Written by: Yvette Bodden, Guest Writer Brainz Magazine
The word power reflects strength, might, or force that is not always tangible. Countless men and women want it, and oftentimes the people who possess the elusive gift are the select few that can grant it forward. Power comes in many forms, such as financial, political, social status, title, connections, and expertise. It can be tied to who or what you know and where you come from, but either way, people go to great lengths for a chance to get a piece of it. Regardless of how it’s obtained, once received, it becomes a major responsibility to bear.
Managing power can be taxing for those that do not understand how to use it. There are plenty of do-gooders who help the less fortunate or broken, using their influence to benefit others. Unfortunately, some individuals maneuver circumstances forcibly or maliciously that can overwhelm their victims, causing distress and mental or physical suffering. The variations of how authority is manipulated are dependent upon a list of factors that impact how we step into our power. Personalities, psychological history, emotions, and gender can affect our relationship with power.
Meaningful differences are possible between men and women when it comes to the handling of power. The expectation for a man is to remain in control constantly. Men are conditioned from a young age not to cry or demonstrate emotion. Generations of males are trained to perpetuate the idea, clench to their personal power by repressing feelings. Society’s perception is for males to lead in business, religion, and relationships. It isn’t unheard of for women to seek security in a male partner. In fact, a lot of us are raised to believe this is how partnerships work. Men protect, provide a safe haven ensuring his family’s security. This can set unconscious limitations that leave those around them in a precarious mindset of extreme vulnerability and disadvantage. Fortunately, times are slowly changing and moving away from the old-school ways of thinking. Power comes in numerous ways, and now more than ever, women are using their voices to express it.
The mighty force, however, does not come without burden. Guilt can be an indirect consequence of power when actions are misaligned with character. The feeling of culpability can also creep in when you come into a position of strength unaware of its true energy. Occasionally, women walk into circumstances where exercising power can result in remorse. Personal feelings related to low self-esteem or lack of self-worth can feed insecurity, creating unproductive guilt. The idea that we don’t belong in a boardroom, commanding role, or anywhere we are the only woman standing can be intimidating. This is the moment where owning one’s power minus guilt becomes vital to our individual growth.
The person in a room full of highly experienced, educated, and accredited individuals who, on paper, have everything that spelled success. Living in guilt of enjoying the company of people who lived a life of privilege. What made me think I could take part in a world that I couldn’t afford?
A woman ending a marriage that no longer made her or a spouse happy. Experiencing the anguish of a broken relationship where boundaries set were overstepped and expectations not met. What right did I have to be true to myself, instead seek life that celebrated my authenticity?
An entrepreneur and author born from a need to inspire others. It was the first time I’d written for others. Never did I imagine there was a book inside of me. How dare I assume that I could do or be more? What business did I have being a Writer?
These women represented me at different times in my life. It has taken years to embrace who I am and take my power back without regret. Baseless guilt has the potential to hinder you from greatness. If you feel bad or remorseful about walking into your power, begin the process by taking these pivotal steps.
Silence the Negative Voices: We all struggle with self-doubt and insecurity. It is the whisper trying to convince us that we will fail or the fear that stops us from even trying the things we most desire. We cannot control what happens to us, but we do have a say in our thoughts and beliefs. Quieting the negativity that comes from a lack of confidence or courage sets a tone for future actions.
Recognize Worth: There is no one else like you. Each of our unique stories matter and have lessons that can help someone else. Your thoughts, ideas, dreams, and emotions are important, so is what you bring to any table. Do not shortchange yourself by believing you have nothing to offer. We all have something to give back to the world. You demonstrate power when you acknowledge that you are deserving of greatness.
Learn the Power of Self: Embrace your truths, the good, bad and painful. The experiences lived are fragments of a story but do not define who we will be or predetermine the journey's course. One of the most powerful gifts we can give ourselves is to allow being seen and heard. It isn’t necessary to take on anyone’s burdens or be who others expect you to be. Living in your authenticity is power in itself.
There is a lot of freedom in standing in the power of the true self. Understanding one’s individual power and how it can be used positively is life-changing. Guilt can be eliminated by reaching self-acceptance and realizing our value. I invite you to step into your power, relinquish the guilt, instead shine your light without fear of its rare brilliance.