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So You Think You Want Power?

What is the one thing that everyone really wants, but most people say they don’t want it?
 
What is the force that seems to be externally controlled, but it is really internal?


Power

I know. It is complicated.  
 
Let me make the distinction between being “in your power” and being “in power.”  Many people tell me they don’t want power in the way that oppresses other people. Instead, they want to be “in their power.”  
 
Why have I been talking about “power” recently? 
 
So many of us feel disempowered, and we’re ready to be done with it! We can’t seem to get ourselves to the results we want in our lives, and we are challenged by getting other people to change, for us to get the things we want.  
 
But when you are in your power, you are unstoppable. And not only that, you raise everyone around you. 
 
I think that the more power you hold in your body, the more you can make the impact you’ve been born for. 
 
I think the more power you hold in your body, the less chance you will be sick. 
 
I think the more power you hold in your body, the more influence you have. 
 
However, from training and coaching over 25,000 of you, what I see is that we leak our power.
 
We leak our power when we focus on what we can’t control. All of our attention gets squandered trying to get people to change, perhaps even beyond their individual capacities. Or, we get caught up reinforcing the ways we feel like a victim. 
 
We also give our power away.  We give our power away when we involve other people in determining our value.  
 
When we react, our power gets hijacked.  Our power goes around and around in an emotional loop. It is unavailable as a life force. It can not help us get results or grow. 
 
As you can see,  the more power you hold in your body the more you can make the impact you’ve been born for. 
 
The more you can stay in your center, the less other’s perceptions of you will matter. 
 
The less you react, the more your life force goes to moving your life forward. 
 
You want to be ‘in your power’! 
 
I’m writing a TEDtalk and my next book on this topic – how to stay in your power, how to get back in your power. 
 
And it would mean so much to me if I could get your input and learn about your experiences with this idea (so I can then teach you what I learn…)  
 
So here’s my ‘ethical bribe’ – You can join me on a complimentary coaching call tomorrow if you bring your A-game thoughtfulness and fill out this confidential survey on ‘being in your power’ here. On the call, you can ask me anything about how to be in your power! Or listen to how I coach others.
 
Thank you! I look forward to having you on the call (or sending you the recording if you can’t make it but want to email me your question). I am so excited to hear from you. 
 
Here’s the link to the confidential survey again. 
 
 

How To Get Back your Power

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like someone was devaluing you, excluding you, or not giving you what you’ve asked for?

Your mind is in a swirl, you can’t stop thinking about it. You burn inside feeling bad about yourself, and livid at the other person.

When you feel powerless and are consumed inside of you, you LEAK your power.

I recently had a client, Tina, who was experiencing this. A senior male member of her group spread rumors to push her out, and diminish her financial draw. The two junior male members stood by without saying anything.  She felt disrespected, and worried she had done something wrong.

When she first called me, she was extremely upset. Her body was on fire with stomach upset and sleepless nights.  She didn’t know what to do – she ‘gritted’ her way through, but it was a heavy lift to get back to who she wanted to be.   

We immediately started to turn the tide. Within 1 hour she was back in her power. And within 60 days she had turned the whole situation around:

Now, she has been chosen by all three of the male partners as the “Partner in Charge” of the group. Each of them treats her with respect. She is now paid equally to them. She’s brought in business they were never able to, which benefits everyone. Most important, she says: “Its shocking to me how in my power I feel.

( Notice that when a woman is in her power she raises herself and everyone around her!)

Are you experiencing a situation in which you’ve been kicked out of your power? Is it interfering with your work? Or are you bringing it home into your personal relationships?

You don’t have to suffer like this. You take back your power when you see how many options you have in a situation, even when it feels like there are none. You too can raise yourself and everyone in the situation.

If you are in a situation where you are leaking your power, let’s plug the leaks through a complementary “Take Back your Power” consultation.

Click here to find a time for us to talk it through. I know these situations can feel raw so I opened up time for us to talk THIS week. You will feel SO much better and make a difference for everyone in situation.

I’m here to tell you that no matter how disempowered you feel, You ALWAYS have options.And I’ve spelled out some of the ways I helped Tina find her power.  You can read about the 7 ways Tina took back her power

 7 Ways to be in Your Power​

1) Find the Source of Ultimate Power in the situation
Though he had ‘power’ in the moment because of rumors he was spreading, she had the ULTIMATE power because of her ‘feminine’ approach to business: She had such good relationships with clients that they would stick with and trust her. Also, though inconvenient and costly, she had the ULTIMATE ability to recreate a client base somewhere else because of her talents. 

