Wonder Woman derived her power from her accessories. It took me a life trauma to realize that my power lies in my own thoughts.

Photo by britt gaiser on Unsplash

I grew up idolizing Linda Carter’s Wonder Woman TV character. I was mesmerized by the way she warded off evil. It was the epitome of power in the modern woman. Wonder Woman could take on whatever the world threw at her and she always came out stronger in the end. She was resilient and capable. This defined power for me.

I would practise standing like Wonder Woman on TV, holding the same power pose.

You know the one, where she stands tall and confident with her hands on her hips. I was just missing her sexy costume and bulletproof accessories.

This image, however, reinforced a limiting belief; that in order for a woman to be powerful, she needed external “accessories,” like Wonder Woman’s, in order to stand strong against what the world threw at her. If those accessories were taken away, she would be stripped of her power. 

For me, the list of accessories varied over the years, from my level of education and job title to relationship and health status. It took much of my adulthood to unlearn this limiting belief and uncover what really gives power to women.

I first noticed how this belief did not serve me when I was faced with an evil no woman should ever face: our three-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. No sexy costume or accessories were going to give me the power and strength I needed to get through this. I needed to find my own power from within.

I needed to find the belief — in myself — that I could get through this. No title or status could provide the power I needed to survive this. I needed to learn the skills to create my own self-belief that would empower me through this storm. 

For the first few months I struggled. The whole situation made me feel so helpless and overwhelmed that I did what most people do when they feel that way, I buffered. I turned to food to relieve these feelings.

As this behavior continued, I began to get frustrated with myself, which led to an increase in negative self-talk. The louder this talk, the worse I felt about myself, which led me to eat more. The cycle was consistent and vicious. First, I couldn’t help my daughter. Now I wasn’t helping myself either. I felt completely powerless.

But like a rainbow after a storm, something within me shifted one day. I remember thinking: What if I was strong enough to get through this? That simple thought changed everything for me.

It started a pattern of new thinking that helped me feel stronger and more in control. My new thoughts helped me feel empowered rather than helpless and overwhelmed. I realized I did not need any external “accessories” to make me feel this way. I had the power within me all along: it was in the way I managed my thoughts!

Mind management is my new power pose.

Laurie Shopland

Learning how to manage my mind this way has changed my life so much that after our daughter’s successful completion of treatment I pursued a career in Life Coaching.

I now teach overwhelmed women how to manage their mind so they can feel more empowered and in control of their lives, regardless of what life throws at them. I teach them how to feel empowered from the inside, so they don’t have to rely on any external “accessories” for their power.

I believe empowered thinking is what gives real power to women. No accessories required!

More Inspiration: Check out this great article on self-care tips that are easy and helpful.

Author: Laurie Shopland is a Certified Life and Weight Coach, founder of Laurie Shopland Coaching and Joy Club. Laurie is on a mission to help women create more joy in their lives by teaching them how to have a healthy relationship with themselves and with food, so they lose weight for good. The mother of three young adults, she is still passionately in love with her husband and business partner. You can find her online here.

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