FCTB025: How to Be Powerful

There’s been a lot of talk about power lately in my life. A few weeks ago, I was in an event with Courtney Sanders of Think and Grow Chick and a Facebook Live with Renee Lamb on Power Poses.

I decided that I should share with you, my followers, how to be powerful. As a prelude, I want to stress that I fully encourage purposefully and strategically creating our own opportunities and set ourselves to be successful. But these must be done within bounds – not resorting to manipulating or conniving with our relationships.  I also support emulating other people’s strategies towards success. But it must be applied through the foundation of authenticity to one’s self and treating lessons from coaches and mentors as reinforcement instead of a panacea to our challenges.

I have created a 7-point guide on the principles on what it takes to be powerful, together with some anecdotes that I discussed.

Know who you are. You’ll never be powerful living misaligned to who you truly are. Knowing who you are also entails that your thoughts and beliefs are congruent with your actions. Know what you stand for, believe in, and value; and what your purpose, gifts, and strengths are. Leading with your strengths and gifts allows you to operate in your power (1:13).

Have good character. Power with poor character is not sustained in the long term. We’ve seen big companies fail due to this. Always check your character at the door: be honest, never mislead people, following through on what you said you would, and look out for the best interest of the people. This way power is not bestowed through sheer authority but through respect (2:36).

Be authentic. You can’t be powerful if you’re adapting on some other personality. “Don’t be clever. Be authentic.” Cleverness evokes a sense of superficiality – which is not a powerful trait (3:59). Creating relationships without authenticity, operating on a scripted spiel and pitch wouldn’t win you followers or get you buyers – it will only create doubt and confusion. In opposite, you can gravitate towards a stranger who does not purposefully try to sell you something but is speaking authentically (5:08).

Suspend your own personal agenda. The most powerful people are the ones who are not pursuing a personal agenda but are instead helping and uplifting those around them. Powerful people don’t lead with personal agenda, and sometimes don’t even have one – choosing to reflect the agenda of the company/team they represent (9:20). And when they do, they don’t beat around the bush and just lay it on the table (15:27).

Control Yourself. Power is like energy – it cannot be created nor destroyed, but it can be transferred. Controlling people is an illusion, instead have the discipline to control yourself – your thoughts, emotions, words, and behavior. The thought that by controlling people, they are relinquishing their power to you is a misnomer – you can diminish other people’s power but it can never be taken away. Powerful people knows their power comes from themselves, not other people (16:05).

Be Present. You can’t be powerful if you’re not present. It’s hard to be powerful when you’re in your head thinking about what other people think about you. Sitting in self-pity, self-doubt, insecurity – will not make you powerful (18:45).

You own your results. Whatever circumstance you are in the present, own your results. Don’t blame it on time, money, the weather, or other people. Don’t give up too soon. Stay on something long enough to make it work (19:53).

Relevant Links:

Think & Grow Chick | Achievement tips for ambitious chicks

What 11 Highly Successful People Were Doing in Their 20s | Mic

Friday (1995 film) | IMDb

Power is perceived as this huge thing that outsiders see emanated by an individual, controlling others. The reality is it starts small, from within, and it entails a foundation based on truth, restraint, goodness, and accountability. These are what it takes to be powerful beyond belief.

I hope this episode allows you the true nature of power. If this is an area you are working on, I would like to hear your thoughts. Give me a shout-out on the comments section or email me at charlene@fromcaterpillarstobutterflies.com if there’s anything you want to share or would want to work with me.

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How To Be A Powerhouse

I recently attended The Powerhouse hosted by Courtney Sanders of Think and Grow Chick. I actually featured Courtney a few months back in 21 Black Women Coaches Who Can Help You Transform Your Life, Business, Family, and Spirituality. I love going to personal growth/self help live events. This was my first Think and Grow Chick event. As always, I like to recap and share what I’ve learned.

What is POWER?

Power is the ability to achieve purpose.

