There isn't a super hero "out there" who can save you from your situation, fix your problems, or take away your fears. You have to tap into your own super hero; to identify the fears that are holding you back and to make a decision not to reclaim the power they have wielded.

I recently spoke at a leadership conference for women who work in the consulting industry. About 5 minutes before I was due to begin speaking, a woman attending the event asked if I ever got nervous. "Often," I replied, "Particularly about five minutes before I'm about to take the stage." She was surprised. She said that she'd just assumed that because I spoke to large groups on a regular basis that I wouldn't feel nervous at all. Alas, she assumed wrong.

It's funny how we often assume that other people don't struggle with the same things that we do. And while there are people who rarely doubt themselves or give little thought to what others might think of them, they are, in my experience anyway, the distinct minority.

As human beings, we all wrestle with doubt and fear in different forms and guises throughout the course of our lives. Too often though, we give those doubts and fears more power than they deserve. We allow them to determine our choices, to dictate the conversations we will engage in, the endeavors we will commit to, and how we will respond to the challenges we face.

I define power as our ability to affect change. Being powerful, and affecting positive change, in the world around us begins by affecting positive change in the world within us. Unfortunately too often we have "power leakages" in our life that we aren't aware of. The only way to seal them off is by tuning in to the power we give the thoughts, doubts and fears that creep in to our consciousness on a daily basis.

Perhaps your idea of power relates to people in positions of high office and formal authority -- politicians, company presidents, policemen and the like. But I define power not as formal authority, but as one's ability to affect change. In other words, being powerful is far more than a job title; it's an attitude. To me, truly powerful people are those who live life on their terms, who are comfortable in their own skin, clear about what they want, courageous in how they go about achieving it, and very conscious of the power they have to choose their response to their circumstances. They aren't waiting on some mythical super hero to solve their problems or grant them permission to live life on their own terms; they are their own super hero.

I guess it goes without saying that there are many people in the world who don't live their lives powerfully. People who:

* continually find themselves a victim to their circumstances (and so are forever in "complaint")
* are always trying to please or impress people around them
* say yes when they want to say no and so constantly find themselves over-committed (and failing to honor commitments)
* don't challenge the values and beliefs of those around them nor take time to clarify their own
* allow other people's moods and emotions to determine their own
* settle for far less than what they want, both from others and from themselves
* go through life rudderless and following the path of least resistance
* avoid speaking up if it might ruffle feathers, or worse, risk a confrontation
* don't believe in their ability to change the things they don't like nor to pursue the things they do

Of course at times we can all find ourselves failing to act in powerful ways (and yes, I'm speaking from experience ;) ). But what matters most isn't that we sometimes fail to express ourselves authentically, stand for what we want and refuse to settle for what we don't; after all, we are all "human becomings" – always evolving and sometimes tripping as we move along. Rather, what matters most is that we notice when we are doing so and then consciously choose to reset our sails, reclaim our voice and step forward doing and being all we aspire to.

It is my deepest belief that we are all -- and yes, that includes you -- powerful beyond measure. That within you lies the resources to create and accomplish extra-ordinary things and to affect change in the world in extraordinary ways. Truly. The thing that keeps most people from doing that is not all the barriers the world has erected to keep them stuck. It is simply their lack of belief in themselves; in their own personal power.

In case you haven't already picked it up, I'm pretty passionate about empowering people to reconnect with their personal power; to be their own super hero, which is why I'm hoping this will cause you to stop all that busy doing and reflect, even if just for one minute, on the life you are living and the limits you have imposed on yourself. As I wrote about in my book, Find Your Courage, the biggest barrier you face to having the life you want to live is the stories you've bought into about what is possible for you. So take a step back and ask yourself, "Where could I be more powerful?" Where could you be affecting positive change more profoundly and more boldly in the life you are living, in the lives of those around you, in your team, organization or the world at large.

Believe me, you have more power in you to affect change, to produce results, to change your life and by default, the lives of others, than you can imagine. There isn't a super hero "out there" who can save you from your situation, fix your problems, or take away your fears. You have to tap into your own super hero; to identify the fears that are holding you back and to make a decision not to reclaim the power they have wielded. That's often easier said than done but then so is anything worth doing. What it will take is you making a decision right now to start living each day, each hour, and each moment as it unfolds, more intentionally, more courageously, and more powerfully.

And if you don't know where to start, begin by answering this one simple question, "If I knew that I could change anything, what one thing would I choose to change in my life today?"

Author's Bio: 

Margie Warrell; thought leader in human potential, master life coach, international speaker, media contributor and best-selling author of Find Your Courage.

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