“When we get comfortable with our own strength, discomfort changes shape. We remember our power.”
In this post, I talk about power. Not the corrupt or abusive kind (which in my opinion isn’t truly power) but the kind of power that when exercised, makes the world a better place. Our own personal power, which when fully harnessed allows us to build and grow businesses that truly change the world.
This concept of showing up powerfully as business owners is one that underpins much of my coaching work. Identifying and plugging, what I refer to as power leaks, is something I support my 1:1 clients to do on a regular basis. It’s for this reason that I’ve wanted to write an article on the topic for some time, but have, for some reason, always found it hard to put my best advice on the topic down in words.
Then, I stumbled upon this graphic and for me it captures perfectly the essence of what I want to share around power in business.
What the first sentences, in the graphic above, imply for me are power leaks or a state of collapsing as Tad Hargrave puts it. There is so much more to this idea than simply how we show up in our emails. In fact Hargrave shares a wonderful concept that also explains how many entrepreneurs seem to vacillate between two polar positions, collapsing and posturing.
Examples of collapsing include sacrificing your needs in favour of your clients. Putting yourself in a lose/win situation, with you being the loser. Over giving and under pricing, not sharing details of your offerings for fear of offending/bothering/losing people, apologising for things you shouldn’t be apologising for and asking for permission for things you don’t require permission for.
Collapsing is a form of neediness and it stems from a lack of self-love and self-belief. Collapsing implies that we don’t feel worthy. As a result cultivating genuine connection with our people is difficult and our people, whether they can articulate it or not, feel the impact of this. Energetically something feels off. They might even feel the urge to rescue us or feel guilty about not buying from us.
On the flip-side there is posturing. As Hargrave puts it: “Posturing is when we puff ourselves up and try to seem more successful and confident than we actually are.”
Posturing gives the pretence of confidence but actually comes from an equally powerless place as collapsing. Posturing is what happens when we put up a front for fear of people finding out who we really are. It’s presenting a polished image, it’s faking it till we make it. Whilst for the person who is posturing, it might give the impression of power, it actually comes from an equally powerless place. There’s a neediness for the sale to prove one’s worth and this creates a win/lose scenario, where the client is merely a means to an end. Genuine connection with our people is equally difficult here.
So if many entrepreneurs fall between these two extremes, what then is the middle ground? In the model Hargrave shares, it’s called composure. “Composure isn’t confidence as much as it’s comfort in our own skin. We’re not leaning forward or back, we’re sitting up straight and comfortably inside of ourselves. This is the ground of win/win. We are committed to everybody’s needs being met – including our own.
What this looks like on a practical level is not pressuring the sale and not operating from a hidden agenda, it looks like authenticity and openness and a genuine respect for people and oneself. It’s being present to the truth of the situation, it’s a true sense of self belief and a fundamental belief in the power of others. It’s a deep sense of worthiness. It’s an acknowledgement of our divinity and connection to the whole.
When you operate from this place, people automatically feel at ease. They feel a sense of trust and as though they can rely on you, not only to do the right thing by them, but to also do the right thing by yourself. Meaning they don’t have to worry about you, neither watch their back around you. It allows people to figure out in a safe space, free from pressure or guilt, whether or not they want to buy from you.
Composure is the realm I would encourage all conscious business leaders to reside.
When we operate from a composed place, we are in our power and being so inspires and permits those around us to stand in their power too. The powerful place within us speaks to the powerful place in others and when that happens, anything is possible.
So there you have it, an illustration of where and how you might be leaking power in your business and the position you need to take to plug those leaks. I totally get that having high self-worth and self-belief is not something you can simply flip a switch on. But if you do recognise yourself in the description of collapsing (or posturing), then I encourage you to do the personal growth/healing work required to get you to a place of composure because our personal growth and our business growth are inextricably linked.