Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the number of meetings on your schedule? Does every project seem like a priority? Is the stress of corporate politics just something you’ve learned to live with?
Many busy professionals are experiencing the relentless pressure of work. Is this the future you were dreaming of? And even people who like their work often tell me, “I have a great career. What I need is life.”
Any of these experiences could be a signal that it is time to restore your own power. It’s time to take back your life and live on your own terms. One way to restore your power is to take time to refocus your attention on how you want your career and life to be. Each January, I go to Orlando for a 14-day retreat to review the prior year and create goals for the new year. This time I learned some life-changing lessons that left me feeling much more confident, clear on my intentions, and willing to use my own power full blast!
So, take some time for yourself, away from your busy life; preferably alone…no laptop computer, no cell phone, no fax. A strong request that you take the time to restore your own power. During your restoration time, here are a few suggestions that may be useful.
- Restoring power is about “being” not “doing.”
If you are a high achiever, you probably are results-oriented, fairly driven, and like to get things done. The art of restoring personal power means experiencing who you really are, not just what you achieve. Focus on identifying where your true power really comes from. Is it based on the title and status of your job (which is transient and external)? Or is your power based on your internal confidence and true beliefs? The thing to do is to identify what is really important to you and why. Specifically ask yourself: What are your personal standards? Your boundaries? Your values?
- Restoring your power means uncovering false beliefs about yourself and how life works.
We all have “reasons” why we are not as successful as we’d like to be. When you actually take time to examine the “reasons,” they are often just false beliefs. For example, we can think, “I’d be promoted at work if it wasn’t for that person or that circumstance.” False. You’ll be promoted when you shift into the identity required at that higher level. Another example: “I can’t exercise my total power. Someone may not approve. You can’t have it all in life.” False. When you play full speed, at 100%; when you use all your power, you encourage everyone to do the same. Those who don’t get it, just don’t get it. There can be a long list of false beliefs we have for holding ourselves back from a great life.
- Restoring your power means adding “what’s missing.”
Sometimes what’s missing is your own definition of what success looks like to you—not by society’s standards, not by peers’ standards. And when do you “declare” yourself successful? Your definition of success should be something based on your personal values. Success is what makes you happy, what gives you personal satisfaction. And “what that is” varies depending on “who you are.” Many high achievers are so busy climbing, they never allow themselves to arrive at feeling good about themselves or what they have accomplished.
What may also be missing is a self-care routine for restoring power. Do you do regular exercise? Take time out to reflect? Savor your achievement? Meditate? How do you restore daily?
You may be missing a “community of friends.” A corporation can be a cold place. Do you have a circle of 5 people you can call regularly who totally support you?
Are you missing a “true ally?” When you have a highly charged life, you need at least one person with whom you can share the full truth about yourself in an atmosphere of no judgment. Restoring your power means filling in the missing pieces.
To hear Val talk more about strengthening your infrastructure, get the Audio CD: Building Your Personal Foundation.