What makes you feel powerful?

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What makes you feel powerful?
What makes you feel powerful?

It’s October – one of my favorite months of the year.  It’s my birth month.  (Here’s looking at you 45!)  Halloween is also in October.  While Halloween is one of our household’s favorite holidays, many people view the holiday with fear.  Instead of talking about fear, I want to talk about what makes you feel powerful.

Hard question, right?  So many times, we ferociously focus on our fears that we forget to embrace the things that make us feel secure.  For most of my adult life, I’ve experienced anxiety and agoraphobia. Sometimes, I feel so weak that I’m not sure how I will make it through the week.

Do you ever feel weak and helpless?  How do you cope? As a mental exercise, I remind myself of times when I feel like an overcomer.  Respond to these prompts along with me.

What makes you feel powerful? Hard question, right? So many times, we ferociously focus on what makes us afraid that we forget to embrace the things that make us feel secure. For most of my adult life, I've experienced anxiety and agoraphobia. Sometimes, I feel so weak that I'm not sure how I will make it through the week. Do you ever feel weak and helpless? How do you cope? As a mental exercise, I remind myself of times when I feel like an overcomer. Respond to these prompts along with me and see what makes you feel powerful.I Feel Powerful When…

…I Support Other People

Picture yourself in a room painting a vaulted ceiling with a detail brush.  Imagine the ladder you chose for support.  Describe it.

I bet it’s not some rickety, wooden ladder with wobbly legs.  Ugh. I almost launched into a phobic moment thinking about that!  Nope.  I’m not sure about your ladder, but mine is a sturdy, metal ladder with a broad, thick base.  That baby ain’t going nowhere.

When people come to me for advice, questions, or a friendly ear, they do not see the weak Alicia that sometimes doesn’t leave the house for days at the time.  They are seeing me like that ladder – strong enough to be dependable.  Helping other people makes me feel powerful.

When someone tells me that I inspire them to maintain more orderly kitchen cabinets, that my encouragement helped them reach another fitness milestone, or that they enjoyed food prepared in a new way, I know that others see something in me that I don’t always see.  Organized? Me? Well, look at that!

…I draw support from others

Back to that ladder.  Who are your “ladders?”

While I feel empowered when other see my strength, I also feel stronger when I see the powerful people who surround me. When I am weak, I see their strength and strive to do better.

My Friend

One of my best friends is a mother to four active kids that keep her busy.  She’s always got irons in the fire, rushing from one school activity or another.  So, I know there are days when giving into utter exhaustion would be easier.  But she excels.  I’m not sure if it’s absolute determination or another cup of chai that keeps her going, but she does it.  When I find it difficult to get in a vehicle to go grocery shopping, I think of her.

A Force of Nature

I know another woman who was one of the first female Navy officers.  She was also one of the first women to take a ride in a fighter jet. Her fearlessness earned her a nickname and respect from the men with whom she served.  When I feel I am facing an insurmountable obstacle, I reach to find my fearlessness.

My Mother

I learn from my mom, who has a flexible mind.  While she adheres to her values, unlike many people, she’s willing to reconsider if presented with logical reasoning.  She may not change her mind, but she is, at least, ready to listen to both sides of an issue.  She contemplates. Then, she makes a decision.  When I feel my values challenged, I feel powerful when I am open to considering other options.

My Sister

I draw inspiration from my sister.  She is one of the most talented women I know.  She operates a crafting business creating custom memorial jewelry which occupies much of her time.  However, she always finds time for others.  She calls.  She remembers birthdays. She’s the type of person who usually recognizes (and fulfills) unspoken needs.  She approaches all of life, including her relationships, in a creative manner.  I feel powerful when I can tap into my sister’s imaginative ambitions and thoughtfulness.

…I recognize my past accomplishments

This week, I was deeply hurt and read the riot act concerning women and glass ceilings.  My first response? I wanted to cry.  I felt that by simply being a wife and mother, I had not accomplished enough.

However, I realize it was with great joy that I made that decision to be a wife and mother. And, during motherhood and wifehood, I knocked out some glass ceilings of my own – and have been doing so my whole life.

No – these achievements didn’t net me millions.  I’m not a CEO of my own company, but I am proud of these accomplishments.

  1. Early Years

    In 6th grade, I was the Math Superstars champion of our entire school at a time when girls were discouraged from participating in STEM activities.  That’s pretty significant in my book.

