All tagged power

How Do You Feel Powerful?

POWER: what does it mean to you? Where is it found?

Does it hide from you, running to the dingy corner as soon as you enter the room and turn on the light? Or does it display itself proudly, waving its flag in your life as you march like General Sherman on his way to the sea, asserting your presence and leaving flames in your wake?

As womxn in a patriarchal world, there is no shortage of places we're told we can't be. There is no dearth of reminders of our status, supposedly submissive. In the board room, in the bedroom, in the gym, in the damn left-hand lane—we're underrepresented, told we don't belong, deemed, "too emotional," to handle it.

POWER: it isn't something supposedly meant for us.

Which is why I'd like to ask you where you find it for yourself.

How Do You Care for Yourself?

Loving yourself looks different for everyone, and it's important you find what it looks like for you.

For some, it's strength training. It can be meditating. It can be yoga. It can be cooking. It can be your favorite show on Netflix. It can be a manicure and a bubble bath and a glass of wine.

Those wonderfully-Instagrammable acts of self-care are important parts of loving yourself, for sure, but this picture is not complete. The ultimate act of loving yourself, imo — the one ring to rule them all, if you will — is to protect your energy.

"Steph, Can We Try That?"

Rigidity in our programs keeps us uninformed: it keeps us enslaved to a program or a personality dictating our goals to us and promising that their methods are best. We don't give ourselves the opportunity to be our own best teachers—to explore, to experiment, or to say, "that's not my jam."

Allowing my body the space to not be perfect showed me that I actually don't have to be perfect anywhere. I know what's best for me, and I can change course at any time.

Stop Playing Small. Unleash Your Power.

If you're a woman, it's highly likely that you've spent at least some time training to shrink.

The gym is male-dominated territory, and in no place is this more prominently displayed than in the weight room.

The free weight area is often full of grunts, stringer tanks, gallon jugs, backwards hats, and egos, with the women relegated to the 5-pound dumbbells (you know, for toning.).

We've all paid our dues: every woman I know has spent hours on a treadmill, elliptical, or stair stepper, not feeling a workout is complete until there are puddles on the floor, wrapping ourselves in waist trainers and sweat bands to hasten the process, always hoping to...get smaller.

You Deserve to Feel Powerful in Your Body.

When we're sold an ideal based in the physical, we're never enough. We can always find a lump, a stretch mark, a muscle that's too big or too small (as the case may be), a too-long nose, or a rough patch of skin. We spend hours in the mirror or glancing at car windows on a walk, examining our angles and how our clothes lie on our bodies and, if a bra strap is pinching or a shirt isn't skimming lightly over a belly, we measure it against how we've eaten recently. Thoughts of failure come rushing in, and we rush out to buy into the next solution.

We deserve so much more.

What Do Your Workouts Show You?

Exploring the limits of our physical bodies pushes them a bit further out every time, but, more than that, the act of discovering our edges introduces us to our deepest truths. Fitness has shown me that I'm more intelligent than I've been in the past, that I'm more durable than I've believed myself to be, and that I'm more powerful than I've thought myself.

There's nothing like looking at a workout and thinking, "dang, can I do that?" rather than, "oh, I could never do that." It's a subtle shift that oozes its way into our minds over time, and, once it takes place, there's no going back. It seeps through our lives, starting in the gym, and moving out until its grubby fingerprints are all over our walls.

When we're in a spot where all we can think about is what's directly in front of us, the stories we tell ourselves become irrelevant. We're focused on the task at hand and what parts of ourselves need to show up to get it done, excuses be damned.

And it's magic.

One of my favorite Richard Branson quotes is, “if an opportunity knocks, and you don’t know the answer, take it and figure it out.” Coming from a person who went from big box gym environment to corporate wellness environment to now working for herself, all with very little clue to what she was doing at the beginning of each endeavor (and zero formal preparation for one of those transitions), I can assure you, you got this. It may be uncomfortable, and it may get weird, but it will all work for your good. There are very few things in life that are un-figure-out-able.

We get to create our lives through our choices, and we are more powerful than we realize.

Complete strength starts in the mind, and the mind is immensely powerful. This is becoming an increasingly large part of the conversation in fitness- an awesome development!- and yet, I find time and again that each of us, when presented with a crisis, forgets how powerful our thoughts are.

Consider it. You’ve heard the cliché phrases all your life: “mind over matter”, “where there’s a will there’s a way”, “where the mind goes, the man follows”, but have you ever stopped to think about how much more goes right when you are absolutely determined to succeed?