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When I speak to international groups it is always stimulating to talk with people who are literally bringing a world of experience to the exchange of ideas.

During a recent session with budding political leaders from Spain and Latin America, we kept returning to the idea of power and choice, i.e., who has power, and who gets to choose. The participants began the session feeling that those in authority have power over them. These people get to decide about their jobs, the size of their paychecks and their professional advancement.

Because of the perceived power equation, these future leaders felt they didn’t have control over their own lives. This is an almost universal belief, but it is no longer useful. We need to shift this inner “monologue.”

Young and SuccessfulEach one of us brings something unique to the world, and we have the power to be at our best by sharing it. It’s sometimes easier to believe that everyone else is responsible for what is happening in our lives. But the truth is that each one of us makes choices every day that create our own reality. Those choices create our lives. We can either believe in our power or believe in our limitations.

Through much spirited debate, each group member in the session recognized that opportunities abound when we can say:

  • The power in my life truly belongs with me.
  • It is up to me to begin having my desired impact on the world.
  • I can start leading now.
  • I don’t have to wait for someone to tell me it is time.

While the spark of recognition lit the desire for action it also created fear among some who wanted to believe that someone else controlled their fate. It is a lesson that all of us continue to internalize: that what is showing up in our lives is the result of our choices. Each of us needs to believe in our power to make the choices that are best for us.

As more people choose to lead from their power, their lives will shift and so will the world. After the recent discussion, at least one small group is poised to make the shift and change the world.