We are intrigued when we see empowered people. Why not become one yourself? I know, I know. Most of us are afraid of our own power. Author Marianne Williamson so aptly captures our fear:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
It is so easy, and there are so many ways, to get sideways with ourselves in this lifetime. When I talk about sideways, I mean out of alignment with who we are and who we are meant to be. One of the first ways we do so is through our refusal to hold our own personal power.
What happens when you begin to own your power:
1. Other people may become ugly towards you – they want to nail your foot to the floor were you are. If you become more powerful and step up to your life purpose, they are then faced with a dilemma: Do I step up to own my power, too, or do I hold you in this spot so I don’t have to do anything (because I am afraid)? Most people choose the latter rather than the former.
2. They can hold the space for you to change without changing themselves (a rarity unless the person is farther along the path of owning his/her power than you are).
3. You have to let people off your bus. Some people just can’t make the empowerment journey with you. Not good. Not bad. Just is. But you have to have the courage to let them off your bus at the next stop. And we humans don’t seem to be very adept at letting go.
These reasons explain why developing your power is a courageous personal journey that many of us opt not to take. It is the hero/heroine’s journey and not many of us have the backbone to belly up to the journey of standing in the middle of our fear and marching forward anyway. We prefer to play small because it is the path of least resistance.
How do we get power:
1. Steal it by association: we might associate with someone we think is very powerful because we think we get power from that person.
2. Steal it by might makes right: we try to be the loudest voice in the bunch, we act like a know-it-all and just in general try to shut other people down.
3. Develop it from within – knowing who you are and making decisions from your personal wheelhouse is key to owning personal power. This one is the method of Champions.
True empowerment is developed from within. No one can take it from you and only you can choose to give it away. Developing alignment among who I am, what I say, what I think and how I act creates a powerful vibration that resounds throughout the Universe. Really amazing things happen when you do that.
How do we lose power: we give it away. Sometimes, in our youth, our parents take away our power and then we struggle our whole lives to regain it. Losing our power in childhood is easy because we haven't been taught the tools that allows us to hold onto it. Add to that the fact that our parents probably don't know how to hold their power either and we have a nice recipe for holding power in all the wrong ways. In Beyond the Winning Streak, author Lynda Madden Dahl best describes how to manage that one:
Poet Robert Bly, an influential leader of the men’s movement, gets my vote on how to deal with childhood wounds. He says you can only nurture the inner child for so long, then you have to heal the little sucker and kill it off or you’ll end up pandering to it for the rest of your life.
Are you still pandering to childhood wounds that took your power? Time to stop.
Are you working in an organization that takes your power? Or are you willingly turn it over to the company? Author Carolyn Myss says we make this choice, “I will give up my talent and live in your shadow if you promise to take care of me.” That happens in far too many organizations. We trade peace for pay.
We are entering an era where we must stop handing our power over to others. Our society is transitioning into a new creative era where we must take responsibility for ourselves and for our planet. It is the only way we can leave the world a better place for the generations that follow. We must reclaim our personal power. We must reclaim who we are and stop living in the shadows of others.
Busy being empowered and teaching others to do the same,