by Shirani M. Pathak, LCSW
One of my passions in life is to help empower women. As women, we can sometimes have a tendency to give away our power, and then our sense of self-worth relies on other people. It relies on our parents, our partners, our children, our bosses, our friends, our hair dresser, and the list can go on and on.
We then start to wonder why it is that every relationship we are in fails? And when I say “relationship,” I don’t just mean romantic relationship. I mean the relationships we have with everyone around us, every person we come into contact with on a regular basis (i.e. our parents, our partners, our children, our bosses, our friends, etc. 😉 ).
We start to think: Why did that one guy never call me back when he said he was into me? Why do my children take me for granted? Why does my boss always pick on me? Why can’t my mother ever be happy with my decisions?
The answer lies in the first paragraph: You have given your power away to all of those other people in your life!
Now you must be thinking: What? That can’t be me! I am an intelligent, strong, confident, independent woman! I don’t give my power away, I have my power…
But then again, do you…?
If you often rely on what others have to say about you, and the way you feel about yourself is dependent on what others think, say, or do, you have likely given your power away—at least some of it anyway.
If someone makes a harsh comment about you and you feel it at your core, you have likely given your power away.
If someone throws a funny look in your direction and you start to question what you could have done to that person, you have likely given your power away.
If you find yourself in a perpetual cycle of going on many dates but none of them ever pan out and you often wonder why, you have likely have given your power away.
If you expect your children to always thank you for all the things that you do for them and you wonder why they don’t do it as often as you would like, you have likely given your power away.
You can be an intelligent, strong, confident, independent woman on the outside, but at your core, you may still struggle with your sense of self-worth. It is strengthening that sense of self-worth from within yourself that will help you to take your power back.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live a life in which you weren’t constantly questioning the way others think about you or look at you? Wouldn’t it be nice if the next time a guy you went on a few dates with disappears, rather than wondering what it is about you, you think, “Oh, well, his loss,” and you TRULY believe it? Wouldn’t it be nice to live a life in which you could do things for others without feeling walked all over? How nice would that feel? What a great weight would be lifted off of you and you could go about your day to day life not worrying about the opinion others.
Now, I have to mention, there might be only certain areas in which you give your power away. There might be areas in which your confidence cannot be shaken no matter what. If that’s the case, that’s great!
Either way, it might be helpful to start looking at and noticing patterns. Perhaps you are a kick ass power woman at work, but your dating life always leaves you feeling down. Or perhaps you are a great mom to two of your children, but your third child drives you nuts. That’s okay. We are human, there will always be areas for us to work on, and we will never be perfect. But, we can still strive to take back our power in situations we give it away so that we can feel empowered as women.
If you find that you might sometimes give your power away, try some of these empowerment techniques:
- Every morning when you wake up, look at yourself in the mirror and say out loud: “I love you.”
- Make a list of at least 5 qualities about yourself that make you great (5 is just the minimum. Keep adding to that list as you think of more qualities you possess).
- Repeat that list to yourself daily.
- If you don’t feel like doing something, don’t! (This is helpful especially if you find yourself saying “Yes” to things when you would rather say “No.)
Recognize that you are worth it. You are an intelligent, strong, confident, independent woman, and in order to be all powerful, you need to rely on that which is within you.
Now, go out there and take back your power!
*Note: Photo used under Creative Commons from International Information Program (IIP)
Shirani M. Pathak, LCSW is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Relationship Expert for Women in San Jose, CA. Her goals are to help women with all relationships: with partners, with family, with children, with friends and to help empower women to create and live the lives they deserve.