In this world of instant gratification we are bombarded by invitations, offers and challenges to step into our power by buying the right book, dvd, cd, e-course, workshop, etc. You need only purchase the perfect tool and you will be transformed, an outside-in approach. I acknowledge the value of the materials and wisdom of many teachers who support us in moving into our personal place of power. I am the original self-help queen and what I know to be true is that power is an inside-out job. It takes inner commitment to our values and outer willingness to be vulnerable and real. It is expressed by who we are being.
Real power is when you are living an authentic life, fully expressing yourself in your unique way, living from your values, sharing your gifts. Real power is when you are creating your life from choice rather than reacting and living in default. How do you do that? By having the courage to be who you truly are. The following touchstones will support you to be authentic.
1. Be real with yourself. Be honest with yourself about what you want, what it will take to get there and what you are willing to do to get it. Look deep inside to see who you really are and how you want to live your life. Give up defaulting to the “should’s”, “ought to’s” and nice girl/guy voices. Stay true to what you know is right for you. Ask yourself what you would do if you were given a gold credit card with no credit limit to use for creating your life and you could use this credit card for your work, your relationships, your home, everything. What comes to mind? Don’t filter it, pay attention. Be diligent about telling yourself the truth. What truth are you avoiding telling yourself? What longings are knocking at your door wanting to be heard?
2. Be real with others. Say what is so when it’s so. Half-truths and superficial honesty take lots of energy and time. It is easier to be honest in the moment than to go back later and clean it up. Speak from a place of mutual respect and be willing to speak out when you are clear about what is to be said. Where and with whom do you need to be honest?
3. Be quiet, follow the signs. Listen to your heart. Listen to your body. Be quiet and connect with your own deep inner wisdom and let it be your guide. How do you get your messages? Do you get visions? Hear a voice? Have a knowing? Your inner wisdom is continually sending you information. Turn up the dial, listen and trust what you hear. Follow the signs. What is your heart yearning for? STOP, breathe and listen. What message are you getting?
4. Be compassionate with yourself and others. Compassion is a place of accepting our own humanness and giving up judgment and our need to be right. Compassion is walking in the other person’s shoes. It is knowing that we all do the very best we can in the moment even though hindsight would have us act differently. Be gentle with judgment of yourself and others. The Dalai Lama says, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Where could you be more compassionate with yourself right now? Others?
5. Be willing to say “No”. Establish and hold clear boundaries. Gloria Steinem has said, “No is a complete sentence.” Practice that. You are not required to explain or apologize. How many times have you said “Yes” to a request and then regretted it? If a simple “No” or “No, thank you, that doesn’t work for me” is difficult for you, try saying, “Let me get back to you on that.” It will be easier to say “No” later. What is important for you to say “No” to today? Where is it important for you to establish/strengthen a boundary?
You are the most powerful person in your life. Who you are being creates your experiences. I invite you to step into your power by being real, by listening to your heart, by being compassionate and by saying no without guilt. Every time you step into your Powerful energy, you open the space for others to do the same. Unleash your Powerful Self, we need you.
©Carol McKeag, Coaching for Life & Spirit