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How to Command Power

Feb 29, 04:31 pm

          Most Asian American women remember at least one time in their lives when they felt overlooked, underestimated, or undervalued. It’s almost in our DNA to defer to others whether it’s to avoid conflict or a sense of obligation. This kind of behavioral pattern has led us unable or unwilling to revealing the strength or power within us. Below are four things you can start becoming more aware of so you can start reclaiming your power:

1. Don’t Pitch.

          Women do this all of the time. The habit of pitching up our voices is probably something so ingrained in us by the time we’re in our 30’s that we don’t even realize it. This habit usually stems from a childhood desire to stay “little girls” in the eyes of our parents, or from a misguided notion that men find it more appealing.

          The truth is, in the professional world it’s difficult to command respect with a tight, small voice. Imagine the most respected female speakers and leaders. You will be hard up to find one with a pip-squeak voice. If you want to command respect and attention in a room (especially in a room dominated by men), you need to connect with the power of your voice, your real voice.

          Start by lying on your back with your hand on your belly. Breathe deeply so that your stomach rises and falls with each breath. Make sure your neck and jaw are relaxed. Now use your voice by imagining it flowing from your belly out of your mouth. Remember that this isn’t about forcing your voice to be loud or deep, it’s about allowing yourself use your full, honest voice, as opposed to a strained one.

          It may be easier to try speaking from this place with people you’ve never met before. If you find it difficult to do so, ask yourself why. Do you have a need to feel smaller than others? Less threatening? Less intimidating? Examining why you pitch is important. It’s possible that some these reasons may also be responsible for why people don’t give you the respect and acknowledgement you really deserve.


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