  2. High School

    In the 80’s, while in high school, I discovered my favorite math teacher programmed computers. Our school had a minuscule computer lab with limited student access.  We didn’t have computers in the classrooms. Yet, I convinced him to teach AP college course in Pascal programming.  Since I was the only girl in the class,  I would say that I made waves in a male-dominated field.

  3. The 90’s

    In the early 90’s, computers were not easily affordable.  I built mine piece by piece and gave my children the opportunity to grow up around technology.  I also built and maintained computers for other people. Yep.  A woman in the 90’s building a computer.  That was unusual.

  4. In the late 90’s, I started a website that became one of the largest coupon sites on the internet.  I was doing “extreme couponing” before it became a buzzword.  I taught other people how to manage their household finances better and save money.  Granted.  Grocery shopping and couponing are female-dominated activities, but building websites, graphic arts were not at the time.Wow.  A website – from HTML skills I had learned myself before WordPress existed. I didn’t disband that site until 2014 when I sold it and used the money to help us move to Florida.  I had that very successful website for 16 years.  Pretty good for a woman.
  5. The New Millennia

    In the early 2000’s, I began a web design business and built many sites for customers all over the country.  However, my coupon site enjoyed so much popularity that I was able to close this business and subsist on the income.  I chose to close my web design business.

Today, blogging is a gender-neutral environment, and I am no less proud of our little blog here.  I am proud that I helped to keep a spot warm for the blogging revolution.

I don’t write this with any hubris and certainly do not diminish anyone else’s achievements, but today, after receiving a speech about women blazing trails, I couldn’t sleep. I needed to remind myself that I, too, am powerful.

Honestly, my anxiety issues prevent me from aggressively pursuing a career currently.  However, I still try to remain strong and keep pushing forward.

Things to Ponder

When do you feel powerful? Who are your supports? What accomplishments empower you?

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Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.


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Alicia Taylor

Happily married to the love of my life. It’s just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I’m loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.

34 Comments

  • Imaobong

    October 12, 2016 - 4:18 am

    Family is such an awesome support system for me too — and then friends that have become like family, and my biggest power source, God! 🙂

  • Dawn Nieves

    October 11, 2016 - 5:19 pm

    I feel most powerful when I’m on top of things and organized. When I start falling behind, I get overwhelmed quickly. This is a great post and really has me thinking!

  • Kristin

    October 11, 2016 - 4:28 pm

    My mom and best friend are such great sources of strength for me! They give me power!

  • caendicott

    October 11, 2016 - 3:10 pm

    Honestly, I feel powerful when I’ve completed some sort of project all by myself (usually something to do with the house) and not having to ask for help.

  • Claudia Krusch

    October 11, 2016 - 9:59 am

    Loved reading about all your accomplishments! Just wanted to encourage you not to let fear win!

  • lastchance3

    October 11, 2016 - 8:18 am

    Hmmm…I feel most powerful when I’m working out. Seeing that I physically can lift or move heavy items, makes me feel strong.

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 11, 2016 - 9:32 am

      Me too! When I can go for long walks without getting winded and don’t feel so tired all the time, that also helps me feel strong.

  • Cait Weingartner

    October 11, 2016 - 3:25 am

    I think it’s always a good idea, when faced with a challenging life situation, to look back at all the things we’ve already achieved. All the problems we’ve already overcome. Writing those achievements down on paper is especially empowering and always gives me a confidence boost! Thanks for sharing!

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 11, 2016 - 9:33 am

      I think that’s what I was doing in this blog post… putting feelings to paper. It did help. I was upset when I sat down to write, but by the time I was done…. I felt so much better.

  • Elizabeth O

    October 11, 2016 - 1:19 am

    Reading about what you’ve accomplished in the technology world impressed me. We do have to learn to pat ourselves on the back and honor what we do. Fear is not a bad quality as it can help us grow and make smarter decisions. Feeling powerful is an inside job and we need to give ourselves the love and respect we deserve. I enjoyed reading about your journey! Bravo!

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 11, 2016 - 9:50 am

      Thank you very much, Elizabeth! Fear isn’t a bad quality. Sometimes, I just feel paralyzed by it, though. It’s a stumbling block I am working to overcome.

  • Valerie Gray (@valmg)

    October 10, 2016 - 11:48 pm

    I enjoy Halloween because I enjoy seeing the kids in costumes and the houses decorated on the outside. My parents have always been my support system.

