We give away our personal power without realizing the harmful effects of doing so. Here is one simple way you can reclaim your power and step further into your life purpose.
Back when I used to work for someone else, a former co-worker of mine had an interesting way of diffusing customer service situations. She would apologize often and say “I’m sorry.” This was a way of reducing tension when a customer expressed dissatisfaction with the daily stock market performance or other issues. This worked as it gave power back to the client, leaving them happy and satisfied.
While that method worked for specific situations, I realized those words became a large part of her daily vocabulary. This included office conversations and personal conversations. I noticed the conversations and sentences began with “I’m sorry, but…”
Your Words Have Power
By doing this, she gave up her own personal power with each word spoken. Others viewed her as a great customer service person, but not a great promotion candidate, even though she had the necessary skills to receive a promotion. So, she stayed in the customer service area instead of moving into direct sales and client work.
My point is while certain customer service skills might be necessary for a specific situation; those same skills can keep you from appearing powerful and confident. This can affect more than a potential promotion too. It can creep into many life areas, such as your relationship with your spouse, children, and friends. This places you at a disadvantage.
Notice Situations Where You Give Up Your Personal Power
Take time to notice how many times per day you say “I’m sorry.” If you find yourself saying those words often, put a quarter in a jar each time you catch yourself saying that phrase. It will help you notice how often you start sentences with I’m sorry.
Realize each time you say that phrase, you give up a small piece of your power and your message gets watered down. Reserve I’m sorry for when you need to say it and it will have the necessary impact.
One Simple Way To Reclaim Your Power
- Stop apologizing for every little thing, right NOW! Allow others to hear your contributions and stop apologizing for taking up space.
- Stop saying you are sorry for interrupting. Instead of saying, “I’m sorry for interrupting; do you have a minute to discuss this?”, try saying this instead; ” It looks like you are busy right now; when is a good time to discuss this?” By changing how you say certain questions and phrases you sound powerful and deliberate.
- Take responsibility without using “I’m sorry.” Instead of saying or writing, “I am sorry I did not get back to you sooner. I was busy.”, try saying instead; “I know I am late in responding to you, (acknowledgement of responsibility) but I have some unanswered questions I need addressed first. (asking for what you want).
- Ask for clarification. Replace saying “I am sorry, I might have misunderstood what you mean.” with “How do you mean?” This may sound like an ill worded question, but the message is clear you are asking for someone for a further explanation. (Kudos to Brian Tracy for this tip.)
- Save “I’m sorry” for when you mean it. By eliminating I’m sorry from your regular vocabulary, the words that you do say will carry greater weight. In turn you get what you want. Speak with deliberate and clear words when asking for what you want.
How you do one thing is how you do everything. Read about how personal power affects your 3rd chakra here.