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What Powerful Looks Like

Powerful is …

  • knowing who you are, and
  • how you’re meant to serve.

Identifying who you are leads to self-actualization. Recognizing what you’re meant to do is the next stage: self-transcendence. (Click here for more if you want to read Maslow’s perspective on self-actualization and self-transcendence.)

Most importantly, now that you’re clear on what powerful looks like, let’s talk about how you get there.

Risks lead to growth. The deepest learning comes from adventure and that happens when you take chances. Having started the Laura Barker Coaching adventure 2 ½ years ago, I’ve faced challenges I never dreamed of previously. In doing so, taking a chance doesn’t feel as risky as it once did.

Here’s a multi-layered description on risk I’d like to share with you:

“We’ve done everything we can to mitigate risk to ourselves, an admirable trait that has ensured the propagation of our species…. On a neurological level, adventure facilitates deep learning. On a spiritual level, high-risk situations strip us bare and make us vulnerable.” – Theologian Tony Jones, Encountering God in Wild Places

I will make mistakes. I will face hardship. Yet I recognize at this point that obstacles obstruct but they’re not meant to stop me. They’re designed to facilitate change.

In the past, I gave up at obstacles, seeing them as insurmountable or a sign I shouldn’t go in a certain direction. I’ve realized that my former view of challenges disempowered me.

Giving up is a choice and I am free to make my own choices.

Free will is actually the most empowering belief one can have.

You have power too. You have access to it just like me. Grab it! In a loving universe, you are meant to feel empowered.

Unfortunately, I have seen so many people misuse power that I have shied away from it. The result was losing access to a gift I’ve been given. It’s true that some people use power to subjugate others. It’s equally true that’s not me.

In reality, I can feel powerful and remain humble simultaneously. I prefer to influence through collaboration. Powerful collaboration means identifying who’s good at what, giving people permission to be their authentic selves, and not controlling how they do it but managing the process, keeping it moving forward, arriving at the outcome together.

Powerful is realizing it’s not really about me. It’s about how I serve others using the talents I’ve been given. I know I’m good with people. My curiosity about people creates momentum to have experiences that increase my understanding of human nature.

You too are meant to use your talents, as I’ve said before, not squander them, as Jesus pointed out in his parable about the servant who buried his talents (Matthew 25: 14-30).

Using your talents helps you take risks you may not have otherwise. When you use them to venture forth, you grow. Your talents set you up for success.

Your job is to figure out what your talents are and then use them. You’ll feel powerful by tapping into them.

I’ll continue to write on the topics you have enjoyed reading and will evolve Life fully loved as my career progresses. You can expect to hear from me once a month, on the first of the month, starting in June.

In the meantime, may you use your talents to serve others knowing that’s how we’ll build a kinder, gentler world. Together.

Header Photo by Mike L on Unsplash

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.


I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.


Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.


I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!


Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.


I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.


Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.


Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.


Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.


From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.


Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.


I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.