We’re powerful when we’re able to achieve our purpose. This was derived from a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. I couldn’t capture the complete quote and I can’t find it online. But this is the gist of it. We’re powerful when we’re purposeful. Wherever that purpose might be. It could be as a teacher, a mother, a manager or business executive. I think right now we’re definitely in an entrepreneurial culture. I get it. I’m entrepreneurially minded as you can tell. (Did I just make that word up?) For some people this can be a trap that diverts them from their purpose. Being an entrepreneur is the “sexy” thing. It’s glamorous. But it might not be your purpose and that’s okay. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with working for and with someone else. If it gives you purpose and passion and income – rock out!

What does it look like when someone is in purpose and power? It looks magnetic. It’s mesmerizing. That’s why we love entertainers. When Beyonce is in her element it is hypnotic. Right? I had a boss once who was totally in her element and bursting in power (in corporate America mind you. You can find your power anywhere). I could see it. I could feel it. It was tantalizing.  It was inspiring. And it’s the reason that I have to keep going with From Caterpillars to Butterflies. I want to glow in my purpose and power. I’m good at a lot of things. I can analyze the mess out of some facts and figures. But I would bet that no one is mesmerized by that.

Your purpose is your element. It’s the thing that makes you glow to other people. Courtney said it’s like when people tell a pregnant woman she’s glowing. You glow with power. You glow with purpose.

I always feel so honored when I have the opportunity to connect with people living in their power. It was an honor working side by side with my boss. I was literally in awe of her at times. It was an honor to work with Rosetta Thurman of HappyBlackWoman.com. I am in awe of her and I’m kicking myself for not attending her last event. I worked with Rosetta for six months and attended a few of her live events in the past. When you get around these types of people you just don’t want to leave. I’m going through withdrawal.

I am in awe of Courtney and it was an honor to spend last night with her.

Being powerful doesn’t mean being competitive.

One of the things Courtney attributes to her current success is collaboration. Being powerful doesn’t mean you have to separate yourself from everyone else. It doesn’t mean you have to be better than. You don’t have to go around trying to outdo everyone.

I’ve learned that there are some people who believe that power is like energy. They believe that it cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be transferred. These people go around and try to take other people’s power. That brings a sense of competitiveness. It’s you versus me. Dog eat dog.

True power isn’t competitive. Truly powerful women know that all the power they need is already inside of them. They just have to do the work to bring it out.

Decide what you’re going to give in exchange for your vision.

The truth is your vision will cost you something. I always say, “successful people make sacrifices.” They sacrifice time, money, vacations, sleep, etc. Your vision will ask something in exchange of you. What are you willing to give? You have to make that decision. If you’re thinking that you don’t have to give anything you’re not being a powerhouse. You’re not setting yourself up for success.

Focus on the things that you’re nurturing.

Photo Credit: www.thinkandgrowchick.com

You don’t have to go, go, go all the time. When Courtney first started to really focus and commit to her business she was in go, go, go mode. She followed people like Gary Vaynerchuk and Eric Thomas who subscribe to the philosophy of always “grinding”.  To Courtney that’s what it took to be successful. Until it started to impact other areas of her life. She was a newlywed but she was really married to her business. Her and her new husband started growing apart. The go, go, go methodology didn’t work for her. At least not if she wanted to stay married.

Courtney learned that the “burn the midnight oil” blueprint worked for Gary Vee and Eric Thomas. They’re men. Men get their power and pride from being providers. Most women don’t. If you stay focused on what you’re nurturing, what you’re birthing and not being busy for the stake of being busy you can stand in your power.

I’m totally a believer in living a balanced life. It doesn’t make sense for me to be really great in business and my relationships suck. Or my health is stop notch but my spirituality is nonexistent. Balance is an important part of power. You can’t be powerful if you’re depleted, unhealthy, out of sync or alignment spiritually or under financial distress.

