When you hear the word “power,” do you think of control over other people, or money, or even forcefully influencing the course of events? Well, that’s one dictator-type of way to define power, but there is another definition: the ability to act in a effective way. For example, there is the power of speech, or the power to raise the dead, or the basic power of saying no to what you don’t want and yes to what you do want.
So what does it mean to stand in your own power? It means you honor whatever is really important to you. It means you know who you are, what you are capable of, and why you make the decisions you make. Nothing can rock your boat or shake the foundation of who you are.
But let’s face it, most of us get in our way. We indulge in self-doubt, self-sabotage, and mind games like “I don’t deserve this,” or “I’m not good enough.” Do you feel powerless? Are you scared of what others will say about you? Do you feel overwhelmed by your circumstances, or inadequate to handle the complexities of your to-do list? Do you keep sabotaging your own success?
Then you’re not standing in your own power.
It’s easy to give your power away. Do you let your partner always choose where you’re going to eat or which movie you see? Do you kowtow to your kids’ demands? To your boss’s? Do you take on whatever you’re asked to do, no matter how full your plate is already? Do you invalidate your own thoughts and feelings to please others? What or who are you allowing to rule your life?
Pleasing others is a habit. You probably developed it when you were very young when you learned that being cute or using good manners or getting good grades made your parents happy and that made you feel good. Or maybe you had to push away your own needs to fit into your family. You learned to keep your opinions, thoughts, and emotions to yourself. You—the real you—was silenced. You followed the crowd rather than making waves. You learned to give away your power for the approval of others.
At what cost? You denied your own voice, the authentic you.
So, how do you stop giving your power away? Before you agree to make 30 cupcakes for the school holiday party when you have a looming work deadline, STOP and ask yourself what you REALLY want. Then, honor yourself. Keep standing in your power as you clearly say NO. In order to stand in your power, you have to allow yourself the option of saying no. It doesn’t matter what the home room teacher thinks about you. It doesn’t matter if your kids get mad at you. You simply can’t do it all without hurting yourself.
At some point, all of us face the choice of either claiming our power or giving it away. Focus on what is right for you. Quit worrying about what other people think of you. Have the courage to stand up for yourself. Dare to endure criticism from others. Be willing to shock the people who assume you will always comply with whatever they ask of you.
Standing in your power doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect. It means that you accept yourself as you are—your weaknesses and your strengths, your smart actions and your foolish blunders—no matter what anyone else thinks about you.
Don’t think you have to wait until you feel ready or worthy. Remember, no matter what you do, some people simply won’t like you; you will never be able to make everyone else happy. When you don’t take care of yourself because you are trying to make others happy, you start to resent the very people you are trying to please.
Whenever the situation arises where you have to make a decision about what to do, ask yourself this question: Am I standing in my power or am I trying to please someone else? Be clear about your priorities. What’s more important than your own balance, harmony, and health?
Simply put: Don’t be a martyr! We all know those unfortunate souls who bend over backwards to make others happy when everyone can see that they are ignoring their own needs. It’s the harried mother whose kids look impeccable while she hasn’t washed her hair in a week and her clothes look like they came out of the dirty laundry basket. Martyrs don’t love or nurture themselves. You, on the other hand, do!
Pleasing someone else is not the same as caring for them. It’s the old story: if you’re not caring for yourself, you’ll have nothing left, no inner resources, to really care for another. It is vital that you learn to stand in your own power for your own mental, physical, emotional, and even your spiritual health!
Do you have trouble connecting with your intuition? When you’ve learned to stand in your own power, your own I AM, you will be able to connect on a much deeper level to your spiritual core and to the invisible realms. Think about it.