Self-empowerment is the ability to make positive decisions and actions based on what you want to achieve. You can take control of your life. While self-empowerment is closely linked and related to self-esteem and self-confidence, it goes far beyond that. Self-empowerment encompasses not only thoughts and intentions but turns them into actual actions.
Self-empowerment should not be confused with self-entitlement. Those with a strong sense of self-entitlement believe they should be given privileges and benefits automatically.
The opposite is true of those with a high sense of self-empowerment. They believe they achieve their privileges, benefits, and success through hard work. They do not think that anything should be just given to them.
Self-empowerment looks and feels different for everyone. One person’s self-empowerment experience can look very different from the next. Below are common signs of self-empowerment.
- Having a positive attitude
- Setting reasonable goals
- Circle of positive people
- Practising self-care
- Being assertive
- Using action or to-do lists
A strong sense of self-empowerment allows you to achieve many things. You can develop your skills, make effective decisions, achieve and reach past your goals, have a strong sense of confidence, and help empower others.
Self-empowerment is extremely important as it allows you to take control of your actions and behaviours. Thus allowing you to control your life. Self-empowerment will enable you to write your own story instead of someone else writing it for you. Self-empowerment is essential to your health, relationships, and success.
Health: We live in a high-speed world. Good health should be at the forefront of our minds as we need to maintain good physical and mental health to operate at our highest productivity. Self-empowerment motivates us to meditate, exercise, and strive to be the best version of ourselves.
Relationships: A self-empowered person has a good grasp on their emotional well-being. They can control their emotions by showing and using them as needed. This helps build relationships with friends, family, and coworkers as a self-empowered person is stable and able to connect with others.
Success: A self-empowered person has a sense of self-confidence. This boosts their efficiency, productivity, and effort. As such, they can take the steps necessary to achieve their goals.
Self-empowerment is the driving force behind achieving one’s goals. It leads to a path of success by taking accountability and control of your behaviours and actions. It allows one to recognise their strengths and weaknesses.
Negative, awful, and horrible things happen to everyone. Self-empowerment allows one to see beyond the issues and work to move past them. While everyone experiences self-empowerment differently, this trait has some critical hallmarks. These Hallmarks are listed below:
- Action: Self-empowered people take deliberate action. They understand that positive movement forward cannot happen without conscious effort.
- Priorities: Self-empowered people make to-do lists to a whole other level. They recognise that while it is essential to know what needs to be done, it is more important to identify what needs to be done now, in the next hour, later today, next week, and next month. They work in order of priority.
- Integrity: Self-empowered people have strong moral principles and are honest. This is who they are at the core, and they act no different in the public eye or behind closed doors.
- Relentless: Self-empowered people have a no-nonsense attitude. They do not give up on themselves or their dreams. They are always looking to push forward regardless of the obstacles in their way.
Self-empowerment provides a host of benefits. Below are some of the most significant benefits:
- Knowing Yourself: A self-empowered person takes the time to know and understand their strengths and weaknesses. They learn their triggers and emotions and how to control them fully. This allows them to build confidence in themselves and move forward instead of retreating in various situations.
- Strong Relationships: A self-empowered person can build stronger connections with others. They are adept at sharing their wants and needs and listening to the wants and needs of others.
- Career Satisfaction: A self-empowered person can excel in their career. They build the skills necessary to succeed at their current level and put effort into going above and beyond to move up to the next level. They are proud of their work and know they can achieve their goal with hard work and determination.
- Healthy Mind, Soul, and Body: A self-empowered person can maintain a positive and healthy lifestyle for themselves. Self-empowered people know that success takes time and effort. They understand that to succeed, and they need to keep a solid inner and outer body. They take the necessary steps to engage in self-care.
Self-empowerment comes in all shapes and sizes. Different people experience self-empowerment in different ways. Below are a few examples of self-empowerment.
- Saying No: Saying no can be very difficult. Sometimes we take on more responsibilities than we can handle because we are afraid to say no. Learning to say no is an excellent example of self-empowerment. Whether saying no to your child, spouse, friend, or coworker, saying no sets boundaries and allows you to stay focused on your end goal.
- Saying Yes: Saying yes can be scary. Sometimes we do not have the courage or willpower to say yes easily. Learning to say yes is also an example of self-empowerment. Whether it is saying yes to yourself in purchasing a new outfit, to your boss in accepting a new position or responsibility, or to a friend in agreeing to help with planning a party, saying yes allows you to control your time and effort.
- Learning a New Skill: Getting out of your comfort zone is no easy task. It can be downright paralysing. Another example of self-empowerment is deciding to learn a new skill or take a new course. You’re allowing yourself to build upon and improve yourself.
While self-empowerment looks different for everyone, there are some characteristics that many self-empowered people have in common. These characteristics are listed below:
- Awareness: A self-empowered person knows themselves and is entirely aware of their thoughts, feelings, actions, and behaviours
- Control: A self-empowered person takes their awareness to another level by being in control of their thoughts, feelings, actions, and behaviours. This prevents them from saying or doing things they will later regret.
