Don't let anyone tell you that you have to be a certain way. Be unique. Be what you feel.
Power and women have rarely been synonymous and most women shy away from power.
The first key finding in a recent survey by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Gender Inclusion in Corporate India, states that ‘Women are under-represented, especially in senior management roles and corporate boards’. Work/life balance, HR policies, and flexi timing are the three reasons for women failing to make it to top leadership positions.
There is another factor that is deeply rooted in our Indian culture and it has to do with our definition of power.
Traditionally, power has been associated with male leaders, recognition, control, patriarchy, authority, and force and this mindset pervades our culture. At the work place, some successful women who have dared to trash the myth of the glass-ceiling also find their personal integrity trashed. At home and in our social environment, women in India are still expected to play by the rules and not make waves. These experiences can easily skew our perception of what power is and what it is not.
How do YOU define power
A lot of bright and successful women executives are sacrificing a high salary, international travel, and status at the altar of settling for something more ‘meaningful’. These women are radically turning the conventional definition of power belly-up.
- Power is about aligning our innate and unique strengths with the work we do in the world.
- Power is about giving, collaborating, and making a real difference to the lives of others.
- Power is about having the freedom to create a fulfilling life for ourselves and our loved ones.
In short, empowerment to most women has more to do with personal or inner power and little to do with authority and hierarchy. Dr. Harbeen Arora, author of several books, when describing her perception of power, said, “To feel empowered within is to feel connected with your true self and with your environment."
To access our personal power, we must have the courage to self-reflect on who we truly are. Being aware of our strengths can unleash high levels of confidence and motivation in all areas of our life.
Re-discover your talents: tune in and tap in!
Successful women are aware of their unique talents. They focus less on what they ‘can't’ do and more on what they ‘can’ do. We are all born with talent and each of us is truly unique.
Neuroscience research and Gallup surveys have proved that when individuals are aware of and use their talents, their performance soars and they gain the ability to perform extraordinary tasks.
Self-awareness is the first step towards tuning in to our strengths and talents. Knowing who we are is crucial to how we show up in the world and how empowered we feel. Tapping into our inner-power, our values, and our dreams can allow us to experience life in profound and fulfilling ways. Personality assessment tools and coaching are some of the ways to support us in the journey of self-awareness and personal branding.We are all unique in unrivalled ways. What do You stand for? Once you have gained a deep understanding of ‘why you do what you do’, you are ready to DREAM.
Visualize your goals: dream BIG and be specific
A few years ago, my friend lost her job. Unable to find another one soon, self-doubt and low confidence started to surface. Soon she had no desire to get out of bed because she had nothing to look forward to. She was losing all hope of being a successful executive.
Research has shown that hope is linked to and is crucial to the overall sense of our well-being and happiness. Hope allows us to dream a brighter future and without a dream, our lives can look very bleak. Creating goals for all the important areas of our life, can give us a healthy sense of optimism and an upward surge to our energy levels. If you had all the money in the world you ever wanted in your bank account, what work would really satisfy you? What were you always daydreaming about as a child before someone told you to stop? What is your ideal work environment where you can proudly display your unique talents?
Creating vision boards and writing down goals can support us in creating our ideal future. Taking baby-steps towards our goals and celebrating every little victory on the way allows us to know that we have the power to create the life we really want.
We are all wired for greatness. Where are you hiding Yours?
is the founder of Kafe Coaching, is an Executive Coach and Leadership Facilitator. She is passionate about supporting women executives to explore the deep calling of their souls and create the life they desire. She is a certified coach from the Erickson Coaching College, Canada, and a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst for DISC © Assessment tool. Sangeeta brings over 500 hours of leadership training and executive coaching experience. She has led leadership initiatives in India and the Middle East.Sangeeta is the founder member of the ICF Delhi NCR Chapter.