Why self-empowerment? When we are disempowered we become ‘victims’ of circumstances, situations and people. They pull our strings. In contrast, self-empowerment enables us to pull our own strings. It gives us the ability to choose how we want to respond to people and events.
What does it look like? When we are self-empowered we are connected to, and able to express, our own inner qualities. We no longer wait for someone to rescue us or to approve of us. Grounded in our own truth, peace and love we stand tall with our respect and dignity. Relationships now become ones of inter-dependency, sharing and equality.
Where do we start? Well, how empowered we feel is closely linked with how we view ourselves, others and situations. So, a good place to start, is to consciously and every day begin to notice and appreciate your own and others’ good qualities and kind actions. You could even carry this over into a gratitude journal. Put a note on the first page to remind yourself why you are writing it, such as: The journey to seeing the beauty and benefit in everyone and everything is the journey of self-empowerment. Then at the end of the day, note down as many positive things as you can recall. It could be a kind thought you had to a kind word said to you.
Can others empower us? Others can inspire and support us with their positive vision of us and their faith in us. However, only we can actually do our own deeper individual inner work.
What type of deeper inner work do we need to do? We have to see ourselves clearly. Do you describe yourself by your job title, relationships or social status? Is this all you are? The journey of self-discovery is very much entwined with the journey of self-empowerment.
How can we see ourselves more clearly? Begin by becoming more aware of our own thoughts and feelings, the impressions you have collected, and the opinions of others you have taken on as our own. We need to be able to start separating ourselves from these influences and teasing out the real ‘I.’
What is an example? Take thoughts. Have you ever explored where they are coming from? Who is thinking them? Choosing them? Questioning ourselves in this way, we become aware that we are not our thoughts, and that we exist independently of them. We also start to see the connection between our thoughts and feelings and attitudes. And we find that by changing our thoughts we can affect our feelings and attitude. We can start exploring thoughts about ‘the thinker’, such as: Who am I? What are my values? Are these thoughts that I am thinking aligned with my values? What does my unique mix of peace, love, joy, wisdom and strength look like?
As we see ourselves more clearly we start to value ourselves and others more. This empowers us to make choices that are right for us, choices that naturally become ones of benefit, not just for ourselves, but for others also.