This month’s blog posts were about accessing the power within you.

From being in service to others, taking ownership for your word choices, and acknowledging others, the journey of self-empowerment can be accessed from many directions.

Here are some highlights from the month…

WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK YOURSELF, “HOW SHALL I SERVE?:

So……what does it mean to “be in service”?

I don’t believe there’s one clear cut answer to this. In fact, I believe that the act of being in service can take many forms.

It could mean something different for everyone; I think this is what makes it so powerful.

When I consider what it means for me, the following ideas pop to mind. It’s about….

Fully showing up for the people around you.

Leaving your own agenda at the door.

It’s knowing that the people around you are fully capable, and have all the answers they need inside of them.

Guiding people towards their own solutions.

Acknowledging people for doing a good job.

The list goes on and on….

At the end of the day, being in service to others is empowering. It empowers the people around you, because you’ve shown up ready to support them in their own personal journey, and it empowers you because it feels good to do so.

YOUR WORD CHOICES MATTER:

Here are 3 language tendencies and word choices people often use that are worth taking a closer look at……

1. Using “you” instead of “I”: 

It’s common that a person within the group will speak about a personal situation in the following manner…..

“You know how when you’re faced with a challenging situation, it can be difficult for you to move towards the fear and do it anyway.”

In response, I’ll often say, “When you use the word, ”you”, are you speaking about me, or your own experience?”.….if you’re speaking about your own experience, it’s more impactful to use “I” statements, and personalize it.

In doing so, the sentence changes to the following:

“When I’m faced with a challenging situation, it can be difficult for me to move towards the fear and do it anyway.”

The “I” statement has more impact and a deeper level of personal ownership.

2. Making Assumptions:

Another tendency that often comes up is that individuals will clump other people’s experiences into their own and make macro statements that are full of assumptions.

For instance, someone might say, “We all work really hard here.”…OR…

“I’m sure we’re all in agreement that days can be really challenging.”…OR….

“That situation was really difficult for us.”

Assuming that everyone shared a similar experience to you is a slippery slope.

It’s rare that 2 or more people have a similar response to a particular situation.

Similar to what I suggest above, it can be hugely beneficial to personalize the experience and in this case, refrain from assuming everyone feels the same way that you do.

3. Not Creating Space For Change 

I’ll often hear people say things like…..

“I’m not a good communicator.”

“I get angry easily.”

“If I don’t keep moving, I get anxious”

“I’m not a good public speaker.”

In response, I’ll encourage people to put these things “in the past” and suggest changing the above statements to the following:

“In the past, I’ve struggled with communicating effectively.”

“In the past, I would often get angry easily.”

“In the past, anxiety would kick in if I had too much down time.”

“In the past, speaking in front of groups was challenging.”

By putting these things in the past, even if they happened one minute prior, you create space for change. In essence, you create separation from your current situation and the previous “negative” experience and no longer make these things part of your reality.

BUILD CONFIDENCE THROUGH ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

1. Practice on people you don’t know well: The world is full of people who deserve to be acknowledged. It will be easier to acknowledge those you care most about if you start by practicing your acknowledgment skills on people you don’t know very well, or even know at all. Then you will begin making the world a happier place.

2. Build Intimacy and meaning: Acknowledgment builds intimacy and creates powerful interactions. Acknowledge the people around you directly and fully, especially those with whom you are in an intimate relationship. What is it about your spouse, your daughter, your uncle, your oldest colleague or subordinate that you want to acknowledge? Look for ways to say how much you value them, and then be prepared for miracles!

3. Remove jealousy: Acknowledgment neutralizes, defuses, deactivates and reduces the effect of jealousy and envy! Acknowledge those you are jealous of, for the very attributes you envy. Watch the envy diminish and the relationship grow stronger as you grow to accept valuable input from the person you were envying.

4. Boost energy: Recognizing good work leads to high energy, great feelings, high-quality performance and terrific results. Not acknowledging good work causes lethargy, resentment, sorrow and withdrawal. Recognize and acknowledge good work, wherever you find it. It’s not true that people only work hard if they worry whether you value them. Quite the opposite!

5. Truth makes a difference: Truthful, heartfelt and deserved acknowledgment always makes a difference, sometimes a profound one, in a person’s life and work. Rarely given acknowledgments have no more value than frequent ones. Sincere praise should not be withheld due to fear of diminishing returns, of appearing inappropriate or out of embarrassment. These obstacles can and should be overcome in order for you and your recipients to reap the tremendous rewards.

6. Improve emotional and physical: It is likely that acknowledgment can improve the emotional and physical health of both the giver and the receiver. There is already substantial scientific evidence that gratitude and forgiveness help well-being, alertness and energy, diminish stress and feelings of negativity, actually boosting the immune system. It is reported that they can even reduce the risk of stroke and heart failure. This research leads us to believe that acknowledging others has similar effects.

7. Build a repertoire: Practice different ways of getting through to the people you want to acknowledge. Develop an acknowledgment repertoire that will give you the tools to reach out to the people in your life in the different ways that will be the most meaningful to each situation and each person.