Several weeks ago, I wrote the first part of this post (http://lisamerlobooth.com/10-ways-women-give-power-away-part/); here is part II and the remaining five ways women give their power away. These ten ways are some of the most common ways we give our power away; there are many other smaller ways. As a woman, I encourage you to keep your eyes on you and pay attention to how, why, when and with whom you tend to hold back, shrink, be reactive, please others at your own expense, control, over-do, etc. When we do these things, we are not showing up as our strongest and best selves.
6. Responding in the extremes: Men and women alike often respond to life’s struggles, upsets and difficulties by either over-shooting or under-shooting. Over-shooters yell, intimidate, bully, micromanage and/or attempt to control others. Under-shooters placate, over-accommodate, silence, withdraw and/or say yes when they mean no. Neither of these two extremes is powerful or effective in the long run. Avoid the extremes and find the middle. Step in with a Grounded Powerful Strength, which is steady, confident and strong. Avoid shrinking, blowing up or being manipulative.
7. Giving mixed messages: Saying one thing with your words and a completely different thing with your actions is meek, inauthentic and ineffective. If you’re unhappy about something, say so. Make sure your words and actions are in alignment. Be honest, direct and respectful with the messages you deliver and then stand by them every time. If you minimize what you’re saying by being wishy-washy, manipulative or mixed in what you speak, then others will take your lead and minimize what you’re saying as well. Own it; don’t dilute it.
8. Struggling with saying no: Part of your job is to take care of yourself. Self-care requires saying no to others. Saying no is not mean—it is an act of self-care. When you say yes, but mean no, you hurt yourself and the relationship in which you said that yes. Slow down, tune in and then have the strength to honestly answer yes or no—guilt free. If it’s a yes, then follow through the yes with a good spirit and without resentment, anger or a passive-aggressive energy. If it’s a no, then say so cleanly and feel good about your no.
9. Going along to get along: Going along with something that doesn’t feel okay to you is betraying yourself. Why would that be better than upsetting someone? It is not your job to make the world happy. The more you try to go along in order to avoid upsetting others, the more stagnant your growth will be. Growth often happens in the difficult discussions, harder issues and moments of disconnect. Trying to avoid those moments is doing you and others a disservice. Be compassionate, be respectful and be real. If it doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it.
10. Walking on eggshells: Cowering to another person’s anger, intimidation or mood will leave you cowering for a very long time. Your cowering teaches others that their anger works—a very dangerous lesson. The more you cower, the more you teach others that they can treat you any way they’d like. Stop cowering. Stand up, get grounded and have your back without squashing theirs. No one should ever be put in a position to have to walk on eggshells. Don’t put yourself in one.
You have been put on this earth to rise and fully step into your power. Start tuning in on a daily basis to the way you’re showing up in your relationships, career, life and our world. It’s time you step in as the equal you are.
Challenge: Look over the list above and get clarity about which behaviors you do. Notice with whom, when and under what conditions you struggle the most with these behaviors. Come up with a plan to work on one at a time and notice what you experience as a result.