As I get older, I realize more and more that there are so many ways in which I give away my power daily as a human being, and as a woman. I think it is something we are all so used to doing, that we don’t think twice about it. It is common practice to be taught as children to give our power away, and we carry those habits through into adulthood, without a second thought.
Most of us have habits that are helping us give our strength and power away, but we haven’t taken the time to ask ourselves, “Should I still be carrying around these habits over from childhood? Are they still useful? Are they going to get me where I want to get to?”
Let’s discuss some of these habits in detail in this post. I am going to use examples from my own life for this, but I am sure a lot of these examples will resonate with you.
Calling Myself Names On A Daily Basis
When we were children, our parents didn’t think twice about using the term ‘stupid’ or ‘idiot’ for us. It wasn’t our parents’ fault. But society’s fault in general. I have noticed myself using phrases like ‘Stop being a pansy’ or ‘Stop being such a baby’, when speaking to friends of mine.
Recently, I have started off with a mastermind group, and I love being in that group. But I have a tendency to have a lot of opinions, and I am brave enough in the moment to voice them out loud with my group members. But I always, always, always come back home, and regret my bravado.
“Why do you have to be like this? You are such an idiot. That’s why no one likes you. No one will want to be your friend. You are too strong. That’s why you don’t have a boyfriend. Men like weaker women…” I go on and on and on in this vein forever.
It takes me a few hours to calm myself down, and realize it’s alright, and to stop calling myself names.
Words Are Powerful, But We Use Them Thoughtlessly
The reality is that most of us don’t think twice about calling ourselves derogatory names. But what about our projects, skills, and talents? I do this with myself all the time.
“I am a great writer. I want to believe that I am a great writer. I think I am a great writer. I hope I am a great writer. Oh, god, am I a good writer?”
This is usually the direction in which my thoughts venture. From confidence, to absolute devastation. This is because I use words to destroy myself.
Instead of believing in myself in the moment, I doubt myself and I wonder, “Am I good enough?” Why do we ask that question – who are we good enough for? What do we need to be good enough for?
Words Can Be Used For Good
We are good enough as we are. Let’s stop using words to destroy our self-esteem and our talents. Let’s remember that words can destroy others, and ourselves in a matter of seconds.
When women use bitch for each other as a term of endearment, I shudder to the bone. Every word carries within it some power, some label, some energy. When we are using a word like ‘bitch’ to address people we love, what does that say about our relationship with them and ourselves?
Words are more powerful than we realize. Please, be careful the next time you speak to someone. Use words that you are comfortable enough letting into the space around you, without harming yourself or the ones next to you.
Apologizing Too Much For Being Us
I always tell people that I apologize too much because I am Canadian and that’s a Canadian trait. But it’s not true. I apologize because I don’t feel strong enough in myself sometimes to say what I feel, without tempering it with an apology.
I give feedback to people on a constant basis now, because I have established myself as an expert in my field. People ask me questions and sometimes they ask me for honest opinions. I give them those, because I want to be able to help them as much as possible with my honest feedback. Sometimes feedback hurts, and most people aren’t ready for it.
“Sorry, so sorry. I didn’t mean that. I hope you don’t take it the wrong way. I hope you are alright. Was I being a douchebag? I’m sorry. You are awesome. Please don’t hate.”
These are usually some of the things I say in order to temper the honesty that I laid out at the person’s door. Why do I do that?
Be Powerful And Accept Yourself So Others Can Do The Same
With honesty, I was being powerful. But, as soon as the power was felt by everyone else around me, and they got uncomfortable, I got uncomfortable, and stopped putting my power out there. I tried to take it back. I gave it away, instead of feeling it in my body.
Most people are awed by our honesty and power. That’s alright. Don’t feel bad about it. In fact, what you do by being powerful, and authentic, is that you are handing out permission slips all over the place for that other individual to be more themselves.
This is important. It’s an important journey we are on. The more we deny ourselves, the harder it will be to get to that best version of ourselves.
Not only that, but when I deny my power and authenticity, I hate myself more. I dislike myself then. I don’t want to do that. It has been hard enough to start loving myself after years of self-hate. I am not going back there again.
Not Accepting Compliments When They Are Lobbed At Us
What is this horrible trait that parents develop in children of being humble? I absolutely hate it. I used to be a child who was absolutely fine with ‘bragging’. I was fine chatting about myself and telling everyone all of the amazing ways I am awesome.
But, as parents don’t want us to take all the spotlight, they tell us to temper ourselves. “Stop being too much. Stop telling everyone how great you are. Tell everyone how horrible you are instead. Don’t make them feel uncomfortable.”
