A simple guide to ‘owning your power’ Sarah Woodhouse

A simple guide to ‘owning your power’

Is it just me or is the phrase own your power a bit Star Wars?! When people use it, I picture Leah grabbing her lightsabre. No? Just me?! Either way, I’m sure you’d agree that at first glance it’s a pretty intense, slightly odd phrase. What exactly is my power?! And how, precisely, am I supposed to own it?!

Researching this article has been fun. I’ve read a whole heap of very empowering articles (so I’m feeling amazing right now). As you may have guessed, there’s no agreed-upon definition and the concept is framed differently in, say, the business press compared to the mental health sphere. Although, there are similar threads running through people’s use of the phrase.

To put it simply, your power is your honest, authentic self.

So, you own your power when you live in an honest, authentic way. It’s a very unique thing. Your power is different to mine because your true self is different to my true self.

We live in an honest, authentic way by accepting and being all of ourselves. We don’t hide away parts of ourselves because we’re afraid how they’ll be received. We speak our minds, rather than hiding thoughts that we’ve subconsciously judged to be ‘bad’. We own our strengths, but just as importantly we own our fears and vulnerabilities. We allow our full self to be present, without judgement.

Our honest, authentic self forges its own path in life. It doesn’t just copy others. It doesn’t second-guess other people are thinking and mercilessly try to please everyone. It doesn’t try to be liked by everybody, at any cost. It doesn’t hide. It doesn’t try denying the life we were handed.

Doesn’t that sound like real power? The intoxicating power of someone who has taken total ownership of their life.

It’s a beautiful image, but it can feel very unattainable at times. Past hurts and trauma take away our power. We fear being ourselves. We fear putting ourselves out there. We deliberately make ourselves small. We’re stuck. Healing, necessarily, involves taking our space and our power back. But how? It actually doesn’t require immediate and radical changes to your life. It all starts by practicing one thing – self-acceptance. And that’s something we can all practice, no matter our story.

There is huge strength in self-acceptance and if you want to own your power, this is the journey you have to take. Your strength will grow as you see and accept your honest, authentic self. Observe yourself with interest and love. Because as you learn about you, and accept what you find, you will step into your power. By owning your true self, you will own your power and by owning your power you will unapologetically own your life. You will become unstoppable.

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Sarah Woodhouse is a trauma expert, research psychologist and writer who delivers people the knowledge and tools to recognise and overcome self-defeating cycles, to achieve personal freedom and success.

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