Learning to wield power and influence authentically

Catherine Andrews
6 min readAug 7, 2023

Why is it so hard to wield power authentically?

I hear this question from a lot of current and aspiring leaders.

Some of it may have to do with impostor syndrome (which we’ll discuss in a future lesson).

But for me, it comes down to two challenges:

  1. We have had power and influence wielded against us in a way that was harmful, or we witnessed it done to somebody else
  2. We fear at some level (maybe even just subconsciously) that a part of ourselves will, once it gains power, be changed or also use that power and influence to ill effect

Power and influence are hard to wield because they may not feel safe to wield based on our experiences and conditioning.

This is no surprise in the current workforce or leadership models.

The amount of highly sensitive and empathetic people I know and have worked with that have undergone bullying, fear, or outright traumatic experiences in the workplace, at the hands of their colleagues and leadership, is quite large.

This may range from something on the more minor side, like being excluded by colleagues or knowing your boss has favorites or preferences, to a very challenging and painful experience, like harassment…



Catherine Andrews

Teaching awakening + healing through vulnerability + self-compassion. Finding hope in a messy world. Author of the Sunday Soother. http://catherinedandrews.com