When I first started out in business, I never truly understood how to build inner strength to stand in your own power. Maybe, I’m only really getting it now! I recognize it as one of the hallmarks of a true leader. When I attended Landmark that helped. Courses taken over the years helped. Observing and coaching others who stand in their power helps. I know for certain is that standing in your own power requires building internal strength in very specific ways. It starts with us and sounds so much easier than it is in practice. Buddhists spend their entire lives reaching for enlightenment. True leaders and influencers never stop learning about themselves.
Here’s the thing: Standing in your own power takes courage. Some people are simply unable to open themselves up to vulnerability. True leaders get that vulnerability is the only path to truth. You recognize that true leaders exhibit a certain calmness and certainty. They are not impulsive. They listen and respond appropriately. People gravitate to them.
At the Wonder Women Mastermind Club last month, where standing in your power is de rigueur, we discussed the importance of shifting roles – sometimes we are the leader, other times we have to accept that new learning is needed and at other times we lean – we become the follower for a time and relinquish the role of leader.
8 Steps You Can Take
I’ve identified 8 specific steps you can take you to get closer to standing in your own power. The first 3 relate to building inner strength. The last 5 are actions you can take daily.
Step 1. Know what truth means for you.
Some years back I realized that I lost me along the way. It is too easy to go through life guided by the whims of others. Especially, if you are a pleaser and women know all too well how easily we fall into that role. Standing in your power means reaching deep down into your core to unearth the real you, to rediscover what excites you, what brings up passion for you, is meaningful, and then, finding the courage to say NO to those who would take you off course. Inner strength means following your own intuition, believing in yourself and your dreams. It is okay to be selfish when it comes to being in synch with your own wishes and desires.
How easily do you find it to turn a deaf ear to other’s opinions that don’t fit your reality? This also has to do with setting boundaries and not stretching them all out of shape and proportion so that too soon you are once again following the whims of others. I like the discussion on this in The Mindful Magazine.
Step 2. Live in the present with the future as your guide.
Yes, learn from the past but don’t dwell on it. Hopefully the lessons of yesterday help you course correct for tomorrow. We all know people who get stuck in past failures or previous lives – as my uncle used to say they are stuck in woulda, coulda, shoulda, the If Only syndrome that robs you of living life to the fullest and setting your sights for the next big adventure. When you live in the present you are fully grounded, you see clearly, and you allow your power to shine through. I believe my mom lived to 92 and my uncle to 103 because they both saw tomorrow lit up brightly. I can say they stood in their own power.
Step 3. Surround yourself with people you can learn and grow from.
Always reach higher for those who have accomplished what you are striving to achieve. That is not to say give up the friends and colleagues who do not view inner strength and power the same way you do. One of the reasons podcasting has taken off is that the very act of interviewing those you can learn from, helps you grow and expand and keeps increasing your influence. However, if you stay in a small pond too long, and delight too readily in being the big fish, you will remain mediocre. Keep searching for ever larger ponds. Don’t be afraid to be the small fish. Soon enough, being true to yourself and standing squarely in your own power will challenge you to keep learning, growing and expanding until once again you are the big fish.
Let’s Turn to How To Get There
I was in San Diego in June, visiting my son, Steve Olsher, and his family. As it happens, Steve was working on a similar trajectory he calls “Achieving Quintessence”. These 5 activities helped him on his path to finding himself, when he was low, and to becoming the leader he is today. You’ll find more about these in his next book.
These 5 daily activities will build your inner strength and help you stand in your own power. Practice them daily, share them with your staff and in your family. Regularly change up the activities you associate with each one, so they don’t become rote and, thereby, lose meaning.
5 Daily Activities
- Every day, do something you love – it can relate to work or not. Bring to life the passion you unearthed in step #1 on your way to finding your truth. Keep it alive by making it real and gift yourself the time for it. People who stand in their own power recognize that they must let certain activities co-exist with their work or they burn out.
- Every day, do something for others – someone you love, your employees, people and causes who need your help. These first 2 steps do not have to be huge. You are not trying to impress anyone. You are doing them to develop your inner strength.
- Think hard about the environment you live and work in. Every day, appreciate that environment and make sure it is aligned with who you are and where you want to be. Take pains to decorate it in a way that you find calming. I have my office set up in my bedroom at home. I love it. Others would find it an impossible way to work. If you’ve been working at home since the onset of the pandemic, ask yourself if it is right for you to continue that practice. Maybe you actually love it like I do. If not, which environment is right for you?
- Every single day, engage in physical activity. You lose power when you are not energized. Physical activity increases your energy. And, I can tell you, the older you get, the easier it is to lose physical prowess. Again, gift yourself the time for it.
- And finally, perhaps most importantly, every single day find a way to challenge yourself, both personally and professionally. We humans get complacent. Everything is going along fine and so we settle into a state of complacency. This one is hard. It’s worth working at. I know for myself, I get bored if I am not challenging myself – writing a new blog, researching a new subject, going to a venue I’ve never been to before, traveling somewhere new, trying out new skills.
How to Make it Your Own
At the end of every day, ask yourself, was I true to myself today? Standing in your own power feels good. It’s not an egoistic play. If you want to be seen and heard and stay at the top of your game, find out what’s real and right for you and get into action. Then, gift yourself the time.
This week I did something new. I took a Dancing in Your Zone class. Kathy Brown, who is one of the most energetic women I know – both physically and spiritually, led the workshop. Over the years, Kathy has helped me, energetically, during difficult times. I loved every minute of the 2 hours -dancing, which I adore, learning to move from my power zone and the feeling of flying free.
Building inner strength and learning to stand in your own power are gifts you give yourself. The best part of this gift is that when you shine in your own energy, its a gift you give to everyone you interact with in your life.
Let me know how this goes for you. And, if I can help, reach out. I’m always here for you.