Live at Full Power

Susan Donnelly uses endurance mindset training for ultramarathon power and success

Last January, I was asked to submit my “word for the year” on an application for a coaching program.

One word. For the whole, entire 365 days.

I was super-excited about the program and wanted to pick the perfect word but before I could think it through, “power” popped into my mind. 


Waay too big. Too presumptuous. Not. Me.

I had a few days to turn in the application so I tried other words. Peace...meh. Courage...un uh.  Thrive...not feeling it. Grow...too passive. Create...only a part of it. Succeed…too corporate. 

One stupid little word. Why was so hard?

Meanwhile, “power” followed me around like a stray puppy determined to be mine. It showed up in articles I read, conversations I overheard, videos I watched, pages of my daily desk calendar...everywhere.

Still, I resisted.

Women in our society aren’t supposed to be powerful or even want to be, and we have a long way to go before there are enough role models to prove otherwise. Women who lead or speak out get publicity ridiculed and punished. We see it every day and there’s a long history of examples (think Joan of Arc) chaining behind it. 

In short, it’s not a comfortable word.

At the same time, I’d done plenty of outwardly powerful things like run 91 100 mile races, and like you, I had the internal power of choice. I could change my life, choose my thoughts instead of being at their mercy, and take action instead of waiting for something to change.

I wasn’t exactly powerless, so why should “power” be my word?

Because there were still important ways I was avoiding it and even giving it away. Places where I needed to step up, be seen, and speak out. Things that stood between where I was and where I wanted to be.

It was time that changed.

So I typed “power” on the entry form and hit Send - fast. 

Then I created a new website and began writing this blog, speaking out and calling my congressmen about political issues, investing in myself, and other things that felt powerful.

A year later and I’m amazed at what one little word can do.

So I urge you to look at the power you use and the power you‘ve been avoiding or giving away and ask yourself 

“Where do I need to show up, take action, and be seen and heard?”

“How would my life be different if I did?”

Ask for what you want. Give your opinion. Say “no” when you want to. Share your story. Speak up in the meeting. Make a choice you’ve been letting someone make for you. Take control of your time and your finances.

You’re powerful and brave, and you can.

It’s time.

Be powerful,

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