That is one of the worst things I do as a human in this world. Not only do I apologize for who I am, but I degrade who I am, by not accepting compliments when they are given to me, honestly and happily.
Accept The Damn Compliment
Recently, this individual in my group complimented me by saying he found my YouTube videos interesting and engaging, so much so that he spent 1 hour listening to them as he cooked.
Woah! My heart bloomed. I felt so excited and joyous. So much gratitude surged through my body. But then a voice in my head said, “He’s just being polite. Don’t listen to him. You suck. Don’t even respond to it.”
Of course, I negated the compliment by being sarcastic and making a joke out of it.
I reminded myself to stop doing that, when the individual was clearly peeved that I didn’t take his compliment as it was. It is not only rude to ourselves and our skills and talents to refuse a compliment. But, more than that, it is rude to the individual who is offering you such a beautiful gift.
You would never refuse a physical gift given to you. Why are you refusing the compliment that is given to you with the best of intentions?
Devaluing Ourselves By Charging Less
Power comes in all different forms. There’s physical power. There’s energetic power. Word power. Authenticity power. Love power.
So what kind of power are you focusing on right now? If you are an entrepreneur, you might be giving away monetary power by charging less for your services. Undervaluing ourselves and our offerings is such a common way of giving away our power.
We think we are not worth it. I am about to start offering a membership site to all of the hippies out there who are interested in more access to me. I was thinking of charging $10 a month for such a service, but when I started listing out all of the things that I would offer in this service, my friends said, you are way undervaluing yourself.
Boom! A lightbulb flashed in my head. Of course, that’s what I am doing. Why?? Don’t do that.
Charge More Than You Think You Are Worth
We are always going to undercharge on things, because as human beings as have no idea what our true worth is. I have started thinking of what is the highest amount I can charge for something, instead of thinking what is the minimum I should charge. Not only has my language changed around it, but the energy I feel around it has changed as well.
Words matter. And valuing ourselves at our proper rate matters as well. We need to feed ourselves, but we don’t want to make it so it’s too hard to do that. In fact, we want to make it so, it is really easy to do that, so we can keep on serving more and more people with energy and enthusiasm.
Not Taking Care Of Ourselves
Our physical bodies aren’t just shells that are temporarily holding us while we zoom through space on this blue planet. They are us and we are them. But a lot of us give away our physical power by devaluing our bodies. We value our minds, but we don’t value our bodies.
We don’t get enough sleep. We don’t eat properly, or drink enough water. We push ourselves over and beyond our limits. We work out or work too hard.
I am not accusing you of this. I do this to myself way too often. Recently, I have started working from home because I have noticed that I need at least one, if not more naps through the day, in order to do all of the work that I do. I used to hate myself for this before. I would use words like lazy or unproductive for myself.
“Why am I sleeping so much? What’s going on with me? Am I being lazy? No one else needs to sleep this much.”
Take Care Of Your Body
But the reality is that creative work requires rest, and so naps are a crucial part of my self-care habit. I refuse to give away my physical power by pushing myself beyond limits.
We need to take our power back, by resting enough, and not working to the point of burnout. It’s not good for us to do that, and also, we aren’t going to produce awesome work if we do that.
I notice when I am well rested, well-fed, and hydrated, I produce better creative work, than when I am pulling myself slowly by the seat of my pants to do some ineffectual work tired, and miserable.
Putting Our Attention On Drama Or Negative Situations
This is a small way we give our power away, but an important one, nevertheless. What we pay attention to, grows. So how are you bringing more negativity into your life, by focusing on these negative situations? Why are you focusing on them anyways? Why are you giving your power away in this manner?
I get it. We are enticed and enamoured by negativity. That’s why rubber-necking happens, because people are attracted by big, dramatic, bloody accidents.
But that’s how we are giving our power away. Instead of focusing on all of the positive things happening in this world, we are focused on all of the negative. Let’s stop doing that to ourselves. It’s deadly to our self-esteem and positivity.
It’s depleting our power as well.
Giving Power Away Every Day Reduces Our Authenticity
In conclusion, I want to remind you guys that every single time you are giving your power away, you are reducing yourself as a human, and reducing your truth. We are all always striving towards the truth.
The true version of ourselves.
We have been hiding ourselves for so long, that pulling out our true selves and placing it in front of everyone, can be such a torturous and scary endeavour. But we need to do this, so we can keep on playing with the big poobahs.
If we wish to play in the big league, and really leave our mark on this planet, we cannot hide our light anymore. It is time for all of us to come into our own and show our true versions to the world around us.
It starts with taking our power back. Take it back and use it to influence the world in a positive way.