I was recently asked by someone “How I could help them gain a greater sense of self-empowerment…”
Two thoughts entered my head:
- What is the best way to help someone feel able to do anything?
- Why doesn’t EVERYONE feel able to do anything?
As always, the best place to start searching for answers is within. I can honestly say that self-empowerment is not something I’ve had a problem with for almost as long as I can remember. In fact I sometimes forget that not everyone believes they are capable of anything they set their mind to. Writing this now, I get the impression that I’m sounding like I’m bragging, but that is not my intention. Instead, I’m trying to illustrate that with enough self-confidence, your self-imposed limitations fall away and the feeling is extremely liberating.
But what are the critical happenings or circumstances that will bring you to that point where all self-doubt is gone?
For me at least, the main factors that have contributed to my personal power have been:
- My family – they always encouraged me and I cannot remember a single time that I was told that I couldn’t do or wouldn’t be able to do something. That’s not true; my Mum told me once that I couldn’t run for 5 days straight, down a highway, and that if I tried I would hurt myself. I was 29 by that stage and it was too late to tell me something was impossible. I did hurt myself though, so Mum was partially right (but pain is temporary… usually).
- The wins. By this I don’t literally mean winning things. I mean setting a goal, however big or small and achieving it. Each win is another feather in the cap of self-confidence. Enough wins and you start to realize your potential. Realizing your potential and then unleashing it is the key to self-empowerment.
- Resourcefulness. I can’t do everything right now. I do however believe that I am capable of doing anything. My reason for believing this is because I’ve seen the evidence. I’ve agreed to take on challenges that scare me half to death. I’ve intentionally put myself in situations which push me beyond my comfort levels and I’ve opted to expose myself to the world and be vulnerable (this blog as a classic example). The reason I’ve done these things is because I’ve found that when I create a situation where I have a need, resourcefulness comes to bear and my mind and the universe find a way to provide. This process confounds my family and those close to me sometimes, but it rarely lets me down.
Point number one above is the hardest one to manufacture for yourself. We don’t get to choose our families and if yours isn’t or wasn’t very encouraging, then shame on them. You can’t use this as an excuse though, as the alternative is quite simple. Find someone that inspires you and use them as an example. Maybe take this point one step further and find a way to personally meet the person or people that inspire you. I’ve done this a couple of times (used my resourcefulness…) and that can carry you a long way.
So put simply, have a supportive upbringing OR find someone to inspire you, achieve some goals and use your resourcefulness. I’d say that you will most likely need to be resourceful to achieve your goals anyway; and the inspiring person or supportive family/friends are a bonus.
Perhaps it is worth pointing out also, what it takes to lose your self-empowerment? To achieve this, do the following:
- Set a goal and when you don’t achieve it, tell yourself it is because you are no good at it.
- Don’t set a goal and do nothing, then wonder why nothing ever changes for you.
- Stay comfortable, don’t ever challenge yourself and do your best to find the path of least resistance.
This is a sure fire recipe to ensure you never find out what you are capable of and to keep your sense of personal power completely squashed.
If you have read this and found that something has resonated with you, I’d like to give you a challenge.
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it is to find something every day between now and the 31st of December that makes you feel uncomfortable – AND DO IT. It can be anything at all that challenges you. It could be attempting to run 5kms further than you can now, it could be to walk up to a stranger and introduce yourself, it could even be to sing out loud in public. Every one of these things will be building blocks for your self-empowerment.
By the way, I’d love to hear about the things you do each day, so please email, post or let me know somehow what you are doing.