Courtney shared an analogy using the game of chess. In chess, the Queen is the most valuable piece. Even more valuable than the King. The King can only move one space at a time, but the Queen can make unlimited moves during one play.

Sometimes we as women are trying to play like Kings instead of Queens. – Courtney Sanders

There’s distinct advantages to being a queen. There’s distinct advantages to being who we are. We have to nurture those advantages to be powerful women.

Ways we diminish our power:

We don’t understand our worth.

Courtney tells a story of how someone approached her for a business partnership. The arrangement included a revenue share. (Generally revenue shares mean that for every sale someone makes they will give the other partner a percent or fixed amount).  Courtney’s business partner wanted way too much of a percentage. Instead of saying so she sort of gave a soft agreement to her potential new partner during their meeting. She tried to think of how she could make it work. She really wanted to partner with this person. It was a great opportunity! But financially, it wasn’t a great deal.

It wasn’t until Courtney talked with her sister about it that she realized she was selling herself short. This person came to her. Obviously they thought she would be a valuable partner. Why was she doubting herself? Why was she trying to make it work?  She was at the mall with her sister at the time and she immediately stopped in a coffee shop to call the partner. She told them she spoke too soon. That revenue share would not work for her. She gave them a figure (that was 1/3 of their original ask) and they said, “Ok, no problem.” Viola!

We have to know our worth. All the time. Every relationship. Every opportunity. Everyday!

We’re not willing to make things fit our needs.

This kind of goes back to trying to do things the way the “experts” tell you. No matter what you have to identify your needs and make everything and everyone else fit your needs. Otherwise you’ll burn out. You’ll lose things that you wanted to keep. You’ll agree to things that don’t serve you. Being a powerful woman means making things fit on your terms.

We tend to be so agreeable and so flexible and so understanding that we neglect ourselves.  I dated a guy who I never saw. We live right here in the same city. But he had kids and he had to work. Blah, blah, blah. His needs were being met because he had a girlfriend he didn’t have to give much attention to. He didn’t have to put in a ton of effort. My needs weren’t being met yet I kept patiently waiting with empathy and understanding for him to give me what I needed from a relationship. I wasn’t being a powerhouse. I was being a double dutch girl. A get in where you fit in girl.

Now I know better.

We lack consistency.

Despite what anyone says your power is tied to your ability to work towards your goals day in and day out. That’s why I despise the way the term “manifest” is often used. It is sometimes used to imply that you don’t have to do anything. Yet you do! And you have to do it over and over until. Courtney says that the process is success. Not the destination. Not the results. You are successful when you can have the discipline and consistency to go after what you want….until. Your power is in the process. Your power is in your consistency.

“How long should you try? Until.” – Jim Rohn

Things to keep in mind:

Be careful of other people’s blueprint. Just because a blueprint worked for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. Learn from other people, but adjust for you.

Don’t wait for the world to validate you. It won’t. No one is going to validate you, but oh how we wait for it. We crave that feedback from other people that what we’re doing and saying is good enough. Being powerful is moving in the direction of your own purpose. So what if no one validates you? So what if no one sees your vision? It’s your vision! You don’t get discouraged because no one can hear your thoughts. You keeping on thinking anyway right? Don’t worry if no one can see your vision. It’s unique to you.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve always imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

Thinking your fears are more important than the work you are meant to do is egotistical. Do you got a big ego? Your Fears <<<<<< Your Purpose

If God needs work to be done that He has assigned to you and you don’t do it He will give it to someone else. Don’t make Him do that!

You can fire your feelings. We get to choose our feelings. We don’t have to let them run our lives. If your feelings are holding you back from your power – FIRE THEM!

Recommended Reading:

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Related Articles:

Tony Robbins’ How to Unleash the Power Within

Jack Canfield’s Getting to Great in One Day

Mary Morrissey’s DreamBuilder

Tony Gaskins Jr.’s Live A Balanced Life