The Art of Winning Blog

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

5 Ways to Feel Empowered

The summer before sixth grade, my family rented a house in Atlantic City, NJ. My friends and I would walk the boardwalk every day (wearing fringe shirts with iron-on unicorns, I might add). I found the crowds a little overwhelming and I got really tired of dodging people, so I stopped. If you weren't watching where you were going, you'd run right into me. I wouldn't try to run into you but it still happened. It was like Empowerment Chicken for pedestrians. My friend got really embarassed when it happened but I felt like I was finally taking a stand for myself. After a few weeks I realized that if I walked a certain way, people naturally dodged me instead. Now I had choice, I could get small and sneaky and navigate through a crowd and no one even knew I was there. Or I could project energy and saunter through the crowd and people would flow around me. Having those options serves me well to this day so here's some other games I play that improved my feelings of worth.

1. The smile game: Next time you have a surly or disaffected cashier, see if you can get that person to smile. Bonus points if they smile because they've connected with you and don't think you're escaped from the funny farm.

2. Call an old friend: It takes courage to call someone you've neglected but just making the effort helps improve your inner landscape.

3. Use the Find Friends tool on Facebook: Nothing like 300+ friends to help you feel great about yourself.

4. Say No: This is a classic technique for connecting with your power. It's so basic that every toddler on the planet discovers it. Embrace the Power of No! For bonus points, don't qualify your no with "I'm sorry but" or "I hope you don't mind". Double bonus points for only saying it 1x.

5. Pedestrain Chicken: As in the story above, try walking down a crowded sidewalk in a straight line without varying your pace or trajectory. It's good, clean fun.

Post a comment and let me know how it went. Keep score and we'll see who wins!
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