Everything you need is already inside of you. The solutions to your problems, the path to your greatest aspirations. Inside of you lies your authentic self, and from this authentic self comes your authentic power. The power to make choices and live your life in complete integrity with your own values. Living from your authentic power gives you the ability to create a life you love. True happiness. Effectiveness. Influence. Generosity. Sanity.

And all that is asked of you is to step in and step up.

Let's talk about power. This is a big subject. There are 25 definitions of power in Webster's dictionary. The first definition of power is: the ability to do or act; the capability of doing or accomplishing something.

Okay. That makes sense. How we derive power is something else again. This "how" incorporates several options. Here are a few:

* Power by position -- your formal title.
* Power by knowledge or expertise.
* Power by association -- who you know and who knows you.
* Power by association. Working with someone else who has power can transfer that power to you. Also, this is where name dropping comes in. Your power can be enhanced by knowing the right people.

All of these types of power can be helpful, but they have their limitations. Authentic power, on the other hand, is much more powerful because it is rooted in your authentic self, which is constant.

In his book, "Extreme Project Management," Doug DeCarlo describes people who have authentic power in this way: "Their spirit is bigger. In terms of influencing others, there is no more potent source of power, because regardless of how bad things get, you are able to keep yourself intact and move forward."

To know our authentic power, we need to "step in" and get know our true self. To know our true aspirations. How? By learning how to listen to that authentic voice, that intuitive brilliance, and follow it. Let it guide us. Let it tell us about us.

I lay out seven practices to find and follow your authentic voice in my book, "Finding Your Authentic Voice, Seven Practices to Free the Real You and Experience Love, Happiness and Fulfillment." The first practice, and the best thing we can do to open up that connection with your authentic voice, is to practice being in the present moment. Whether we do that through meditation, walks in nature, or prayer, we come to know our true selves and our true aspirations - those that emerge from our authentic self.

Once you know those, it's time to "step up." How? By taking authentic actions based on what we wish to see in our life. By doing those things that feel right, not based on our conditioning or the environment, but on what we know to be true for us. By doing this, we express our authentic power and are able to engage others to support us in our aspirations. We become trustworthy. We're real. We can motivate and inspire others just because of how we live our lives. By becoming stepping in and up to this power, we project a presence. We command authority because authentic power is inherent in who are are.

Perhaps most important, we know and express deeper levels of respect and love, because we have recovered those within ourselves and they confer the greatest power. And, really, isn't that what life's all about? Being happy and fulfilled in life isn't about having the perfect job, or making a million dollars, or even about finding love outside of ourselves, although all that's great. We are happy and fulfilled when we connect with the love within us, share it with others, and give it to those we love, and in support of what we want to create in the world.

For me, I want to do my part to help transform the consciousness of this world to one of love and respect by helping others connect with that authentic self and authentic power. The old ways aren't working. We need new ideas, new suggestions. We need to connect with each other with love and respect, and the only people who are powerful enough to break through the impasse of change are those who can stand fully in their authentic power.

So, make a commitment to yourself this year. Step in and step up to your authentic power.

Author's Bio: 

Andrea Beaulieu is a professional speaker, workshop leader and coach located in Phoenix, Arizona. Her "Your Authentic Voice®" programs are acclaimed as excellent tools for finding new and more creative solutions and opportunities in business and life.

Your Authentic Voice® is a registered trademark of Andrea Beaulieu Creates, LLC