How to Embrace Your Power and Make an Impact

Excessive negative self-talk can be debilitating and strip you of any power. Yet, you are made for so much more than your inner critic gives you credit for.

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Have you ever dreamed of having a more significant impact on others’ lives? You want to be seen and heard. Yet, your fear of speaking up and getting yourself out there overwhelms you. Instead of victory, you experience a sense of helplessness. You walk away feeling like you lost part of yourself in the process. We’ve all experienced feelings of powerlessness. Often, we’re unaware we even do this to ourselves.

Here are some ways we diminish our power:

  • Using minimizing terms such as “just, kind of, sort of”

  • Frequent apologizing

  • Being reactive

  • Hesitant to self-promote

  • Difficulty making decisions

  • Blaming others for our feelings or circumstances

  • Unaware of our needs or wants

  • Underestimating our value

  • Complaining without effort to make changes

  • Wanting to please everyone

  • Struggling to keep healthy boundaries

How do you overcome what’s keeping you from embracing your power?

 

The first step is self-awareness.

It’s challenging to look inward, to be honest with yourself, and to see how you diminish your power. Yet, if you desire to be seen by others, you must be brave enough to be seen by yourself first. Don’t fret. You are more courageous and powerful than you think!

When you can see how your thoughts and behaviors impact the world around you, choices begin to emerge. You realize you can do something about your situation. According to developmental psychologist and Harvard Professor Dr. Robert Kegan, when you reflect upon a discovery about yourself, you can take steps towards transformation.

 

The second step is to take action.

 

1. Give yourself some grace.

We’ve all made decisions that brought us to this moment. It’s easy to beat ourselves up or to feel shame in the areas where we don’t shine.

Be kind to yourself in the process, and give yourself some grace. It’s about forgiving yourself for the choices you’ve made, accepting yourself the way you are, and extending love to yourself so you can move forward. Your past is behind you, and you can approach your future differently – what a fantastic opportunity you have with each new day.

 

2. Take responsibility for yourself.

This is a critical aspect of embracing your power. It lifts you out of being a victim of your circumstances. Victimhood is a slippery slope of ignoring the problem, denying it, blaming someone else, rationalizing it, resisting it, and hiding from it (1). Can anyone relate?

I remember when I felt like this concept hit home for me. I was listening to an interview about self-imposed limitations. The guest said that the quality of our circumstances is our responsibility. It seemed so basic, yet it was an “Aha!” moment! As if I’d heard it for the first time!

I thought about my relationships that could use some improvement. Instead of expecting others to change, I saw how my thoughts and behaviors affected those around me. I wasn’t showing up in a way that reflected my values.

I cringed! I felt exposed!

Instead of sinking into a pool of self-condemnation, I realized I could be more intentional in how I showed up in those relationships. To pursue them with intention rather than waiting for the other person to make the first move. I felt encouraged that I could do something about it.

When you embrace your power through personal responsibility, you begin to take ownership of your life and how you show up in the world, regardless of how others behave.

That’s powerful!

 

3. Learn to own who you are and know your value.

You are at the mercy of others when you seek their validation to gauge your worth. There are times you will do fantastic work, and no one will acknowledge it. It’s painful, I know! Yet, you need to find the wherewithal to know your value, regardless. To have it reside at the core of your being. Otherwise, you will ride an emotional roller coaster based on others’ opinions.

Discover your value by thinking about successful situations in which you were involved. Perhaps you worked on a team or accomplished something on your own that made you proud.

Next, think about how your contribution made it successful.

Finally, think about how it benefited your workplace or others around you.

Many people think their natural skills aren’t important since they don’t take much effort to do well. It must be easy for everyone else as well, right?

This is far from the truth!

What comes easy for you may be difficult for others. So, whatever skill you are downplaying, write it down. Let yourself shine and celebrate what you bring to the table.

Practice verbalizing what you do well and the value it brings to others. You will feel empowered when you can communicate it and deliver on that promise.

Another way to discover your value is to provide it outside of your job. Find a non-profit organization that resonates with your passions. Serve in a way that uses your skills and gives back to others. You will build confidence in your value and bring fulfillment to your life and others in the process.

 

4. Quiet negative self-talk.

You may be well acquainted with your inner critic. It’s the voice in your head that keeps you small and limits your ability to reach your fullest potential. It says things like…

  • “I don’t have what it takes.”

  • “I’m not good enough.”

  • “I’m not smart enough.”

  • “I’m not talented enough.”

  • “I’ll never make it.”

  • “I’m doing it all wrong.”

  • “I should give up.”

Excessive negative self-talk can be debilitating and strip you of any power. Yet, you are made for so much more than your inner critic gives you credit for.

In those moments when you are tempted to spew negativity all over yourself, remember…

“You are the most influential person you will talk to all day.” – Zig Zigler

How about influencing for good? Develop a habit of replacing each negative statement with a positive one. Give your positive words a louder voice than your inner critic. Step back and ask if your inner critic is speaking the truth. Consider alternative perspectives from what your inner critic is telling you. Be consistent, and you will begin to transform your relationship with yourself. You will become more compassionate and develop a great friendship with yourself.

 

It’s powerful! Give it a try! You are so worth the effort!

 

Resources:

1. Samuel. M & Chiche, S. (2004). The power of personal accountability: Achieve what matters to you. Xephor Press: Katonah, NY

 

This is an updated edition of a post originally published on sharonkrueger.com.

Featured Image by André Filipe

The views and opinions expressed by Kingdom Winds Collective Members, authors, and contributors are their own and do not represent the views of Kingdom Winds LLC.

About the Author

Sharon believes it is never too late to start something new. She loves leaving a meaningful impact on others by helping them identify their strengths and discover their purpose. Writing is one of the ways she connects with others.

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