Empower Yourself

Empower Yourself

What Drives Empowerment

Empowerment is often thought of when the majority sends the message - they don't believe in you. Think of feminist marches, gay pride parades and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Groups and individuals take a stand to show they ARE equal to everyone else no matter what gender, color or orientation they are, because society's actions say they are something less.

It's not uncommon for introverts to feel the same way because society idolizes extroverted behaviors. Just think quickly of common descriptors for each personality type. An extrovert is charismatic and life of the party while the introvert can be viewed as quiet, stuck-up and unfriendly.

I've even been told by others that extroverts are the superior personality type. This is NOT true, just like race, gender and orientation, introversion doesn't make you less of a person. It's time to stop worrying about what others think and empower our introverted selves.

What Empowerment REALLY Means

There are two ways to look at the definition of empowerment. The first part of the definition states "the act of giving power to someone to do something." The second part states "the process of becoming stronger and more confident; especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's right."

The great piece here is that the second part of the definition is about YOUR personal strength and confidence. It doesn't insinuate you need permission or power from anyone.

When we think about empowerment we shouldn't think about our situation, our surroundings or the people we associate with to show us support first. We need to look within ourselves to find it. You don't NEED anyone to empower you.

What is Empowerment Really?

  • Empowerment is knowing what's in your heart and acting on it
  • Empowerment is confidence in your personal values and never wavering
  • Empowerment is taking a stand for what you believe in and never feeling ashamed
  • Empowerment is the natural high you feel when life and work align with your beliefs

Ten Actions to Empower Yourself:

Respect Yourself: SAY NO - don't get bogged down by saying yes to requests from others. Know your personal priorities and know what actions will keep you on track. Respect your time and your priorities. Expect others to do the same by saying no to activities that don't inspire you or support your goals.

  • Stop Comparing: The comparison game breeds dissatisfaction. It's a pain driven by the pressure you place on yourself to out-perform others. Focus on improving you. Think of skills YOU want to develop. How would YOU want to be a better more well-rounded person? Make small improvements every day to get there. If you want to lift your career, read a daily blog article on the subject you wish to learn. Over time these small actions will lead to sizable personal improvements.

  • Take Action: Both action and accountability drive empowerment. Fear can often paralyze us when we don't know what to do or how to achieve our goals. Sometimes we need to act in the face of uncertainty. The fact that you are trying something that supports your goals even if you aren't sure it's the right step, can immediately make you feel like a leader in your own life. The action you take, whether right or wrong will provide learning that keeps you moving forward toward your goals.

  • Help Others: Helping other people can give you a natural high and make you feel like a person who's driving positive change. If you see others struggling to believe in themselves, you just might be the person who can easily see their strengths and lift them up.

  • Be True to Yourself: Know what you believe in and what values deeply resonate with you outside of the presence of other people. Know the answer to this and never waiver on what you believe. Respectfully stand for it and live it. A personal expression of your values will inspire others to live authentically as well.

  • Daily Affirmations: Create affirmations that state exactly who you want to be. If you struggle with confidence, then an affirmation might be "I am humble and highly confident in my daily life." Read your daily affirmations every morning when you wake up and every night before bed to train your brain to believe these affirmations. Your brain will proactively drive your actions accordingly.

  • Know Your Goals: If you fast-forward your life by 5 to 10 years, what will you have wanted to achieve? What milestones will you have knocked out of the park? What small actions would it take every day or week to get there? Maybe you want to buy a house in 10-years, are you saving the right amount from every paycheck for your down-payment? Are you researching investment strategies to help your money grow to support this goal? Know what you want and take the right steps to guide your life to the desired result.

  • Observation: Are you asking for permission to lead or act, if so - why? What are you thinking or feeling that drives you to seek approval from others before you act on what you believe in? Understand the feeling, the thought in your mind and how it's causing you to behave. You will start to notice patterns and identify what's triggering you to stop and wait for permission.

  • Feel the Fear - Do It Anyway: What are you afraid of? It can be scary to step out of your comfort zone, so what's got you looking for permission? It's likely that you are afraid of something - what others might think, getting in trouble or failure. So, you seek permission before you act. When you deeply understand what you believe in and why, you will instinctively know what actions to take. The result? Immediate empowerment.

  • Positivity Breeds Empowerment: If you're focusing on what's going great in life - whether it's little or large, the more inspiration will happily take over. Because of a hyper focus on everything that's gone right, it starts to feel as if the entire world supports you and you behave as such. If you are struggling to see the silver lining, make a gratitude journal and jot down 5 things every day that went right. Whether the sunset was amazing, you performed well in a work meeting or you tried a new restaurant and felt impressed. Big or small, it doesn't matter. Focus on feeling good and more great feelings like empowerment will come.

What have you noticed stops you from feeling empowered? What steps have you taken to turn this into your own personal learning experience?


See what others are saying