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  • Janeen Shaffer, PCC

Being Empowered During Change

As we come to the end of September, there was a level of expectation that we would have more certainty about many things impacted by COVID and be moving in positive directions. However, that hasn’t happened to the degree most had hoped for. We have been running a marathon of managing change, shifting priorities, and balancing significant work-life events for 1 ½ years. How do we sustain our energy and make informed decisions during significant changes? Here are some tips:

Do your part to take informed actions and make commitments: You never know what the Universe has in store for you at any given time. A recipe that seems to help doors open involves patience, trust in yourself, trust in a greater good, confidence in your abilities, and creating actions that align with your strengths, goals, and intentions.

For example, if you feel stretched in too many directions, look at what you are putting your time and energy into. Do these activities align with your role, your strengths, and what fuels you? If not, what can you let go of, what can you delegate, and where can you ask for help? A leader was recently offered an opportunity to train a business leadership group that would provide visibility and possible business leads. The leader already had several large contracts and potential opportunities she was managing as well as focusing on a family health issue at home. Growing her business is always a goal but we were able to dig deeper and understand that the business leadership group was not within an industry that aligns closely with her brand, values, and experience. This provided the clarity she needed to say “no” to the opportunity. The act of saying “no” created the space for her to work on business activities that coincide with her brand and goals as well as time to focus on her family. She also had a belief that there would be other opportunities coming her way. She was willing to be patient for those opportunities versus taking every opportunity that comes her way indiscriminately. Not a week after her decision another business opportunity presented itself. She would have struggled with the time commitment required of this opportunity had she said “yes” to the training engagement. Her ability to identify her priorities, goals and clarify how her energy and time is best spent helped her not to commit to unneeded activities that distract her from what is important.

Remember you have the power of choice: When you remember you are an individual with the power of making your own choices, it helps to shift your perspective of situations in front of you. When I hear leaders who feel empowered to take an important action, tackle a challenging situation, or make a decision, they speak and act from a centered and confident place. How do they do this? They define their options, they have clarity around their purpose or intention, and they feel confident about handling the consequences of their decisions. They are not without doubt and concern, but their clarity around what is important and the impact they want to create are drivers for their deliberate decisions and actions.

An example of the power of choice is a leader who works for a small business that has supported him in leading technical client projects. The organization has communicated recently to him that they are keeping their profile of clients stable versus growing. This has begun to limit the leader’s ability to work on a variety of client projects. He is making the most out of his current position in working with his client’s CTO and technical team, presenting recommendations, and implementing efforts. However, the project’s scope is becoming smaller than what he wants to contribute. He has decided to look for other opportunities and take his time in networking, talking with mentors, and understanding what the best, next role would look like. He’s not letting his frustration in his current role distract him from the quality of his work. He is doing his best to take advantage of strengthening his leadership skills in his current role as he proactively and deliberately explores a new position.

Believe in yourself and that you can handle what is in front of you:

Our soul speaks to us through our body, our instincts, and kind messages in our thoughts. Our thoughts that are critical and create doubt can feel as if they are the truth. These are examples of "fearful thinking" – meaning they are based on our fears versus any facts or positive information we have about ourselves. We are human. We will have self-doubt. And, we have the ability to neutralize critical inner thoughts and shift our state of mind. I have found that the practice of a daily ritual of self-care helps my critical thoughts to neutralize. Affirmations, prayer, exercise, journaling, and listening to music all help to bring me back to my true self. All of us have a true nature of love, kindness, and unique capabilities that we bring to this world. Focusing on your self-care and believing in yourself allows you to move through your challenges with a feeling of empowerment versus feeling like a victim of circumstances. Living from a place of empowerment and clarity involves many things, including being intentional about the daily choices we make and taking actions that support what is important to us. We are not expected to be perfect in our execution of choices and actions. The Universe tends to be generous in allowing us to learn each day and sends us messages filled with wisdom and hope that can provide us clarity, confidence, and empowerment. We need to allow time for us to hear the messages from ourselves and the Universe.

Change isn't always easy because by its definition it is unknown and it stretches you beyond your comfort zone. Change offers us a new lens of seeing the world, new opportunities to experience the world differently, and new reflections of just how powerful and wonderful we are. I hope you stand tall in the changes you are experiencing and recognize your strength, purpose, and priorities in your choices.

Janeen Shaffer is a PCC certified coach helping individuals and leaders with their internal development and external performance. If the article resonated with you, follow me on LinkedIn and check my other articles. Contact me at,, IG @janeen.shaffer, Pinterest Shaffer Coaching + Consulting.


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