2) The Power of Intention
She identified who SHE wanted to show up as in this situation. I gave her the tools to show up as that confident, poised leader she wanted to be, instead of feeling like a victim.  She brought THIS energy into each interaction with her partners and THEY immediately REACTED to her differently.  (ever notice how that happens?

3) The Power of Perspective:
She stopped taking his rumors personally by understanding the real reasons he was initiating this campaign against her, which had everything to do with his insecurities and less about hers.  Then it stopped being a shame bath and became instead an issue of managing a difficult person.   

4) The Power of Facts
She reviewed their contractual agreements and found that she was being paid less than she should have. We scripted a meeting in which she persuasively presented the facts of their agreement, and he agreed to adjust the earnings to an even split!  (you go, girl!)   

 5) The Power of Influence
To prevent damage from the rumors and shore up future opportunities, she reached out and brought value to key senior stakeholders.  From this relationship building she started to get bigger and high visibility clients and opportunities.  Sourcing these deals enabled her to reinforce her ‘power’ within her group and validated her relationship building approach.   

Additionally, she had authentic conversations with the group’s junior partners in which she asked for their input, and  showed how they could benefit from her approach to the business.  They grew their respect for her and then voted for her as the leader they wanted for the group.      

 6) The Power of Unwavering Confidence
Though acting more confident, there were still times when her inner voice of doubt got activated and she would relive that feeling of fear and shame. (When you can still get emotionally ‘hijacked’, you can’t consistently your power.)

We did the “Magic Bullet” exercise that I developed from my 10 years of research at Harvard Medical School.  This exercise eliminated her inner doubt and self criticism forever (As she said “Its beyond my imagination and amazing how free and confident I feel.”) Now anything the Partners say that used to ‘get her goat’ just roll ‘like water off a duck’s back’!      

7) The Power of Vision
Because of her inspiring vision and her intention to expand the group with diverse talent, the group is attracting other people in the firm to be a part of their success story. She’s uplifting everyone.  

These are some examples of where she could find her power.  But there are many more ways YOU can find YOUR power. 

To you in your Power,
Sharon

Do you want self promotion to feel more authentic?

This week I got a call from a leader at one of the big airlines that I fly on regularly.  I wanted to talk with her about making sure I don’t fly on one of the aircraft that’s been having software troubles(!) but what she called to talk about is: “I’ve had all these accomplishments but I was given feedback that senior leaders don’t know who I am…So I’m stagnating.”

While speaking at Conferences for the past few weeks, during women’s history month, I’ve been on a listening tour…

What’s one of the themes I’ve heard from women – whether you are trying to get to the next level, interviewing for next role, or just wanting to be effective at networking events?  The bane of your existence (other than email and meetings!) is having to promote yourself.

What comes to mind when you think you need to ‘self promote’ more, do you think:

  • It’s easier to praise other people than myself…
  • I was taught not to be ‘too big for my britches’…
  • It feels icky to be someone who is ‘braggart’…
  • I don’t feel worthy of bragging…
  • I don’t feel comfortable with the attention on me…

You know that you must promote yourself in order to get next level opportunities, be hired, get clients, etc. but it probably feels like something you ‘should’ do, not something you want to do or feel capable of.

How can you get more comfortable with self promotion? Try these 5 Mindset Shifts to help you:

Mindset Shift #1I don’t want to ‘brag’; no one likes someone who is full of themselves

Let me ask you:  ‘what is the difference you want to make in the world’?…

Who do you want to help? And how do you want to help them through your work? (maybe its your patients, your clients, or your community or family members you can help by being a successful role model).

Self promotion is not about ‘bragging’. It’s about “briefing”.

It is about helping senior leaders, or your manager, or prospects know what you can do or how you could help them, so they can help you achieve your mission. Self promotion thus becomes ‘helping them to help you’ fulfill your purpose and mission.

Mindset Shift #2: I don’t want to draw attention to myself – in my culture we are taught humility 

Shift from putting attention on ‘you’, to bringing attention to the contribution you can make to others.

