Often, we *think* we are leading our lives…but we’re not really. Consciously or subconsciously, we give our leadership power away to something or someone else. Can you honestly say you are leading your life fully?
Nearly every woman I’ve ever coached in their lives has had a challenge in leading their lives fully. Nearly every one of them would have also told you that they were the leader of their lives when we first started working together. Odds are, if you’re reading this, you may be one of these women too!
So, what might it look like if you’ve given that power away to something or someone else? Here are some examples of what it could look like:
- Devoting your work to something that you were told you were good at. Doing work your parents, a guidance counselor or another well-meaning adult told you what you *should* do because it would be a job that would earn you respect or money even though you don’t love it.
- Making life choices based on what you believe will make someone else (a spouse, your children, your parents) happy. Even if it means compromising yourself.
- Making decisions to avoid something you are afraid of – fear of ruin, loss, judgment or criticism, fear of not measuring up, fear of the unknown.
Are you leading your life? In all areas of your life – work, relationships, family, spirituality, self-care, leisure time, etc.?
Empowering Yourself as a Leader
The most important use of your leadership energy is to lead your own life, to claim your authority over your own life. When you claim the authority of your life, you also claim the authorship of your life.
One way of strengthening your leadership of your life is working with and strengthening your personal power. Personal power is an equal blend of power of presence, power of communication, and power of position.
Power of Presence
People who have a strong power of presence are often described as ‘lighting up a room’. They are full of charisma and people like being around them because their presence makes others feel good. When working on strengthening your power of presence, it can be helpful to work with the Four Fold Way ‘Show up and be fully present’. Power of presence is about being fully present in the moment, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. When we are worrying about the future, or angry or sad about the past, we are not living fully in the present moment, which detracts from our power of presence.
Power of Communication
Power of communication is about having the ability to express right communication at the right time. Right communication is about both verbal and non-verbal communication. You need be clear about your spirit of intent, to say what you mean and ensure that your body language, tone of voice, and facial expression all match the words you are saying and your spirit of intent. Right timing is about ensuring that the communication you are delivering is delivered at the right time; for example, you might become frustrated with your kids if they are complaining to you about each other the second you walk in the door after a long day at work, but would have more patience for them if they waited until you had a few moments to relax and become settled into the energy of being home first.
Power of Position
Power of Position is about knowing your boundaries and being willing to take a stand whenever someone comes close to crossing those boundaries. It is about thoroughly thinking through the questions “what is my energy available for” and “what is my energy not available for” and once you are clear about the answers, making your position very clear and sticking with it.
Most people are afraid of setting boundaries because they believe they will hurt or offend other people. This is not the case. Boundaries help to establish and maintain relationships with others that are full of openness, honesty, and integrity. It also lets people know who you are and what you are about. People will value you more highly because of your power of position.
What are your boundaries? When you are clear about what your personal boundaries are, it is much easier to honor them.
Leading Your Life
As you were reading this, did anything stand out for you? Was there a sense of recognition of a place where you are giving away your power? Where you aren’t showing up as your fullest self?
Commit to practicing one of these power places for yourself for the next 30 days. Let me know what your commitment to yourself is in a comment.