Written by Rachel Dawn Hayes.

Most people struggle with the question, “What do I really want to do?” Or, phrased differently, “What’s my purpose in life?” Even if you know the answer to that question, it’s still difficult to realize or achieve your purpose—especially if you’re already established in a certain career and/or have a family, mortgage, etc. Moreover—call it nature, nurture or both—the pressure women in particular feel to be polite and responsible and the resulting denial of true passions and interests are at the core of this near-universal struggle. How can you overcome and achieve fulfillment and balance?

Renee Trudeau HeadshotTo find the answer, we turned to WCA member Renee Trudeau. Renee has built two successful businesses around teaching women the art and science of self-renewal and how it can lead to a balanced life, both personally and professionally. Renee Trudeau & Associates does this through offering life balance workshops, retreats, telecourses, RTA-Certified Facilitator training, books and coaching to clients around the globe. Renee’s other company, which she founded in 2000 thanks to the encouragement of WCA mentors, is Career Strategists. It primarily serves mid-to-senior-level professionals in the Austin area who are trying to figure what comes next in their careers.

Renee encourages her female clients to “Own Their Power” as a means of realizing their full potential and truly expressing who they are, but explains that the process of doing so is a long one and requires practice and courage. If you’re game, though, here are some tips she shared for owning your power and taking steps toward becoming your brightest self:

Find your voice. When you disagree with what is being presented, do you remain quiet? Speak your mind and express how you really feel.

Make your self-care a priority. This is one of the best ways to send a message to yourself that you are worthy. Attune and respond to your needs and nurture yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

Stop caring what others think. You’ll be working on this your whole life. Imagine who you would be or what you would do if you didn’t care what others thought of you!

Become comfortable using your masculine and feminine strengths. We all have both. Living powerfully comes from the ability to balance both energies—being assertive vs. receptive, and driving for results vs. letting things unfold. Read more.

Practice being more direct and more assertive in your communication with others. Notice how people respond to the way you communicate. Do you feel good about how you state your needs and desires and communicate with others?

Break away from the pack. If you’d rather go for a hike than go see a movie with the gang—listen to your needs. Don’t just go along with what everyone else wants.

Become financially savvy. Creating your own nest egg. Managing a household or business budget and developing a financial plan can be empowering and liberating!

Stop settling. What do you really, really want? Stop settling. The more comfortable you become owning your power, the easier it becomes to connect to your needs and desires.