I believe all individuals regardless of age have innate power. I call power many unhelpful things in casual conversation: aura, influence, energy, and a slew of other abstract terms. I realized recently in talks with my teen clients that I need to be more specific.

One way I now like to think of power is the afterglow of good choices.

Whether you've been working hard to graduate high school, going to college, killing it at your first job, or building something on your own, you've been making choices that build up your influence and worth. Worth as perceived by others, but more importantly your self-worth.

I have noticed this tendency in myself, though, of where I create powerful worlds of story and work, but I consistently deny that I have done anything, that my work means anything, or that I have any influence.

I think this has to do with fear because with power comes responsibility – the responsibility to keep going, to live up to the expectations your own work creates, and to consistently deliver.

My denial of all of these things is me not stepping into my power. Not owning it for whatever reason. Maybe I think it came about by accident or that I don't deserve it.

Maybe I fear being known by myself and others, or boxed in by something I created.

The irony is that by not stepping into the limelight that you turned on through your authentic and sincere efforts, you are boxing yourself in more. By not stepping into my power, I am stuffing a new me emanating with possibility into a tiny old version of impossibility for myself that I find familiar and comfortable.

Power, I have realized, has so much to do with diffused light and openness, not something sharp and obtrusive. It has to do with being proud of what you know, are, and have built to this point. It doesn't have to be imposing or obnoxious. It can be quiet. At it's essence, power is about sharing and helping with what you have.