Taken from The Power Issue of Achey Breaky Heart Zine, Rosie Ellis talks about taking control and regaining power back in your life.
I'm no expert but reaching my mid twenties (oh god!) I had a revelation. I couldn't bear the thought of entering my uphill journey to 30 years of age struggling with a bag full of old insecurities and doubts dragging behind me. It was time to take control. Which is exactly the problem, taking control. Those two words I can't seem to master. During times of stress or heartbreak in my life I am often left feeling vulnerable, exposed and weak. My inner 'mean girl' voice preys on my insecurities and as a result my day, week or even month becomes a constant people pleasing, submissive, suppressive and powerless battle I never end up winning, nor ever will. So as I blew out the candles on my twenty-fifth birthday cake I'd already decided to embark on a personal challenge; to live fully in my power as a woman.
A woman running a business. A woman in a relationship. A sister, daughter and a best friend. But also a woman who is trying to fall in love with her life, and also herself. I came to realise we live in disempowered states, where serving the needs and desires of everyone else around us is more important than making ourselves happy. Not only do women in today's world not understand what their power is but we seem to constantly stand in our own way of discovering it. We live our daily lives caring too much about what other people think, we use the word 'just' far too often; for example 'I'm just wondering if you got my email?' We take great discomfort with any self promotion and apologise unnecessarily for things we know we shouldn't. We constantly without even realising, compare ourselves to other women's achievements. I've always envied that woman who has a 'if you don't like it f**k off' attitude but resided to the fact that just wasn't 'me'. Then it hit me that was a prime example of me giving up and not believing in myself, once again losing power in my own life.
So I've complied five easy steps I've been trying my hardest to put into practice. Tear and share with friends, stick in your diary, on your desk or blue tac to your bedroom wall for that friendly reminder that you are one strong badass woman who can handle anything.
1. Stop Blaming.
By blaming, you diminish your sense of self. You give away your power to whatever or whoever it is you're blaming. Some things are completely out of our control and unfortunately that's life.
We just have to design ourselves to deal with the unexpected challenges by taking control of the situation and finding the positive.
2. Remember 'NO' Is a Full Sentence.
No explanation needed. Many of us have the people pleaser within us who wants to say 'yes' to everything but feeling like we're forced to say 'yes' to keep someone else happy only fills us with resentment long term. Someone once said to me 'say no so you can say yes' and I never really understood it. Now I completely get it, recognise the power of choice and remember you ALWAYS have a choice.
3. Practice Acceptance.
'If you can't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen up in here?' Yes you can Ru, every single day. This is a not so subtle reminder that self love is pretty much the answer to everything, it's where full power lies and the foundation upon which all other love blooms. Once we've sussed this out we'll be powering through left, right and centre. So once again, can I get an Amen up in here?
Past experiences can be hard to come to peace with. Especially if we've been hurt by the hands of someone we loved or feel someone was taken away from us too early and unfairly. Remember that you are not a victim. You are an empowered soul that has the ability to practice compassion and love on a constant daily basis and you will not let anything past or present compromise that. So remember forgiving isn't a sign of weakness it's a sign of inner strength.
5. And Finally...Do What Makes YOU Happy.
These days it's far too easy to compare ourselves to everyone else's achievements. Scrolling down our Instagram feed or Facebook timeline we can be hit with a sudden bolt of guilt and self loathing, asking ourselves if we've done enough. If you are doing something that makes you happy, whatever that may be then you have always done enough. What makes someone else happy doesn't necessarily mean it is going to make you happy. You never need to justify or apologise for the decisions you make. Remember what makes you happy IS always enough and realising that will be the biggest life achievement you'll ever achieve.
I'm definitely a power house work in progress and I think I and many others always will be, however it's about recognising those extreme times when we're slipping into a powerless state which leaves us feeling sad and unfulfilled. And if all else fails just remember as the great prophet Kanye West once said 'no one man should have all that power...til then, f*ck that the world's ours'. So I say, let's begin today in making our worlds all that more powerful and in return a whole lot happier.