An aha moment struck me upside the head following my morning television segment a couple of weeks ago. I spoke about ways that women can be more powerful (Katie Kelley’s ABC Segment on How to Be More Powerful At Work). My revelation was that I did not address in that segment the fundamental building block necessary for women to be powerful.
Power for women is an inside-out job.
What I mean is that your ability to stand up for yourself and own the power that is rightly yours is directly related to your self image and the level to which you have accepted and embraced all that is uniquely YOU. This is drastically different for men, in general. Men seem to compartmentalize their sense of self with the power that is theirs to own.
For women, we entangle the two.
We mirror our self worth outwards to the world and look for self fulfilling prophesies to confirm our worst fears about ourselves. This has got to stop. The only way for you to take control of this vicious cycle is to identify whether this is a reality for you and if it is, take control of it by diving into personal development work and start doing the work to help you seize your power, from the inside out.
Here’s one of my often referred to quotes from my graduate school days:
“The first dyadic relationship that a child has with their caretaker will be foretelling of their sense of self and their relational self throughout their lifetime.” (VanderKolk, 1987)
The truth is that our earliest relationships build the foundation of our relationship with ourselves and with others. Assuming that we had confidence that our caretakers would provide us with the necessary safety and nurturing we needed during that fragile state, we are able to develop confidently and positively into mature, well attached adults. If this was not the case in your early life experience, there is always an opportunity to re-establish that trust in others, it’s just going to take some hard work. My advice to you is this is something that you think you struggle with (overall trust and security issues with others and frankly with yourself), then I urge you to engage in therapy so that you can explore exactly how your early life experience is impacting your life today. This will very likely be one of the more challenging parts of your life that you are forced to tackle, but I guarantee it will also be the most rewarding and satisfying parts as well.
Go forth women and own your power!