When we don’t feel grounded in our personal power, it tends to affect the decisions we make about money. Our sense of personal power affects so many areas—our self-worth and self-esteem; as well as our self-confidence when we stand as individuals.
Many people become so identified with their primary tribe or community that they become intimidated when placed in situations where they must stand on their own. And when you’re afraid of standing on your own, you avoid being powerful when it comes to money.
When we’re presented with situations that depend on our individual confidence, sometimes we might be afraid that we wouldn’t be able to handle it. So many fears pile on–fear of really putting yourself out there; fear of not being perfect; fear of rejection. Sometimes it just seems easier to stay inside the crowd, more or less anonymous.
The problem is, no one else is going to show up for you. Everyone has fears, but if we have a solid sense of our own worthiness and self esteem, we can make mistakes and still stay grounded in the knowledge that we’re powerful.
Personal power is what supports us in times when our tribe, family or community isn’t as supportive (or can’t be as supportive). Instead of everything breaking down because you’re not getting everything you need from others, you can give what you need to yourself.
Powerlessness leads to bad decisions
When we feel powerless, we make poor decisions relating to money, such as:
Borrowing Power. Many years ago when I lacked confidence starting my first business, I hired a coach who told me that she had so many contacts that I would easily make over $150,000 my first year. I was completely swept away by her rhetoric and mistakenly thought that her faith could replace my own lack of faith in myself.
Missed Opportunities through Paralysis, Cloudy Thinking. One of my clients was nervous about putting herself “out there,” as an entrepreneur, but had never thought of it that way—she just felt like she was too busy in the identities of mother and wife to really make strides in her business. She never really thought about the tactical steps she should take (FB page, newsletter, etc.). Saying, “I am a business owner,” freaked her out. She wasn’t ready to own that.
Not Charging What You’re Worth/Settling For Less. This is a very common area of powerlessness. Entrepreneurs don’t feel “good enough” to charge what other people are charging, and employees end up settling for what they are offered instead of looking for or negotiating for what they want.
Obstacle Creation. “I can’t do X until Q happens.” I once had a client who wouldn’t start offering his services until his website was done (and missed countless opportunities). Another client refused to market test her baked goods with potential clients until she had perfected 10 different baked goods when 1-3 would have sufficed.
Attachment To Outcome (Perfection/The Perfect Plan). One client had the opportunity to start her own business, but was so focused on trying to get everything perfect in her mind before doing anything that she never started any of her ideas. Nothing ever goes the way you think it will, so you just have to experiment and test different theories.
Redefine power for yourself
Bottom line, your unique way is powerful enough all on its own to get you everything you want. You don’t need to change or fix yourself, but you might consider reframing power for yourself:
Power = adaptability, resilience, ease. Power does NOT equal dominance or aggression (think of Mother Teresa’s power). There is appropriate power, feminine power, masculine power…the point is, figure out how you can be more powerful AND more YOU.
Practice asking for what you want without apologizing for it. My mom was a master at this…she ALWAYS asked for exactly what she wanted, and never really factored in what other people thought of her. She usually got what she wanted most of the time.
Powerful decision criteria. Instead of making choices based on nerves or fear, consider answering this question: “Which option will empower me more?”
If it will empower you, force yourself to go in that direction. If you are making choices based on the knot of worry in your stomach, you stay stuck.
Power doesn’t mean that you “take over” your environment. So many people associate power with control. It’s not. Having your own sense of power makes you feel comfortable even when you’re NOT in control of your environment. This means being okay that the people in your environment currently might not be the ones who give you what you want.
Commit to Imperfection. Does anyone ever feel powerful all of time? Umm, no :o) But you can make stuff happen, get things done, still be a work in progress and be awesome. When I am feeling less powerful, I tell myself, “I am a warrior of imperfection” OR “So what??” (As in, “so what if I make a fool of myself?”).
Trending Power. Instead of focusing on what you didn’t do “right” in a given situation, focus on the trend: are you improving? Are you getting better? Is the thing that scared you today different from what scared you a month ago or a year ago? That’s progress.
The truth is you can’t wait to magically *feel* empowered enough to try new things… you try new things first and feel empowered as a result. When you keep growing your sense of power, you will continue to grow your money along with it.
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