It’s not about talking about how great you are. It’s talking about what you can do for your manager, for the organization, or for your prospects.

This is especially helpful in overcoming the gender biased social judgement that can accrue when you, as a women, are talking about yourself and your own contributions. It is also a helpful negotiation strategy when you are asking for more resources or salary.

Mindset Shift #3I doubt myself; what if I’m not really that great and other people don’t find me worthy of ‘bragging’ about myself?

It’s important to be ‘objective’.

If you are unsure that your accomplishments will help others, then seek out information. Ask for feedback and pay attention to the feedback you’ve been given.  Look at benchmarks for success in your role

 (You might not have received candid feedback because we know that ‘lack of candid feedback’ is a common bias for all women and especially women of color, and that men are given more feedback about their effectiveness toward business outcomes while women are given more feedback about their ‘communication style’).

And remember, ‘self promotion’ is not about whether you are ‘good enough’ or whether other people will be impressed by you.

It’s about letting them know what you can do for them.

Mindset Shift #4: I don’t have opportunities to self promote

When it comes to opportunities to promote yourself, don’t wait – create!  Yes its good to be prepared with an ‘elevator pitch’ when you run into a senior leader in the hallway, but you also want to be proactive and create those opportunities to connect.

Who are the stakeholders that can weigh in on your promotion?  Who could introduce you to influencers in your community?  Have a plan to proactively reach out to them.  Find out more about what they are up to and how you can help them.  Share with them what you are doing and how it could be applied to them.

Mindset Shift #5:  It’s icky to have to convince people of what I can do

I agree! If you feel like you are having to convince it means you’ve already lost your power in the situation.  It creates an energy that feels ‘forced’.

Sometimes when you feel insecure, you talk about what you’ve done to convince yourself you are worthy.  Sometimes you tell others how great you are in order to convince others to think well of you.  But both of those situations are about regulating your own self esteem, they are not helping the other person to know what you can do for them.

Its important to share what you’ve done in order to build credibility, but credibility comes from credentials plus connection.  Its not about lording over other people what you’ve done (that disconnects).  Its about sharing your experience (results, certifications) in the context of letting people know what you can do for them.

And if you get the sense you are having to convince people, change your energy.  Have more of a sense of enjoyment about what you’ve accomplished and be passionate about how you could bring that value to help the person you’re talking to or someone they could introduce you to.

What’s your experience with Self Promotion (rewarding or challenging?) Share below or reach out at sharon@sharonmelnick.com (I’m writing an article on this so I’d love to hear from you)!

How to Love Yourself the Right Way on Valentine’s Day

As a break from all the Valentine’s Day commercials, did you ever stop to think that how you love yourself is determining the quality of the love you have with other people?

The relationship you make with yourself is the longest relationship you’ll have in your whole life.

It’s the relationship that will carry you through the ups and the downs, the easy and the hard times.

Where does that self love relationship come from?

Even though as a child you are a pure spirit, You come to know yourself through the eyes of important people in your life – you come to see yourself how your parents, siblings, early teachers see you. You are motivated to please and perform for them – when they attend to you, love you, and praise you, its your way of getting needed “Emotional Oxygen” from them.

You are also hardwired to not disappoint or defy them, unless you want the fear of being rejected, ‘cast out from the tribe’, or harmed.

In this way, as children we develop adaptive strategies to Get Love or Prevent Loss of Love.

You will keep doing these strategies until you are able to (mostly) replace them with a foundation of self love.

For many of us, we are still using the strategies we learned to Get Love or Prevent the Loss of Love – sometimes these are the only ways we know to feel loved.

What are examples of how you might try to Get Love?

  • Be angry and accuse other people of not giving you what you need (as if they are doing it on purpose) instead of recognizing that they are truly limited
  • Not speak up with your Truth in the relationship in order to prevent the person from rejecting or abandoning you
  • Turn yourself into a pretzel to try to get people to like you (say yes when you want to say no and then resent them for it)
  • ‘Micro -track’ your partner’s (or boss’s) every behavior in order to monitor whether they are valuing your or not (and resent them if they are not meeting your demands)
  • Put way too much effort in order to not disappoint other’s expectations (that they may not even have of you in the first place)

You can see that these strategies try to control other people to get their love, or prevent the loss of their love. When two people in a relationship are each trying to ‘get love’ from each other, it’s a relationship based on mutual need and not true love. It only leads to misery.

