Women: Are You Giving Your Power Away?

mymicThe first time “it” happened, a woman contacted me. She had advanced to a leadership position and she had a BIG secret. She had fear of public speaking. How could she fulfill on this dream job if she had this fear hiding in her closet?

Most highly successful people who do have fear of public speaking, have a variety of coping mechanisms.

This woman told me that her coping mechanism was to give equal voice to each person at her team meetings. Sounds noble right? Sounds like the ideal way to empower everyone in the room. But she and I both knew, she was hiding. She was giving her power away.

It’s fine giving everyone equal voice, as long as your voice is equally heard too!!!

The second time “it” happened, a woman reached out for help with not one but two national conference speaking opportunities. Stuck at her current job, she was ecstatic with the massive visibility opportunities. She would be able to establish herself as an authority in her field. Not only would she be able to open up new job opportunities, but she would be able to enroll people to run the program that she herself had designed. When we first talked, she told me about her fears and that she had created her speech with a friend. They were going to “share” the stage even though the content was solely hers. She too was giving her power away.

I once had a woman come to me. She had a public speaking fail in front of 100 people. (She had an out of body experience, felt as if she was floating up by the ceiling looking down, completely froze and a co-worker had to take over.) Her boss said that she will not advance until she gets her fear of public speaking handled. After we worked together, she regained her composure, has been presenting successfully and even advanced in leadership one year ahead of the projection. I bumped into her a month ago and she was trying NOT to jump up and down at a public event, but she let me know that she has taken on conference speaking and is loving it! She is thoroughly enjoying her power!

It’s sad to me that the woman who gave her power away at meetings, and the woman who gave her power away by sharing her stage and her content with a friend, have both decided to “tough it out”. The energy it takes to overcome fear of public speaking is far less than the energy they are going to need to keep up with their coping mechanisms. Then there is their compromised leadership presence… The saddest part of all is that they are giving their power away.

Do you give your power away?

Do you cover up for things you feel inadequate about?

Do you justify your behavior?

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