‘I don’t give away my power.’ This is a common response that clients I work with exclaim until I start helping them identify all the ways they indeed give away their power I then have to help them pick their jaw up off the floor. Usually this is followed by sadness and grief at how they away their power without meaning to or even knowing they are doing it!
Women have been conditioned to be nice, to behave, to not ruffle feathers, to be invisible unless needed for something. The conditioning is so strong that you may not even notice when you’re giving away your power while simultaneously decreasing your confidence. All of this causes you to give away your power and often settle for less than you want and deserve.
Top 5 Ways You Give Away Your Power
1. You don’t prioritize yourself and your needs.
You’re probably not often aware about how you’re doing on the inside. Your emotional world and how you’re feeling. Your mental state and what thoughts are running through your mind. Your physical state and how your body is feeling or what it needs. Your spiritual space and how you are connecting more deeply with yourself and your source. You prioritize your work, your home, others, but not often YOU.
2. You’re scared of people being mad at you. Almost every time I challenge a client on why they’re not speaking up or advocating for themselves or asking for what they need, the response is commonly, “well, it might upset/anger” the other person. You’re often scared of saying your peace for fear of not being liked or someone being upset with you. You often deny your own needs because of this fear.
3. You set too high an expectation of yourself. You ask too much of yourself and your body. You put too much on your to-do list. You over commit. You overpack your calendar. You are way at the bottom of the list or somewhere close to it. Insert sad face emoji here. Having realistic expectations will help you feel more successful in the end.
4. You put yourself down and don’t acknowledge your accomplishments.
You throw little (or not so little) digs at yourself for not meeting a goal, making a mistake, or struggling in some way. You minimize or dismiss your accomplishments and instead focus on what you do wrong.
5. You live in your head most of your day and get stuck in mental loops more often than you care to admit. You feel burned out with all of the thinking you do and feel frustrated by staying in thinking loops. You’re constantly thinking and feeling stuck, unable to get out of the hamster wheel in your head. You are not often connected to your body, your feelings, nor do you spend much time in your creative brain practicing expression.
Do you see yourself here? Are you shocked that you do? Or is it of no surprise?
If you see yourself here, it’s ok. Being aware of the ways you give away your power and decrease your confidence is essential so that you can course-correct and change the behavior pattern. Self-awareness is a superpower!
5 Ways to Hold on to Your Power:
1. Stop neglecting yourself and start prioritizing yourself, your needs, your desires, your wants. No one is going to do this for you so being a WILD powerful woman means that you wake up to your life and take responsibility for it. Prioritizing you will help you feel more energized, less stressed, and more empowered overall. Exercise self-nourishment instead of self-neglect.
2. Accept that sometimes people are going to be upset or disappointed with you for putting your needs first. I wish it wasn’t like that but it’s part of the process of learning to care for yourself. Don’t be afraid to disappoint others. Be more afraid of disappointing yourself and the consequences that may come with that. Loving yourself fiercely means prioritizing you and your needs.
3. Set realistic expectations for yourself. When you are setting up a to-do list, developing goals, or arranging your calendar, check in with your body and how it feels. If it feels manageable, if it doesn’t send your body in a tizzy of panic then keep it on the list. But, if any part of your body has a pang of negative response, then think about whether this item is realistic and actively find a way that feels more manageable and digestible to you. Overpacking your schedule, asking more of yourself than is realistic will increase stress, keep you feeling powerless, and decrease your confidence.
4. Practice self-kindness and track your successes. If you fail, if you make a mistake, if you struggle…no matter what is happening, respond to yourself the way you would a good friend. Be compassionate and patient. Offer yourself grace. Be kind. Along with that, start tracking all the ways you rock your WILD life all day long. Maybe you moved through a difficult challenge. Maybe you completed something. Maybe you didn’t wring anybody’s neck out today. Whatever it is, celebrate YOU and all the awesome things you do every day.
5. Get out of your head! For goodness’s sake, stop living in your head. The left brain is awesome in its own right and has its own set of superpowers. But it is limited in what it can do and therefore limits us in how far we can go. Feeling your body, your feelings, sensations and practicing creative expression is vital to feeling energized, empowered, and confident in your own skin.
WILD Woman Art tip: Before and After
Pastels or Chalk
1. Fold paper in half.
2. On the left side, express the image or sensation that surfaces when you think of the ways you give away your power; how it makes you feel, how it impacts you.
3. On the right side, express the image or sensation that surfaces when you think of holding on to your power and feeling confident.
Journal prompt: What does it feel like to give away my power? How do I want it to be different?
Reflecting on these images and how one way of living feels vs the other, you will become more connected with what you want for yourself, why it’s important to hold on to your power, and keep you focused on owning your confidence. The image itself will serve as a guiding post to where you want to go.
Remember that living a WILD Woman Life means taking responsibility for your life. and that doing so is one of your main sources of power that can help you drive your life wherever you want to go!
Myriam Martinez is a Women's Mental Wellbeing Coach, Creativity Mentor, Art Therapist, and stick figure artist based out of Northern California. She gently guides women to connect to their WILD while helping them connect to their creative power and prioritizing their mental wellbeing. Her calling in this life is to teach women the power and importance of putting themselves first, loving themselves fiercely, and tapping into their creativity in order to bring more happiness, success, and ease into their lives.
To learn more about Myriam click here: https://www.myriammartinezcoaching.com/