But you are more in control of having the quality of love you want. Here’s the shift you can make today:

Instead of trying to Get Love… Be Love.

Light up each room you walk into. Catch them doing right and tell them. Linger on what you are grateful for.

Instead of trying to Get Love… Allow Love.

Receive the love that people in your life may be trying to give you, even if its not yet the specific way you hoped for. Stop trying to control them and allow in the way they can love you now.

Instead of trying to Get Love… Feel Loveable.

Because that you CAN control. You can feel loveable 24/7. Start with something simple: What’s your favorite part of your personality? or your favorite body part? Focus on it, why do you love it so much (share this with your best friend). Find joy in it.

Instead of trying to Get Love… Sense love. Hold your loved one’s hand and feel it with every tentacle in your fingers. Savor that Valentine chocolate and let it melt in your mouth.

Instead of trying to Get Love…Give love

Don’t give to get. Just give. Just be a person who gives your best, and trust you will get.

But be discerning, and see the situation for what it IS. Give to people who are capable of giving love back to you.

(Most of the time you drain your energy into a never ending pit when you HOPE that the person you are trying to ‘get love’ from will quickly become more evolved than they actually are so they can give you the love you want instead of frustrating you.)

Give to someone less fortunate than you. (it’s an anti-dote to depression)

And Give to yourself.

Want an example of how you can Love Yourself in all the above ways?

I want to inspire you with this example of self love from my dear friend and Goddess, Tara Sullivan. See her share below, I dare you to incorporate her example into your day!! 😉

Here’s to you loving yourself,
Sharon

5 Ways to Remember to Show up at your Horizon Point

Want to feel you have more control over your day? Shift out of Reactive mode and be more Intentional.

Your “Horizon Point” is a reminder of the idea that YOU can control who you show up as.

Who you show up as determines how others experience you. It determines the influence and impact you will have. It will determine your Confident presence.

Plus, it’s not ‘what you experience’ but ‘how you experience it’ that determines your quality of life.  Your Horizon Point determines the quality of your experience of your day.

You want your Horizon Point to become the Purpose of your day at work (Yes you can have a separate one for your personal life, or maybe it spans all areas of your life).

Start to filter every decision through the criteria of which choice will help you show up at your Horizon Point, or not.  Allow your Horizon Point to help you determine what work to focus on.

Here are 5 ways to remember to show up at your Horizon Point during busy days: 
  1. Put a picture on your phone that reminds you who you want to be (when I lead team trainings on the Success under Stress skillset, I have team members create a collage/visual that you can then post in your office area as a reminder and as a conversation starter)
  2. Put a Post it on your computer with your Horizon Point moniker (or on your Notebook or Laptop)  (I’ve had people in my trainings make a screenshot of their Horizon Point as well)
  3. Have an Accountability partner who you check in with.  You may tell your team members or a close colleague on your team so they can help you stay accountable to showing up at your Horizon Point
  4. Do a 1 minute visualization of who you want to be before you start your day – this will set a clear intention for your day.  You can do a mini in real time ‘upload’ of your Horizon Point – i.e., take 5-10 seconds to ‘become her’ before you walk into important meetings, before you pick up the phone for a sales call, etc.  You can also upload your personal life Horizon Point in your transition on the way home.
  5. Use your phrase to create your reputation.  Your Horizon Point is likely relevant to the perception you want to create in the minds of decision makers and clients.  You can use your phrase when talking with others about the impact you want to make or to describe your value to the organization (e.g., if you are interviewing for a next role you can say “the strengths I want to bring to this role are as a “strategic influencer”…)

By showing up at your Horizon Point, you can take more control over your day, over your reputation, and over your results.  It will reduce your stress and give you Confidence.  It’s a perfect way to Be Impeccable for your 50%!

Do you and your team face too much to do and it feels you are just trying to survive the day?  Would it help to have a toolkit that will give you focus when you need it but calm when you want it,  give you 1 more hour/day of uninterrupted time to think, and enable you to stay calm and not react to daily challenges?  Find out more about our Success under Stress, Resilience during Change, and Friction Free Relationships programs or email me at sharon@sharonmelnick.com

If the tools I shared helped you to recognize a challenge you are facing or sparked an intention to pursue your next level, feel free to reach out to me directly for a complimentary consultation at sharon@sharonmelnick.com.   

