Confession, not long ago, I was a person who gave my power away daily. It wasn’t intentional, or because I wasn’t confident, or thought that I didn’t deserve to be powerful or because I believed men were the dominate sex. It was a subtle and continuous leak of my power that started with little habits of behavior that undermined my power. Thankfully for me I had women friends who spoke up and pointed out the little ways I was devaluing myself. As I became aware of these behaviors, I began to break the habits, so I could become the powerful woman I was created to be.
Now that I am on the other side, I observe many women doing the same subtle devaluing habits that I once did. Today, I would like to be that friend who speaks up for you, so that you can stop letting your power slowly leak away. Take a moment to consider each behavior. You may not do all of them or you may not even be aware right now that you are doing any of them. However, over the course of this week, make a conscious effort to observe yourself. Change can only occur through awareness.
The 3 Habits That Steal Your Power
Stop saying “I’m sorry”! By and large I hear women over use the word sorry. Webster’s defines sorry as: “feeling sorrow, regret or penitence, mournful, sad, inspiring sorrow, pity, scorn or ridicule.” Now if you are using the word sorry as per the definition, it is perfectly acceptable and there is no loss of power. However, as women we use the word sorry unknowingly as a statement of unworthiness and as an apology for ourselves. Someone doesn’t agree with us, so we are sorry. We are sorry when we are maneuvering through a crowded store. Sorry dinner isn’t ready; sorry the kids are misbehaving; sorry I am upset; sorry I have a headache; sorry I am crying; sorry I can’t volunteer at the school; sorry I can’t be everything to everybody! It is a little word but oh how it devalues, when used out of context.
Silence no more! Many women may have picked this habit up as a little girl. We are taught to act like a lady, watch our mouth and to be nice! It is ok if you don’t have the gift of gab. However, when you know you should speak up and you don’t, that is when silence becomes the thief of your power. Women keep their mouth shut for many reasons; to avoid conflict, so as not to hurt feelings, to be nice, to hide their feelings, to not be labeled a bitch, because their men should know what they want etc.… Not using your voice makes you at the effect of everyone around you. Your life runs around everyone else’s therefore, devaluing your worth. Speak up when you don’t agree with someone, be honest about your friend’s new hair style, be authentic instead of nice and tell your significant other what you want and need. That alone will save both of you much grief. Lastly, maintaining your power sometimes requires you to be a bitch. Just be a wise one, and choose your battles well. Speak up to power up!
Lastly, stop complaining! Women are notorious for sitting abound complaining(gossiping) about their significant other, jobs, coworkers, family, kids, friends and whatever else comes to mind. Complaining is such a power sucker. When you complain you remain! Complaining keeps you in the same pattern of behavior that is getting the same results that you are complaining about. You power is given away to the complaint. This was a huge awe ha moment for me. My sisters and I would sit around complaining about what are husbands were or were not doing. Every time we complained we were in a sense accepting the behaviors we did not like. One day as I was complaining to my neighbor she hushed me and said “there will be no more of that talk. You must guard your mind and focus only on the good things about your husband.” What??? What she understood and I didn’t at the time was that my power was not in nagging and complaining him into change. You can’t change anybody! My power was in my willingness to change myself through my thoughts about by husband. The saying. “what you think about you bring about” is so true. Reclaim you power by turning your complaint into a positive and watch as the situation transforms because you have taken back the reins of power.
The wonderful thing about self-observation is that awareness is the starting point to new behavior patterns that better serve you. Don’t be afraid of what you might find out about yourself. There is power in knowledge. We as women must one by one power up. As each of us power up, the feminine power spills over into our families, work place, communities, and country. We don’t have to fight for power because we already have it. We must start “being” powerful in our thoughts, words and actions. It might be said that it is a man’s world but we know different! As a dear friend so wisely puts it…” The man was created to be the head but the woman is the neck. Where the neck turns the head follows.” Don’t ever underestimate your feminine power!