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 11, 2016 - 9:51 am

      It’s my favorite holiday 🙂 Also, be sure to have a place that your draw upon your own strength. Our safe people cannot be with us all the time.

  • diadarling3

    October 10, 2016 - 10:23 pm

    I love this. I am with you, I’m not making millions but I have a lot to be proud of. I’ve worked hard. I also find strength from my sister and mom. I can tell you any time I have a rough day I’ll call her and she’ll have me laughing by the time we hang up.

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 11, 2016 - 9:52 am

      Same here. Family ties are so powerful. There have been days I just wanted to cry. My sister seems to know when that is intuitively and calls. She’s just good like that. My mom is very busy, but I call her – and she always has time to talk and listen.

  • David Taylor

    October 10, 2016 - 9:20 pm

    I would not let nay-sayers bother you. You have done more for other people than most people I know. Sometimes it is a caring word, sometimes, it is helping with the practical, mundane things of life, some it is being there to hear and advise when they need it most. You left out a fantastic achievement in your life. You have been a wonderful friend to many, many people – and a burden to no one at all.

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 11, 2016 - 9:34 am

      Thank you so much. Since you know me better than anyone else does, this means a lot to me 🙂 I value your opinions and thoughts and always have.

  • The Awkward Vegan

    October 10, 2016 - 9:07 pm

    I feel most powerful when I know I’m being productive. When I’m getting work done, have a good workout, and genuinely take good care of myself. That is when i feel at my very best!

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 11, 2016 - 9:35 am

      Yes – Me, too! I always feel so much better when I’ve accomplished something besides being a couch potato. When I have a bad day, a quick kickboxing session really gets the frustration out.

  • LauraFunk

    October 10, 2016 - 8:10 pm

    I think I feel most powerful when my life is somewhat organized. I feel more anxiety when I cannot complete my to do list and I draw inspiration from many people around me. Great post!

  • DogVills

    October 10, 2016 - 7:59 pm

    I feel powerful when God is in my side, and I feel powerful when my family are getting better in life.

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 11, 2016 - 9:38 am

      Well, if He’s on your side, how can you be anything BUT powerful?

  • irishred13

    October 10, 2016 - 7:50 pm

    I feel empowered when I read the Word and pray. It is also helpful to have those around me that are supportive.

  • Nicole Aguilar

    October 10, 2016 - 7:04 pm

    I feel powerful when I listen to the whispers of the universe. It’s dropping clues every day. When I can turn lessons into success is when I feel the most powerful!

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 11, 2016 - 9:38 am

      I am a fan of life-long learning. In fact, my one and only New Year’s Resolution every year is to learn something new.

  • Saidah

    October 10, 2016 - 4:46 pm

    I am empowered by my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know I can rely on Him to help me make the best choices for my life.

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 10, 2016 - 4:53 pm

      I am glad your faith makes you stronger.

  • My Unsettling Life (@MyUnsetlingLife)

    October 10, 2016 - 3:24 pm

    Very enlightening post… it has put a few questions in my head. I am going through confusion time so they are great to sort myself out…

  • maria

    October 10, 2016 - 2:28 pm

    I have started my own business and consider myself the CEO of my family. Those are my accomplishments

  • kage2015

    October 10, 2016 - 1:58 pm

    All about doing things and service for others. Makes you feel so much better.

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 10, 2016 - 2:12 pm

      Yes. I get strength from that, as well. Unfortunately, as a person with agoraphobia, doing that outside of the home is difficult – so I do what I can for family – and online friends – and I write this blog hoping someone can benefit from a little healthier lifestyle.

  • littlemisscant

    October 10, 2016 - 1:52 pm

    You know, I’m not sure if I do have anxiety but I totally understand what it feels like to be frozen in fear. My brain tells me one thing and my body won’t react the way I want it too. I am terrified of heights and it leaves me feeling totally powerless and weak in the knees. My hubby has been a huge help in helping me “get over it” but sometimes even that doesn’t work. Prayer helps me as well as reminding myself that I am stronger than I think!

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 10, 2016 - 2:09 pm

      Yes. We need to find our own internal strength sources (like prayer). Our safe people can’t always be our end-all. Seems like you are on the right track. Concerning whether or not you have anxiety, examine the frequency it impacts your life. If it incapacitates you (like it does me), it may be time to seek a professional opinion. I had to.

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