Personal Empowerment: 7 Ways Women Give Away Their Power - Abby Locke

Personal Empowerment: 7 Ways Women Give Away Their Power

job-search-stressMany professional women do not empower themselves enough in the workplace and at home for the sake of a playing it safe and not causing a stir.  Often, the seed is planted when we are very young and quickly becomes part of our normal habit and behaviors that is takes far away from our authentic self.

When it comes to your personal and professional life, do you feel like a victim, trapped, unable to move forward? Worst of all, are you missing missing out on things in life that you long for?

Sometimes it’s subtle, sometime is very obvious, but there are several ways to tell if you are not empowering yourself.

How many of these behaviors are showing up in your life? Watching out for these and taking appropriate action can help you transform your life and become your best self.

1 – Saying yes when the answer needs to be no

Being assertive is not the same as being mean. It is empowering to say “no” because it gives you the choice and power to things that are right for you. Shifting this behavior allows you to stay focused and steadfast on the right path towards your personal and professional goals without distractions.

Practice saying no without any apology or excuse, and see how much more powerful and in control you will be.

2 – Being the ultimate “people pleaser”

Going out of your way to be impress or please everyone at your personal expense will leave you drained and unhappy. You can NEVER make everyone happy, and nor should you try. The role of people pleaser often starts as a child, when we want to be “good” and make everyone like us even if we are miserable ourselves.

Release yourself from the “people pleaser” label and identify where in your life you need practice better self-care and self-love. You will be in a better position, mentally and emotionally to help you can when you  worrying so much about what EVERYONE thinks about you.

3 – Allowing disrespect from some people

Whether this is happening to you in the home or the workplace, you have a right to not be the target of bad behavior. Never tolerate being yelled at, belittled or bullied ever.

Does it mean getting a new job, disconnecting from toxic relationships or finding a new group of positive friends and mentors? What can you change in those scenarios?

4 – Letting your contributions and input go unnoticed

Similar to being disrespected is the sense that you are being overlooked, while other people sing their own praises and try to impress everyone with their achievements. You don’t need to feel like you are bragging, but you should take credit where it is due.

5 – Not feeling loved or appreciated

This is particularly true of romantic relationships. Therapist Dr. Gary Chapman has written a very useful series of books called The 5 Love Languages. His model of successful human relationships is that there are five love languages, and if we “hear” the love language that is important to us, we will feel loved. If we don’t, we will struggle.

You can empower yourself by learning what your love languages are and then teaching them to your partner, and vice versa. In the workplace, it’s important to also understand your behavioral preferences and personality styles. For example, do you prefer to communicate in writing versus verbally or draw your energy from interaction with others?

Knowing yourself and being able to share that insight with others makes a huge difference with how “loved” you feel in your personal and professional life.

6 – Trying to do it all without asking for help

Friends, family, and colleagues all play a vital role in how successful we are in life. If you don’t feel supported, you need to ask for help and stop struggling in personal and professional life.

  • What do you need (resources, tools, systems, people) in your life to help you achieve your goals?
  • What needs to be present in your work environment (team, flexibility, new projects) that will help you become a top contributor?
  • Where are the gaps in terms of personal and professional resources that you need to succeed?

A lack of connection and proper communication leads to misunderstanding and strained relationships. Practice saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

7 – Having no firm goals or clear vision for your career and life

I remember coaching a professional woman who had advanced pretty quickly in her career, but had reached a crossroads and wanted to figure out next steps. What was interesting was that although, on paper, she had achieved a lot professionally, she couldn’t give herself credit for the career path.

She had allowed others (family, friends, partners) to determine her career journey and decide what jobs she should take…not a great strategy! Drifting in your life shows a lack of direction and self-care. Set goals, track your progress, and achieve your targets. Success will breed success.