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Personal Authority: The Superpower of Success
It comes in an instant; an idea comes to mind like a strike of lightning. Your mind floods with excitement and possibilities. For a brief moment, you feel brilliant. But then, almost immediately, doubt creeps in. Questions come filing in like a high-school marching band. Is my idea good enough? Will clients want it? Will they buy it? Am I ready? Instead of taking action, you put a pin in it and move on.
No harm, no foul, right?
When self-doubt and self-protection win battle after battle, it erodes your personal authority.
Personal authority is the internal power, confidence, and influence that allows us to express ourselves authentically, make decisions aligned with our values, and take action toward our goals. It forms the foundation for self-leadership, motivating us to turn our visions into reality and make a positive impact.
Why It Matters
As female entrepreneurs, we often center our businesses around making a positive impact. We limit our capacity to create that impact by relinquishing our personal authority.
Here are three common situations that challenge our conviction and may leave us unintentionally undermining our personal authority.
Stories that Stall Success
Self-protective tendencies often arise when we embark on something new, bombarding us with doubts. What are the stories you are telling yourself? They sound like this: “What if no one wants this offer?” “Are you ready?” “You’re not an expert; who will want to listen to you?”
When you can feel yourself start to freeze, this is a time to challenge your thoughts with objective truth. Ask yourself, what do you know and believe about yourself? Believe in your ability to figure things out and seek support from resources you know. Let the memories of your past achievements shine through when fear takes hold.
Bestselling author of The Naked CEO, Alex Malley, shared this sentiment with Forbes: “The only way to build self-confidence is to take a risk and take action despite your fear of failure, messing up or embarrassment. If things work out, then you now know you can do more than you think. If things don’t work out, you now know that you can handle more than you think. Either way, you’re better off.”
No to Volume, Yes to Value
A friend and fellow entrepreneur who runs a virtual assistance company shared some insights. “When clients come to me looking for support, they have usually tried to start too many things at once and, as a result, feel overwhelmed. What if we can only do one or two items on your list? Shifting through and finding the items of the highest value and focusing on them usually shifts the client’s anxiety and reduces stress.”
Famous Author of The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni, pushes companies to clarify one priority by asking, “What is the priority right now?” To add more foresight, he has clients answer the following question, “If you can only achieve one thing in the next three months, what would it be?”
I ask myself these questions weekly. It helps me stay clear, focused, and confident in my actions. That’s the challenge we all face as entrepreneurs – we must find a way to cut through the minutia and pull out the thing that matters most.
Your Results Are Not a Measure of Your Worth
When we don’t close a sales call, when a launch doesn’t generate the results, you hoped for, or, even worst, when no one attends your free workshop. The automatic response is to take it to be something about you. I once knew a Sales Director who admitted that he only hired a sales rep once they were on their 2nd or 3rd sales job. Why? “Because Sales is hard! and it takes experience to be good at sales. It’s a ‘feel’ for matching the right client to the right solution at the right time,” he said, exasperated that I would even need to ask.
Poor results don’t mean that you, your service, or your product is not good enough. What else could it be? Often a tweak is required in our marketing, messaging, and visibility. A good Root Cause Analysis framework with a mentor or a coach can be helpful in this situation and far more productive than the default negative self-talk.
When you can look at a situation objectively, pick out what worked and what didn’t, and make tweaks. You will naturally feel in control and confident. Further, it’s far less work to adjust than to build something new from scratch.
By recognizing these signs and taking action to reclaim your personal authority, you empower yourself to overcome self-doubt and make a positive impact in your business and life. Remember, personal authority is not about being perfect or having all the answers; it’s about embracing your strengths, owning your voice, and taking steps toward building confidence and reaching your goals.
About the Author
Name: Michelle Nicole Martin
Professional Title: Executive Coach
Bio: With 25 years of experience as a self-made executive leader in a Fortune 500 Company, Michelle Nicole Martin brings a proven track record of business acumen and leadership development. Now, as an executive coach, she is focused on self-leadership and mindset and empowers leaders to excel in their success.
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