It is inevitable that, when looking at the popular crowd, people will make assumptions about the politics involved. However, there is more to this group than meets the eye. There are several reasons why being popular is only sometimes what it seems.
For one, the popular crowd is often made up of people considered to be "conformists." This means they generally follow what most people are doing or saying. Although, as a result, they may not always be expressing their true beliefs, popularity can be beneficial for your career, but it can be detrimental to your happiness.
We start working because we have to; money, food, and shelter are key. Growing up, were you told to follow your dreams, or did you grow up knowing work is a way of life? No matter why or where we started, we begin to wander and wonder how we fit into the big corporate world.
As things progress, confidence becomes a friend we are constantly chasing. We assume some have it; others don't, and we watch other professionals to gauge our worth. But the real truth about your career and your happiness is what you hold inside. It is about finding your voice, aligning your values, and holding space for others to be their best selves.
The problem is not that we are bad at our jobs; the problem is that we allow our happiness to be contingent on someone else's opinion of us. We give our power away and look for validation in all the wrong places. To be happy and successful in your career, you must regain your power.
1. Define your own success
2. Be clear about your values
3. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
4. Advocate for yourself and others
5. Remember that you are not alone
This past month I have had three conversations with clients struggling to find their voice. They are exhausted by the status quo, not living their values at work, and unsure how to influence change that they know is right for the business.
In each case, these clients were successful women who had achieved a great deal in their careers. But they all felt like they had lost their way a bit. And they all asked me the same question:
How can I find my power again?
We have all had situations where we felt our voice didn't matter and our opinion was not valued. Sometimes we work twice as hard to be twice perfect only to get half the credit. As they searched to find the answer to discontent, they stopped using their voice for important things. They had assumed the popular kids were in power, and even at the executive table, they gave way to a peer they believed was favored by the "popular crowd" because it was easier.
But the answer is not to become the popular kid. The answer is to find your power.
There are three steps to finding your personal power:
1) Define what success looks like for you- Most people's idea of success comes from what they see on TV or read about in magazines. But those aren't real examples of success; they are someone else's ideas. You need to define what success looks like for you. What does it feel like? What does it look like? How will you know when you've achieved it?
2) Set boundaries- Once you know what success looks like, you need to set boundaries around it. Otherwise, people will take advantage of you and your time. You need to be clear about what you will and will not do to achieve your goal.
3) Take action- The final step is to take action. This is where most people fail because they are afraid of the unknown. But you will only achieve your goal if you take action. You need to have faith in yourself and your ability to succeed.
These three steps will help you find your personal power to achieve anything you want.
So go out there and find your success! Let's start being the difference instead of the follower.