Empowerment is a tricky concept. For more than a century, the word has been used to describe doing things for ourselves that increase our capacity, knowledge, wisdom, authority, and abilities. However, a lot of people sell it as something you can only buy from them. This happens in jobs, throughout communities, at school, and even at home. I want to tell you you can empower your own self.
For a lot of reasons, the world around us would have each of us believe we’re incapable. Incapable of being healthy, making money, finding a partner, gardening our vegetables, driving well, and so much more. There are business models, educational models, cultural models, family models, government models, and so much more predicated on the notion that we’re not able to do things for ourselves. Its not that we don’t want to, but that we’re incapable of it.
The vast majority of the time though, its not that we’re incapable, but that we’ve accepted the oppressive conditioning of the world around us.
Consciously or coincidentally, this oppression is intended to reinforce our own personal notions of our incapability in any given area. Sometimes this is good — I don’t want a self-taught surgeon operating on me. However, sometimes this is excessively prohibiting, such as…
- Teachers reinforcing that students can’t learn something substantial on their own;
- White people treating people of color as less-than-human because of their skin color;
- Employers believing employees can’t be responsible for their company’s success without strict management;
- Politicians thinking their constituents are meager, inconsequential, and largely irrelevant to governance;
- Spouses acting like partners are lesser-than them because they’re not the breadwinner or majority parent;
- Heterosexual people demanding strict adherence to binary gender identities at home and throughout society;
- And so much more…
All of these are untrue. However, because our culture is predominantly oppressive, punishing, and diminutive, these sometimes appear as universal truths that are inescapable.
Steps to Self Empowerment
You can stop this right now. YOU, personally, can empower your own self, right now. I call these the “Steps to Self Empowerment” but ironically, they aren’t steps at all. Instead, they’re like stones on a path that you can follow, or skip, or walk around.
- Use Your Natural Abilities. Within you right now there is an innate and unlimited wellspring of abilities, whether physical, mental, emotional, social, or beyond. You have them right now. Take a personal inventory or simply acknowledge that you already have the abilities you want.
- Name Your Passion. Find what matters to you by sitting still and seeing what exists within you right now. Naming your passion will allow you to see that you have the power, purpose, and potential you need within you right now.
- Claim Your Space. Your abilities to make a difference in your own life rely on you claiming your space within yourself and around you. Your life is yours alone, and you deserve to have what is yours. Claim your space by planting your flag in your own mind and throughout your day, and know that you’re empowered right now.
- Give Yourself Room. We need to have the space, the place, the time and the opportunities to succeed, grow, screw up, fall, and recuperate. Give yourself room to thrive, fail, unfurl, and reconstitute your Self.
- Focus On Who You Are. Instead of being who others want you to be, how they want you to be, where they want you to be, when they want you to be there you should focus on who you are to you. Life isn’t a rehearsal. You be you, and let others do themselves.
- Run Your Own Race. Rise up to your own potential, and instead of competing with others commit to competing only with yourself–be a better version of you today than you were yesterday. Leave the rat race of doing, achieving, accomplishing and completing, and instead run your own race at your own pace.
- Trust Yourself. You are the ultimate authority on you. Release other peoples’ opinions of you and reach for a new vision of yourself that’s greater, better, and more than you’ve ever been before.
- Love What You Do. Each of us only gets one go-around in this life, and because of that you should love who you are, what you do, and what you’re doing, everywhere, all of the time. That’s a high challenge, but a key to self empowerment.
- Embrace Your Imperfections. Even the times we mess up can teach us. Embrace your imperfections and let yourself rise up to your own mind’s eye.
- Do Nothing. There is nothing for you to do right now. You can name your empowerment if you want, you can struggle and fight and challenge and overcome, or you can simply sit still. Do nothing, and you’re empowered right now.
Following these steps can allow you to empower yourself. Need ideas on where to begin doing any of these? Click here » In the meantime, embrace the moment and go be empowered!