written by
Leah Patterson

Lessons in Owning my Power

Heartset (mindset work) 5 min read
photo credit: karina-vorozheeva via unsplash

Yesterday was an interesting day. It was a day that carried a lot of pain - but with that pain, a very clear lens and an invitation to change. There were a few misfires and unfortunate occurrences sprinkled throughout the backdrop of the day's hours, but the most poignant drama centered around something that I had no idea could turn bad in the way that it did.

However, the way in which it turned bad and the particulars around all the choices leading up to it brought me an amazingly important aha moment. I realized that, even though I hold my power very strongly within my center these days, I'm still prone to doling it out haphazardly at times. And the reasons behind this over-giving have tons of potential for transformation within them. And because I know these revelations are not just for me, I am sharing them with you as well :).

You see, I have been working on a thing that is purely good. It sprung from a genuinely blissful moment of self-contentment and appreciation, of feeling good and comfortable enough in my own skin to decide "I could do a thing". And with that declaration, I set out to take the next step and ask others to do the thing with me, with no high expectations of what would come of it - much more in the space of, "I can create things again."

I'm coming out of a phase of stalemating on wanting to create things, especially physically, tangible experiences for people that require them to show up and participate. I'd sadly gotten to the place where it was hard to trust my intuition guiding me to create this or that. Constant in my mind was "I don't want another lesson though...".

And so finding the desire within myself to actually plan something felt really good.

And I thought I was good. I thought I was purely in a place of believing in myself and my ability to create something from nothing. I thought that I was really clear on the fact that I was enough.

I realize now that this was not the case - because what happened is a pattern of playing small that I have seen myself repeat more than once. Under the guise of "not stepping on their toes" or "not being too full of myself" or "making sure I express my gratefulness", I have repeatedly cloaked a secret false belief that I'm not good enough, especially when measured up against whoever the them is.

And I think the Universe is fed up with that.

So this time around, my desire to express my gratitude and show where my intentions were stemming from became a completely misconstrued, misunderstood jumble. My attempt to acknowledge was instead seen as an attempt to steal and there really was no room for convincing otherwise.

Talk about a hurt heart. I'm sure you can imagine the gambit of emotions I felt trying to understand and come to terms with the fact that a whole crew of people thought that I was being intentionally deceitful.

But in my analysis of the entire situation and through a few key conversations with friends, I landed firmly on the ground of knowing that this was happening for a reason and it was out of my control.

And then the ahas came, the most profound one being questions to myself. Why did I feel the need to be so overly gracious and thanks-giving in the first place? Why did I feel that I had to allow outside inputs to take credit for my inspired action anyway?

And this is where the playing small comes in. It's because of a teeny tiny belief that I am still uncovering and understanding. It feels super parental. Super needing someone else's permission and approval. It's the feeling that creeps up when you think someone is about to step in and embarrassingly point out how ill-fitted you are for this - oh that's right, I believe it's called impostor syndrome.

So in this smallest of ways, I was still participating in the false belief that maybe I wasn't as worthy, as qualified, as good as etc., etc. to have my own. To create my own. To do my own, across the board. And not just to have, create and do it. But all of that and have someone *else* approve of it as well. THAT has always been the rub for me.

So my invitation to change was staring at me clear as day, right in my face. In times past, this hidden self-doubt would have (and has) caused a world of trouble down the line. Yesterday however, it nipped itself in the bud before anymore havoc could be wrecked. Thank you Universe for intervening :).

Without introspection though, I never would have recognized the pattern, asked myself the questions and gotten to my aha. And that's why I'm sharing it with you.

Impostor syndrome is sneaky. It doesn't always show up in big ways - keeping you from taking chances or capitalizing on opportunities. Sometimes, it can just be the thing that makes you intentionally diffuse your own light, making everyone only see glimpses of your greatness, instead of handling your blaze full-on.

Ask yourself the questions I did above and the ones that these questions inspire when you feel yourself handing over your praises to someone else. Make sure that you aren't doling out your power to them as well.

And remember, that when you are operating out of your own sincere authenticity, you don't have to be everything that someone else thinks you need to be. You just have to own YOU and stand in the potent power of that.


As always, I am here to help you do these things I encourage you to do. If you need that help, please reach out :). You can email me here.

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personal power empowerment impostor syndrome