I’m revisiting a couple of my favorite blog posts as I work on a few new projects I have in the pipeline. This week, the subtle ways you may be giving away your power without realizing it.
It has been suggested that women speak on average 13,000 more words per day than men. We definitely like to talk and we also understand the power of words.
We know words can hurt or they can heal. They can restrict us or set us free. The unmistakable power of words is in their ability to transform us. But what happens when those words do more harm than good.
I talk a lot about women standing fully in our power, of not allowing others to control how you choose to show up in the world.
But there are three ways you may be giving away your power without even realizing it.
The words you swallow
These are the words you never share, the truths you never speak because you are afraid of how someone else may respond.
You feel the nudge inside you telling you to speak up. But you’re afraid of being labeled as too much, or the loud one, or the bitch so you swallow your words. You silence yourself to ease someone else’s discomfort.
Fear of another person’s judgment supersedes your instinct to know what’s right for you. This causes you to lose touch with your inner wisdom and you stop trusting yourself.
You begin to believe that other people know better than you do and you look outside of yourself for the answers that are already in you.
The words you speak
In her book, Playing Big, author Tara Mohr points out the many ways women are prone to diminishing themselves through the words they use.
She notes the frequency with which women use words such as “just”, “actually”, “sorry, but…”, and then there is my favorite “does that make sense” (I’m guilty of using this one far too much).
The subconscious quest to be liked above all else results in you using words that lessen the impact of what you have to say. On the surface, these words don’t seem so bad but the truth is when you use these words, you inadvertently diminish yourself, giving away your power.
If you’re like a lot of women, you are prone to saying things about yourself you would never say about anyone else. In fact, if someone said those same things to your best friend you would be more than willing to fight them over it.
Yet you are unable to extend the same level of kindness to yourself. You make the mistake of believing that the words you whisper to yourself in the dark don’t matter.
You believe since it’s “only to you” then you aren’t hurting anybody. But the fact is with every unkind word spoken you are harming yourself.
This is the kind of harm that leads to you shutting down, retreating and never fully showing up. It’s the kind of harm that causes regret later in life because you never really lived the glorious life you were given.
The words you censor
It is well documented that success and likeability are inversely correlated for women. A woman can either be liked OR she can be successful but she cannot be both.
You probably didn’t need a researcher to tell you that; you know it instinctively. As a woman, you are socially conditioned to smile, be polite and never say anything that can be perceived as mean or aggressive.
This need to be liked is ingrained from childhood. As a result, you censor your words to make sure you come across likeable and non-threatening (often without knowing that’s what you’re doing).
The problem is spinning your words to convey something that is not completely true causes you to lose integrity with yourself. This loss of integrity robs you of your power and gives that power to those faceless others who may or may not like you.
Every word spoken and every word not spoken plants a seed in your heart that will either produce something life-giving or something life-crushing.
Commit today to using the power of your words to produce life.
Here’s to you rising into our greatness.
From my heart to yours,
If you sense that you have fallen into one or more of the patterns discussed here and you’re ready to reclaim the power you’ve been giving away let’s talk. Schedule a complimentary call with me where we can discover what it could look like to use your words to empower you.