You’re probably thinking to yourself, “What can Laura possibly say about women in power that I haven’t already heard before?” Been there, done that, right?

But, here’s the thing: we need another blog post by another coach on the sometimes-passé topic, and I’ll tell you why. So much of our society sets us up to avoid the conversation altogether. This is a sneaky, little tactic put into place by and convenient for people who already possess a surplus of power themselves because it ensures they won’t be challenged — plain and simple. If your wheels are starting to turn with a surprised, “Huh! Look at that.” It doesn’t stop there. Do I have a few breakthroughs that’ll blow your mind, or what? Let’s first start with this: how do said people enforce this tactic?

Answer: by villainizing power. Historically, power has been given a dirty connotation. Think about it: what comes to mind when you let yourself sit with phrases like “power hungry” and “greedy” for a spell? I’m guessing you don’t conjure a mental photo of Mother Theresa or Mr. Rogers, or an image to which you’d like to align your own reputation for that matter.

Power isn’t so one-dimensional, though.

In fact, there are multiple facets to power, and it’s a resource that can be wielded in so many cool, badass ways. To understand the inner workings of power can take many individuals their entire life to understand (which is why an information-loving, bookworm like myself lives and breathes the stuff). But, that’s also part of the reason that power has such a bad rap. Because lots of people understand the potential that power possesses, but are using it in unethical ways.

The truth is that power is many things. Power is clout (a.k.a — the ability to influence others in meaningful, lasting ways). Power is structure (reflect on how our institutions are designed and who benefits from them). Power is energy (electricity being the easiest metaphor, and the one many people visually latch onto). Finally, power is also a feeling (empowerment, long-term happiness, success, joy, you name it). Many people — who have walls filled with fancy degrees and who attended prestigious one-syllable universities — have spent an entire lifetime studying the impact of the first two aspects (clout and structure), but we, as a collective, haven’t spent much time studying and dissecting the latter two (energy and feeling).

At the end of the day, clout and structure can be placed into the macro-level manifestations of power category, but energy and empowerment are those that we experience on the micro (or ground) level. Want my second mind-blowing breakthrough of the day? All four influence each other.

So, how then can we make that change seem possible?

Don’t get me wrong — I’m a radical. I want to ignite palpable, big-time, macro-level change just like the rest of them. And, I wholeheartedly believe that we can redesign our society to be anti-oppression — to disassemble systems and institutions and beliefs that leave so many individuals powerless. 

But, I also think that in order to invite that level of change into our society, we have a responsibility to start at level zero — the micro — to help individuals reclaim their power on a personal level, see the impact that it has, and start using the macro-level manifestations of power more ethically. Think about it this way: If we have good people with more power, power no longer needs to be a scarce resource or one that is only wielded by an elite few.

And, how can we use our power to liberate others?

On a micro level, reclaiming one’s power looks like a lot of different things. If you’re still curious, here are a few ways I’ve seen micro-level power show up for both my clients and myself:

  1. Declaring your desired impact on the world.

  2. Creating or adjusting your work role to feed into your strengths.

  3. Standing up for yourself in the workplace.

  4. Stepping into a new, truer and more genuine level of confidence.

  5. Actively setting personal boundaries with toxic family members or friends or even yourself.

  6. Breaking the cycle of burnout and creating structures that honor your body and mind.

  7. Creating a sanctuary of a home that fuels you, and prioritizing your own needs above all else.

  8. Learning to take radical responsibility for your results, and to chase the things you want, not just the things you think you’re capable of.

  9. Mastering communication. (When you do this, your absolute personal clarity will shine through, whether it takes shape as leaving that job you’ve been fed up with for years, or not taking other people’s feedback or opinions to heart. Knowing how you interact with the world is an unbeatable force.)

So, here we are. At the end of yet another talk about women in power. But hopefully, if you’ve made it this far, you now understand that a woman in her personal power is self-contained, but also infinitely capable.

If you’re looking for ways to invite that micro-level of power into your world now in order to create a macro-level ripple effect, don’t forget to snag your copy of my proprietary Power Up Process. It’s chalk-full of all sorts of activities and to-dos in order to unleash your inner power on a micro level. And, it’s damn good, if I do say so myself.

Ready to kick down the doors of antiquated systems and change this world for the better? Good, me too! Let’s talk about how we can first get radical about igniting the power you currently possess, and then let that ripple into the ways of the world.

Remember, you got this! I’m championing you all the way.