This morning, I was on a content planning call with the 99 Walks’ team and this question came up: what does it mean to “step into your own power?” Wow, what a good question. Though this list is certainly not complete, stepping into your own power includes:
Get over the imposter syndrome. So many of us feel like we don’t deserve our accomplishments or fear that if people really, truly knew us -- if people found out the “truth” -- they would know we aren’t deserving. We just have to get over it. Whatever you’ve accomplished in your life -- the home you’ve created, the children you are raising, the degrees you’ve earned, the 5K you ran, the sparkle you’ve shared, the business you’ve built, the money you’ve earned -- you’ve done and accomplished all of that. Own it.
Stop saying I’m sorry. Women still apologize all the friggin’ time. Someone bumps into you at the grocery store? You apologize. You are late for a meeting because there was an accident on the highway? You apologize. You want to interject something into a conversation? You apologize. Guess what? You can do all of these things in a polite way without apologizing. Late for a meeting? How about “thank you for your patience, there was an accident on the highway.” Have something to offer in a meeting? Just skip the “I’m sorry.” Someone bumps into you in the grocery store? Simply offer a smile.
Learn that “No” is a complete sentence. Years ago, I was attending a conference where a speaker told the assembled group of women that “no is a complete sentence.” And she’s right. Your time, your life. You get to decide how to live it. When you say “yes” to something that doesn’t align with your goals, your time and your priorities, you are giving away the most valuable assets you have and the only ones you can never get back: your time, attention and energy. Save them for the things that matter most to you and say no to everything else.
Stop saying “I’m no good at…” If I had a nickel for every time a talented, awesome woman has told me “I’m not good at . . .” I could take us all out for coffee. Stop belittling your talents, abilities and skills. Stop the negative self-talk and stop putting yourself down. Seriously, just stop. If there are skills you need to improve to accomplish your goal, just get to work on them.
Own your dreams. No matter how big, how small or how crazy, own them. Don’t apologize for them. Don’t make excuses for not chasing them. Don’t shove them down because you think there is someone in your life who won’t approve of them. If it is truly your dream, go get it.