? Start pointing to what you are passionate about. Refuel your passion by continuing to create gratifying work and personal life experiences. This pendulum of passion to motivation to opportunity and finally to experience is life-long, and will continue to build and eventually swing into an empowered lifestyle.
Your passion can easily be directed by having concrete goals. A goal may be as simple as introducing yourself to new people; a yoga mate or a co-worker to build strong friendships with and connections to others in seeking a more positive lifestyle. It may also be searching outside the workplace for more networking opportunities, or establishing a time-frame for certain attributes to be acquired. “In 6 months, I want to be acknowledged for BLANK”, or a more work-oriented approach, “I want to be able to add BLANK to my resume.” Those are some realistic goals that together or separately, can be power-ful.
Other empowering steps we suggest are:
• Don’t show your weaknesses to the world. Have a few trusted people in whom you can confide. Leave the others wondering.
• If there are certain people; friends, co-workers, or family members who seem to drain you of energy or leave you feeling uncertain or angry….they are stealing your power and you are letting them! Recognize it and then decide to respond differently to these offenders. Having the courage to relay your feelings, or ultimately limiting conversation with them may be your best option, until you feel more secure.
• Get a plan together for some quick goals and some long term goals and align your behaviors with these targets. A series of good choices is what builds up and gives you confidence in the future.
And DO believe that the women you admire and look to as role models surely have their own personal stories of their path from uncertainty into empowerment!
If you have a question, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org