Q: How can I stop giving my power away?
by Janet Luhrs of Simple Living Magazine and Dr. Friedemann Schaub
My dear friend,
Don’t give your power away Personal power has everything to do with how you feel, and whether your life works or not. If your finances are out of control, it’s because you’ve given your power away. If your house is a cluttered mess, it’s because you’ve given your power away. If your relationships aren’t working, it’s because you’ve given your power away. If you feel tired, or less than optimally healthy, then it means you’ve given your power away. This is especially true for women, because we have been raised to think our self-worth comes from serving and pleasing everyone else. No wonder why women are tired and cranky, and no wonder why we resent our husbands, kids, families and colleagues! I spoke to Dr. Friedemann Schaub, who specializes in personal power. Here’s his advice:
- Pay attention to your own needs. How does it feel right now that for the 50th time today, you’re cleaning up after your family? How’s your energy?
- Create a concrete, objective list to show where your energy is going. Draw a line down the center of a page. On one side, list everything you do that drains your energy, and on the other side, everything you do that gives you energy. Now rate the items on your lists from 1 – 10 (10 being the most draining or the most energizing).
- Look at your self-talk drains. You’ve just had a nice dinner and you obsess over saying the wrong thing to someone, or you beat yourself up with negative self-talk. Do you feel more expanded, or contracted? Expansion means you feel good, and your energy gets bigger. When you obsess over what other people think of you, or that you should be perfect but you aren’t, or when you don’t speak your truth, your energy contracts and you get smaller.
- Admit you’re out of balance and start taking little steps to energize yourself. For instance, you could turn off your computer and eat your lunch in the park, rather than at your desk. Little steps have huge ripple effects.
A few facts about personal power:
- Everybody has power inside. So many women feel like they don’t have intrinsic worth outside of doing for others, but this is not true – you’re born with personal power.
- Continually giving your power away is a slow death – dying of the self – and this is a very serious problem.
- It’s not selfish to put yourself first – it’s just the opposite. You can still be a caring wife, mom, or friend – but also take care of yourself first. Otherwise, you’re tired and cranky and that’s not good for anyone. Start now by making the decision that it is not selfish to take care of yourself. You must wake up to this! Don’t wait for an emotional or physical breakdown to get it!
- Be flexible. What you’ve been doing in the past hasn’t been working, so try something else. If you spend all weekend driving kids to soccer, find someone else to carpool with, and/or tell the kids you need this next weekend to take care of yourself. You’ll become a role model for your kids as someone who likes herself, is healthy and fun, rather than tired, cranky, and resentful. Do the same with colleagues and spouses. Try small steps and see how it works.
- Listen to your self-talk. When you want to sit down and relax, and your perfectionist voice says you have too much to do, ask yourself if it’s true you shouldn’t be sitting down, and ask if it makes you feel better to not relax. Find good, kind, compassionate arguments for that voice.
- Where did your negative voice originate? Is it a belief that you’re not good enough? Are you just repeating old patterns? What do you want to believe instead? Use words that make you excited. Ideas are: “I’m confident and I like the way I am.”
- Feel this new belief in your body. Imagine yourself as a person with that belief. See yourself as someone more bright, or with a big smile.
- Every day, before you get out of bed, spend 1 – 2 minutes feeling and seeing that image of yourself.
- During the day, watch for trigger situations where you give your power away. Ask yourself, would a person who appreciates herself, be afraid to speak up, or take things so personally? Before bed each night, list ways you appreciated yourself that day – not what you were doing, but who you were, and what good choices you made.
- Don’t cheat! You can’t say ‘I’m going to be a person who appreciates myself,’ but then allows people walk all over you.
Also call us for a free phone consultation. The Personal Break-through and Empowerment program is designed to support you with all of these important steps.