“Girl, you were amazing on your panel,” my sorority sister said to me as we were having dinner. We had just come back from our centennial celebration—celebrating one hundred years of scholarship, sisterhood, and service as members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.—where I was asked to give career and life advice.
Sensing self-doubt, she then asked, “Do you believe you are in this situation because of the choices that you have made?”
That word “choices” hit me hard. I knew she was referring to the choices I had made that had caused major shifts and transitions in my personal and professional life. While transitioning from a successful business—GLUE, the company I started after leaving LaFace Records—in order to pursue my purpose of being a full-time speaker, life strategist, and author, I had hit rock bottom financially and in my confidence. I was broke and emotionally broken. My year had been a rollercoaster, and now it was hard for me to see that things were working in my favor. I hadn’t realized yet, that this period in my life, that I thought was my hardest test, was one of my greatest testimonies.
Our conversation made me realize that I was only taken ownership of my failures—convincing myself that honing in on these failures would make me stronger and more prepared next time I was in the same situation, and setting aside the successes I had made.
So many of us high achievers are like this. We allow one negative situation to weigh heavily on us, crushing us beneath it, and ignore the ninety-nine great situations that should be buoying our strength and lightening our load. So often we don’t take ownership of choices that bring positive value and forward movement. For example, I’ll take ownership of a financial setback, but I won’t take ownership of what I’ve done to create a strong family.
We must acknowledge our wins and we deserve to credit our wins.
By living only in the places where there is lack or hardship, you are choosing not to live in your true power. But once you choose to acknowledge the positive in every situation, you take ownership of YOU and what you bring to the table. You become more confident in your decisions.
Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell shares the power in making the decision to grow during transition and not get stuck where you are.
In my work with clients over the years, I have identified five essential steps that we can all use to claim our true power and stay grounded in it. These five steps can be used when making any decision or when trying to put any new change into action in your life:
Perspective—Adopt a point of view that empowers you
Ownership—Own what is important to you
Wisdom—Identify your one or two next best steps
Engagement—Commit to the implementation of those steps
Reward—Stay consistently engaged with the process to experience the positive outcomes
Each step has key principles that I explore in my book “Exponential Living: Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are.” When we commit to the process of living in our power, our purpose and our motivation align and we freely transition to Exponential Living.