Typically we talk about sales tips or other topics in this column that are specifically geared to salespeople. But I recently saw a article by Liz Ryan, “Ways to Waste Your Power,” that includes great tips for all of us – whether we are salespeople or not. It’s all about staying focused on what we need to do and not worrying about other stuff.

Her point is that we all have our own personal power that will attract some people and repel others. Some people will resonate our frequency, others won’t – and those people we don’t need because they slow us down. Here’s Liz’ advice: “On every journey you will run into barking dogs. Are you going to stop and yell at all of them? You don’t have time. You have a path to follow!”

Here are nine ways Liz outlines that indicate you may be squandering your personal power on issues and people that don’t deserve a drop of your precious mojo:

  1. Engaging in, listening to or disseminating gossip.
  2. Letting conflicts linger, or holding grudges.
  3. Worrying about your political position in your organization.
  4. Trying to impress your boss or other people.
  5. Letting people know your credentials, your title or your authority.
  6. Making rules and enforcing them.
  7. Crossing every “T” and dotting every “I” without a thought to what your life’s purpose might be.
  8. Telling other people what to do.
  9. Solving other people’s problems.

All of these activities are mojo-wasters and distractions from your path, but it is easy to fall into them. Most of us will find at least one item on this list that tends to crop up over and over for us. When you are experiencing the kind of stress that these power-squandering activities both spring from and exacerbate, your body will send you signals.

“Slow down,” it will say. “This is not you. You are mighty. You just need to settle down. Get a massage. Get on your bike. You are living too much in your head, and too much in fear.”

As Liz explains, it doesn’t matter what people think of you. It doesn’t matter if everyone around you knows that you went to a smart-people’s college or that you are the youngest manager in your company. It doesn’t matter if someone hates your guts. You don’t have time or energy to hate their guts back.

It doesn’t matter if somebody walked into work seven minutes late. It doesn’t matter if someone made a mistake at work. That was supposed to happen. Yelling at them for making a mistake is exactly like yelling at yourself, only more embarrassing.

The most valuable advice in her article is this: You only make the energy worse and make yourself feel worse when you squander your power.

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