How to Remove Last Year’s problems and Make a Fresh Start in 2019

One moment the water is calm and the next moment I am swept away faster practically faster than I could react. 

That’s what it was like for hours when I was surfing in Panama over the holiday.

The wave comes with a force that is beyond one’s control.  It surrounds you and sweeps you into its current.  You must deal with it.

It’s the same when you are in a situation that is acutely stressful (like my new client who’s business partner started to push her out of the business).

Or a situation which is chronically frustrating (like a boss who won’t support your promotion or a relationship mate who is always ‘all about them’ and makes you feel bad about yourself).

In these situations, you feel like your life is being affected by the force of someone else’s ‘stuff’. You feel thwarted, you spin and obsess about it… but you are still subject to their forces.

On a surfboard, as in life, when a wave surrounds you,  you have choices.

You can be overcome and hold on in fear. That will keep your head looking down at the board and hands gripping the sides in hope.  What happens next?  That’s right, you’ll nose dive into the wave!

You’ll get tossed around, and lose your sense of who you are and where you’re going. You’ll end up with an outcome you didn’t want AND suffer in the process.

Or you can maximize what you can control: lift your chest up, redistribute your weight, and ride the wave with a thrill.

That’s what it means to be ‘in your power’.

Most of the situations that created stress and drained your energy in 2018 were perpetuated because you were not ‘in your power’.

A lot of people are going to have a 2019 . . . that’s 2018 all over again.

So the most important question to ask yourself starting now is:

“What am I going to do differently in 2019 to make THIS year the year I live up to my potential and break through to my exciting next level?”

Because the truth is, the only path that’s going to get you to that highly paid position where you have significant impact is YOU knowing how to be IN YOUR POWER.

You want to make it a practice to find your power.  You can do a simple Power Analysis: “Where’s my power in this situation?”

You are in your power when you can take actions that get you the outcome you want. If you have been passed over for a promotion or aren’t getting the support you need to advance you are not in your power.

For example, a new client felt burned by a boss who wasn’t advocating for her and conflicted between loving her job but not getting what she feels she deserves.    She hired me to help her get her desired promotion and raise.

Within our first session, we identified where she could be ‘in her power’ and this seemingly stuck situation suddenly had many solutions.   One solution came from creating a stakeholder map and looking beyond relationships with her frustrating bosses. We realized there is a very senior woman in her group who could serve as advocate and Sponsor for her. We put in place an initiative to connect and involve this senior woman.  Within 2 weeks, they are in ongoing conversation and my client has new visibility over her situation (and a Sponsor on the way). If I were a betting gal, I’d give it 3 months until she has her promotion and raise!

Similarly if you are in a business partnership or a personal relationship where you lack the confidence to feel good about yourself inside, you are not in your power.

For example,  my (high achieving) client had a boyfriend who was ‘all about him’ and put her down. When she came to me, she didn’t have a voice and she couldn’t seem to get out of it.

Where was her power? Yes, she could set boundaries,  Boundaries are being in your power because they are not meant to change others’ behavior, they are meant to protect you.

But he was so relentless it was hard to enforce them.

So where was her ULTIMATE POWER?  She was staying in the relationship because she believed SHE needed HIS validation in order to feel beautiful.  She gave away her power, thinking that it was what he said to her that determined her beauty.

Once we did my Magic Bullet Exercise she got unblocked and connected to a newfound love for herself.  With this deep knowing of her own worth, she no longer looked to him in order to feel loveable.  Then she didn’t need to stay in the hurtful dynamic in the hopes she could get him to love her.  She was free of suffering and is playing bigger in the world.

Do you want to find where your power is in a situation where you are stuck, and spinning, and playing small?

If so, I’m opening my schedule for 5 people to have a ‘Power Analysis’ Strategy Session.  We will help you get unstuck and find your power so you can influence others and have the confidence to increase income and impact.  Simply click here to make an appointment for our consultation.

Make 2019 the year you stop spinning, you stop playing small, and you finally step into your power.  Then, and only then, will you make 2019 the year you reach your exciting next level.

Happy New Year!

Sharon

P.S.  Thanks for asking, yes surfing was a blast until I got stung by a stingray