NEWSLETTER | WOMEN IN MOTION
Stepping into Your Power
More than a century ago, the philosopher, poet and preacher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said it loud and clear: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared [with] what lies within us.” This Harvard graduate could not have spelt it out better.
Needless to say, stepping into one’s power does not necessarily require a university degree – all it takes to achieve greatness and to accomplish the best is courage, strength and an openness to the limitless number of available opportunities which present themselves on a daily basis. Being presented with opportunities and life’s gifts is one of the things humans should be constantly grateful for. We are also born into an amazing amount of abundance, opportunities float around all the time. All we have to do is stretch an arm, reach out to the stars with an open hand and a warm heart.
by Nomia Machebe
Admitting that each one of us is actually born with an infinite amount of power within is the easy part. Stepping up into this power is where the real challenge lies. Not just some of us, but each one of us truly possesses a vast amount of power to develop, to heal and to be victorious. This power enables us to transform and to make a positive impact, as well as to make a difference to the world. However, many a time, as individuals, when we are faced with challenges or opportunities to step up, we quickly focus on the negative and then swiftly look for an easy way out. During these times, we tend to hastily go for the flight option, rather than opt for the fight alternative - therefore we consequently miss out.
Of course, one should always know when to fight and when to take flight, and, even when we go for the fight option, it is important that, during these times as well, we choose to fight for a good cause. The difference between fighting for a good cause as opposed to fighting a blood-shedding battle lies in the result that we produce. Fighting for a good cause usually benefits a larger audience, and this kind of fight is mostly motivated by selflessness and altruism. Honourable women such as the amazingly gentle, yet strong, Mother Teresa is an excellent example of individuals who have been willing to give, to serve and to fight for a good cause. This 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner fought a good fight during her lifetime. Born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, this true servant not only gave up her name and her career as a teacher, but she also left her mark by giving fully to the needy.
It was in 1946 that Mother Teresa responded to her spiritual calling, one which she called ‘the call within the call’, by leaving behind all that she had, including her mother and sister whom she never got to see again until shortly before her death at the age of 87.
Lest I cause fear and alarm, let me mention that stepping up into one’s power does not require one to give up one’s name or one’s career, or to leave behind one’s mother and sisters. All one has to do is to look deep inside oneself and tap a little harder to awaken the silent calling. This is not an easy path to walk. Often, this road is crowded with doubt, hopelessness, loneliness and opposition; hence it is less travelled, but one well worth the walk.
This path requires an enormous amount of courage and determination, fear is the last things that will motivate one to walk down this daunting yet rewarding road. Only positivity and a willingness to surrender to life can truly drive and direct a journey of this kind.
Also, remember that the Nobel Peace Prize should not be the motivator for us to step up – not only is it unrealistically silly to aim for this highly reputable award, but to do so would be an unnecessary and overly self-indulgent exercise, and one which may not pay off.
Once one ventures out into this voyage, one should keep going. Looking back can be tempting and giving up can be an appealing option; however these easy options are for only those who lack seriousness.
At all times, remember that giving up is not an option for those who are committed and dedicated to achieving their vision, because what truly lies within each one of us is much greater than we usually want to acknowledge.
There is nothing more fulfilling and rewarding than when one leads a purposeful life. The key to acting on purpose is to bring together the needs of the world with our unique gifts; and fuse them into one. To explore the questions of life purpose and meaning, one needs to listen to one’s conscious and find out what lies beneath the surface of one’s busy life. Of course it is not easy, but no ever said that the pursuit of life is easy. Greatness was never meant for the weak, bravery is key.
Many people find that the best way to explore life issues is by talking and listening to others. Sometimes hearing other people’s useful questions and insights can illuminate one’s own life purpose and be a great stepping stone to success and victory.
Five Steps to Stepping into Your Power
‘P’ is for ‘Perseverance and Persistence’
‘Perseverance’ means that you keep going, keep working, keep trying and keep showing up when life presents its challenges and invites you to step forward. ‘To persist’ means to ‘continue steadfastly or obstinately despite opposition or difficulty’. Being persistent is about making sure that, once you get on track, you make a commitment to cross the finish line.
‘O’ is for ‘Openness and Opportunity’
Don’t be a ‘know it all’. Those who are so intent on being right, on sticking to their story or refusing to look at another perspective prevent themselves from truly growing. When we look at situations and circumstances from many different perspectives, we allow ourselves to examine those ideas, thoughts, processes and information that may differ from our own.
‘W’ is for ‘Winning and Wisdom’
Always reach for the stars and ‘go for the win’. Even when things do not go according to plan, learn to identify the small wins, for they are worth celebrating. Pat yourself on the back, and congratulate yourself often. Also, seek wisdom from people around you, and from events and encounters – everything, and everyone, presents you with a lesson.
‘E’ is for ‘Evaluating and Engaging’
Successful people get their ego out of the way. When they are on the wrong course, they change course. When the direction they are headed is not working, they turn around. When the goals they set years ago no longer interest them or serve them, they set new goals. When they realise they have made a mistake, they admit it and engage other people for counsel.
‘R’ is for ‘Repetition and Reflection’
Success is usually the result of doing the RIGHT things – over and over and over again. The secret of good repetition lies in honest reflection. It is important to reflect in an objective manner and to be honest about things.