Disciplinary conversations are apart of my job. They aren’t my favorite part and until recently have caused some nervousness beforehand. This past Tuesday I had to have one of these conversations and the apprehension arose. After work I started to think about why this was and realized that I was giving away my power.

I was giving away my power because I was concerned about their reactions and was fearful they would think negatively of me. I was caring more about their opinions of me than my opinion of myself.

We give away our power when we allow the judgments of others to dictate how we live our lives. There’s a quote from Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations that goes, “It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.”

Part of building better habits is understanding why you started the original habit. Giving away my power is always something that I have done because I either did not want to get into trouble or wanted to be seen as the good one. Not speaking up also kept me safe from the judgment of others (although you can never really escape the judgment of others).

Years of giving away my power for the sake of feeling safe also made me invisible and trapped in mediocrity. Realizing that I had been giving my power away, the next two disciplinary conversations I needed to have were approached with an understanding that it didn’t matter their thoughts about me.

The policies at my job are pretty cut and dry so if there is a violation, the process of how to approach it is also pretty cut and dry. When I am having disciplinary conversations, the employees are already aware of what the policy is and that they violated it. It’s unnecessary worrying about what they might think of me because their breaking the rules has nothing to do with me. If they make it about me, then they have not taken responsibility for their actions. Either way, I get to keep my power.

In this life we are always learning new things. I am learning to be brave. I’m learning to speak up for myself. I’m learning to step into my power.

I tried to live behind the scenes but that wasn’t serving me. There is a freedom that comes with learning to trust your opinion of yourself rather than relying on someone else’s. At the end of the day, how we feel about ourselves matters and how other’s feel about us is none of our business.

Saying it is easy. Living it will become easier the more we practice and make it part of our belief system. As for me, I like the feeling of stepping into my power and think I’ll keep showing up with all my power.

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