Own It!

What Is Yours to Own?

Taking ownership. Employers expect it from their employees. We expect it from our service providers. Often thought of as going the extra mile, taking ownership is being responsible for what is within your purview and believing you can make a difference. It comes across in everything you do and in the way you do it.

As you endeavor to accomplish any goal, whether personal or professional, what is yours to own? Comprehending the answer to this question is fundamental to your success. Let’s explore three components of taking ownership: Your Feelings, Your Energy, and Your Power.

Your Feelings

To “own” your feelings is to understand that:

Your feelings belong to you. Rather than saying, “You make me so happy,” or “You make me so mad,” say instead, “I am so happy,” or “I am so mad.” This removes the implication that someone else controls your emotional state. Others may affect how you feel, but the feeling is all yours to deal with and interpret. Communication experts recommend using “I messages” and offer the formula: When you _______ (describe behavior), I feel _______ (name the feeling).

Feelings change like the weather. My sister, Lori, an Art Therapist, teaches this to children by having them write the names of feelings on construction-paper clouds. We adults would also benefit by remembering that most feelings eventually pass. Unpleasant feelings don’t necessarily mean there is something to be fixed. Simply allowing our feelings in the moment may be all that’s needed. The question to have handy is: What am I feeling?

Feelings come with information. Learning to read your feelings is important because feelings often bring valuable information and can be the impetus for action. Anger, for example, might be underscoring the need to promote yourself instead of expecting your boss to do it. Boredom could be telling you to do something that’s a stretch. The questions to use: What am I feeling? What action, if any, is needed?

Good feelings can be cultivated. While you can’t help how you feel every minute, it is possible to encourage positive feelings. The key here is to know what kinds of situations, routines, and activities put you in the emotional state you desire whether that’s: confident, motivated, creative, light-hearted, or other. Then, consciously engage in those practices that get you to that empowered place.

What’s great about owning your feelings is that it results in fewer traffic jams on the superhighway called your nervous system. Translation: better health and more energy.

Your Energy

The word “energy” has various connotations. Here are questions you can use in any situation to help you Own Your Energy:

  • How can I invest my time and energy wisely? (valuing your energy as a precious resource)

  • What kind of energy am I bringing into the room? (aware of how your energy impacts others)

  • How will I respond to others’ energy even if theirs is negative? (able to “hold your own” energy)

  • How do I see myself as part of a bigger whole? (able to go with the flow and tap into a greater energy)

When you Own Your Feelings and Own Your Energy, it becomes easier to Own Your Power.

Your Power

While there is plenty in life outside the scope of your control, don’t let that prevent you from owning what is yours to own. You have the power:

to decide what’s important
to say yes or no
to let go or hold fast
to be yourself
to make a difference.

Recognizing your own power allows you to direct it in amazing ways. When someone is “in the zone” or “strutting their stuff”, we say: “Work it, baby!” But before you work it, you’ve got to own it!

This Week’s Call to Action:

  • Which area warrants your attention: Owning Your Feelings, Your Energy, or Your Power? Select an insight, question, or technique from today’s issue to apply to a current situation.

I feel my feelings. I let the energy flow. I own my power.

Here's to you,
Ginny Kravitz's signature

© 2012, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to www.inthecurrent.com.

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