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Be The Ultimate Power and Authority in Your Life

June 29, 2010

Pasha worked for an old-line, conservative computer company.  It was safe and predictable.  Her career path had been laid out and well-documented through the succession planning process.  She was comfortable.

It was the heyday of the dot-com era.  Pasha knew about that world but didn’t think she would ever be a part of it.  “I was on a career track; though not a fast one, it moved.  I had no real complaints.”

“One day, out of the blue, I received an offer to look into an opportunity that made me pant.  I hadn’t felt truly excited about work in years.  But this thrilled me…and terrified me.”

She was recruited to co-lead a promising start-up software company.  While leaving the psychological safety of the familiar was a risk, she was wise enough to know that to go was a risk, but to stay was also a risk.  “I chose the excitement of being at the leading edge of my field and creating something new.  I had never done that before.”

When I met her, she was living with a lot of emotional pain.  The dot-com bubble had burst.  Pasha, like many others, lost nearly everything. “I can’t forgive myself for such a gross mistake.  I jeopardized my family’s financial security and lost a lot of traction in my career.  I’ll never take that kind of risk again.  Never!”  Her eyes grew moist, her nose and cheeks reddened.  She seemed unwilling to breathe freely, perhaps ever again.

This distortion imprisons and holds so many hostage.  Yet, like Pasha, each of us has the authority to free ourselves the moment we become compassionate enough to see the past without negative judgments.

As Pasha learned, not forgiving herself kept only the negative part of the experience alive.  “The dissolution of the company happened in a matter of days.  What I want to remember is those three years of high-energy, fabulous days, filled with excitement and creativity.”

To that I said, “That would be a good use of your clout.  You’re the only real authority in your life.  You rule you.”

Not forgiving keeps us stuck in a story, identified with a particular version of history, unable to break free of crippling blame, guilt, shame and anger.

  • How often do you give away your power as a decision maker when you look to others to tell you what’s best?
  • Do you seek advice from others and confuse yourself with the divergent input you receive?
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jess Mickelson permalink
    November 3, 2011 11:49 pm

    A good quiz to determine how your power is affecting your life outcomes… http://www.gotoquiz.com/do_you_give_away_your_power_1

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