We’ve all done it—given away our power for the sake of someone else.
It looks like:
· Doing a favor for a friend that we didn’t really want to do or don't agree with
· Gone back into a relationship that you know isn’t for your highest good because the other person said they couldn’t go on without you
· Allowed others to criticize your dream or vision
· Took to heart what others think of you, especially the negative perspectives, and made it your identity
· Do so much for others that you have no time or energy left for yourself
· Are “guilted” into going to certain functions or places with friends, family, or co-workers rather than doing something you truly enjoy
· Spending time in mindless conversation when you could be working toward your goals
· Designing your life around some else’s needs, desires, and goals rather than your own
…and the list goes on. Think about all of the ways you give away your power on a regular basis.
Let’s begin by looking at some of the reasons why we do this.
· You want to be accepted by others
· You want to help and/or rescue others
· You have low self-esteem and look outside of yourself for validation
· Your low self-esteem is directly related to what others think of you
· Your actions are a reflection of wanting people to think or feel a certain way about you
· You are not sure what you want
· You are not sure how to break the cycle
· You feel like it is just “easier” to go with whatever others want from you
· You have given up on your dreams – other things will always take priority
· You are still searching for your real sense of self and who you are at a core level
Now think about what it will feel like to take it back!
· Your time is respected
· You are energized instead of drained
· You are free to take action toward living the life you want
· You have the freedom to engage in healthy relationships
· You are excited about the vision you have for your life
· You feel centered and focused
· You life has meaning
· You attract people who share your positive outlook
· You know yourself and what you want better than ever before
· Your direction is clear
· You are in control
· You have a sense of inner peace and contentment
So how do you reclaim your power?
1. Make a list of all the people in your life. Next to their names, make two columns – one with the heading: positive and the other heading: negative. Put a check mark in the column next to each name that reflects how that person makes you feel on a regular basis. If the person is critical, a complainer, or a naysayer, put the check mark in the “negative” column. If the person encourages you, provides support when you need it most, and is generally optimistic, put the check mark in the “positive” column. Avoid or eliminate those who have check marks in the “negative” column.
2. Take inventory of your “self-talk.” What do you say to yourself about yourself on a regular basis? Do you give yourself encouragement or tell yourself that you are not good enough? Each time you catch yourself thinking about you – either positive or negative statements – write them down. See how many times you self-sabotage with negative self-talk. Put a rubber band around your wrist and every time you engage in negative self-talk, snap the rubber band and yell “stop” in your mind. Replace the negative statement with a positive one.
3. Start saying “no” to requests for your time that you really do not have any interest in doing or that would make you sacrifice time you set aside to take positive action toward your own goals. You may feel selfish and guilty the first few times, but with practice, you will see that there are really no consequences to saying no. Once people realize that they can no longer take advantage of you, they will find someone else to tap. Think back to all of the times you went out of your way for these same people and received nothing in return except more requests for your time. You will lose nothing by prioritizing your time to your best advantage and gain a great deal of time and energy that you can put toward getting what you want in life.
4. Determine your direction and your purpose. Without a direction, it is easy to be at the mercy of those around you. By establishing your purpose, it infuses everything you do, and you can easily remove all extraneous interactions and activities. Suddenly, everything has meaning and your actions become intentional.
5. Stop telling the “negative” people on your list about your dreams and visions. Instead, speak to those who can help you hone your ideas and realize them. Get the advice of people who have achieved what you want and find out how they did it. Research your goals on the Internet and once you have some diverse opinions, consider what feels right to you, and come up with your own way of pursuing your goals. In this way, you can focus on your dreams and take positive action to achieve them rather than having them dashed by negativity before you even get started.
6. Eliminate any activity that is not pertinent to your purpose. Time wasters take many forms, including engaging in conversations that are repetitious. You know the people who talk about the same things over and over. Avoid them and instead, seek out new ideas and fresh perspectives that will get you closer to your goals.
7. Seek the help of a mentor or coach to clarify your purpose and to align your purpose with your work and your personal life. Having an objective perspective is valuable in that your coach can see patterns and roadblocks that you cannot see for yourself. A coach can also assist you in creating an action plan to remove blocks and achieve your vision quickly, providing encouragement along the way.
There are times when help is needed to clarify your direction and align your path with your purpose. Life Purpose coaching is a way to accomplish more in less time than treading the path alone.
© Diane Wing, all rights reserved