- Acceptance: A self-empowered person has a genuine appreciation for who they are. Setbacks towards their goal do not diminish this. They understand and are content with who they are at their core.
- Confidence: A self-empowered person has an overall solid sense of self. They have a strong belief in their abilities. They trust themselves and go out beyond their comfort zones.
- Respect: A Self-empowered person has respect for themselves and others. They have a set of standards that reflect how they want to be treated, and they will not accept less.
- Accountability: A self-empowered person accepts responsibility for their thoughts, actions, and behaviours. They do not shy away from the repercussions of their actions. If they make a mistake, they admit it. They do not cast blame outside but look inward at themselves.
Having a strong sense of self-empowerment is no easy task. Several obstacles prevent someone from being self-empowered. Some examples are listed below:
- Fear of Losing Position: Having self-empowerment is having control and power. This can be a scary idea, especially in the workplace. Developing self-empowerment will create confidence, respect, and communication that may be outside someone’s typical character. This can concern employees as they fear their coworkers or supervisors may not like the change.
- Laziness: Being self-empowered takes much time, effort, and energy. It does not develop overnight or with the flip of a switch. It takes conscious and constant effort over some time. It can sometimes seem more effortless not to try something than to put effort into trying something, and it does not immediately work.
- Lack of Goals: Being self-empowered is impossible without clear and concise goals. If someone has nonspecific or general objectives, they will be unable to develop a sense of self-empowerment as they have nothing to work towards.
Having self-empowerment is very important. There are definite drawbacks to not having a strong sense of empowerment. Some of these drawbacks are listed below:
- Lack of Control: The first drawback to not developing self-empowerment is a lack of control over your life. Those with low or no self-empowerment rely on others to make decisions for them. They do not have the will or desire to make their own choices and thus have no control over what their life will bring.
- Low Motivation: The second drawback to not developing self-empowerment is low motivation. Wasting time, effort, and resources promotes an unfulfilled life without productivity. This leads to a meaningless journey of sadness and loneliness.
- Limited Growth: The third drawback to not developing self-empowerment has limited growth. Without a passionate internal drive, you will be unable to learn new skills, create new habits, and will not be able to move push moments of uncomfortably. This is the equivalent of being stuck in time, never moving forward.
- Little to No Quality Relationships: The fourth drawback to not developing self-empowerment is having little to no quality relationships. Without having confidence in yourself, knowing who you are, and being in control of your feelings, thoughts, and emotions, you will never be able to connect with others or form meaningful relationships.
There are a great many opposites of self-empowerment. Some of the biggest are listed below:
- Diffidence: This is the quality or state of lacking confidence or assertiveness
- Self-Doubt is a lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities.
- Insecurity: This is the uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence
- Self-Distrust: This is a lack of confidence in oneself
The opposite of self-empowerment is not knowing and accepting yourself. It is the choice to allow yourself to be controlled by others. It is allowing yourself no power or rights over your life’s path.
The opposite of self-empowerment is not holding yourself accountable and relying on others for everything you need. It is living in fear, doubt, and low self-worth.
Self-Empowerment is a powerful and essential quality to have. However, it does not come naturally to many people. While some people seem to be born with a strong sense of self-empowerment, others must work hard and practice to develop it.
Self-empowerment can be developed with hard work, determination, practice, and effort. You must be willing to step outside your comfort zone, try new things, and not be afraid to look inward at yourself.
There are several steps you can take to become more self-empowered. Some of the key steps are listed below:
- Positive Attitude: It is essential to have a positive attitude when trying to become more self-empowered. Unlike negativity, positivity will help propel you forward. It will be a catalyst in keeping your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and actions in check.
- Set Reasonable Goals: It is essential to set reasonable or realistic goals when trying to become more self-empowered. To achieve empowerment, you must have a strong desire to complete a goal or task that you set for yourself. You have nothing to move towards without a goal and no drive for accomplishment.
- Practice Self-Care: It is important to practice self-care to become self-empowered. Self-care includes anything you do to make yourself happy and healthy. This can consist of how you eat, sleep, and exercise.
It can also include setting aside a specific amount of time to focus on activities that make you happy. You need to enjoy your life and the journey it takes you on.
While confidence and self-empowerment are closely linked, they are not similar.
Confidence: The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.
Empowerment: The authority or power given to someone to do something.
Self-Empowerment: Taking control of one’s life
Confidence breeds a strong sense of self and internal accountability. To have self-empowerment, one needs to have confidence. To dictate the direction of your life and path, you must learn to trust yourself, which is what confidence means.
You must take that a step further with self-empowerment by not only trusting yourself internally but making decisions, actions, and behaviours, because of that trust.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to help others. Helping others is a superb quality that more people should look to possess. There is a stark difference between helping people and being a people pleaser.
Helping is defined as “ to give assistance or support to (someone): to provide (someone) with something useful or necessary in achieving an end.”
A people pleaser is “a person who has an emotional need to please others often at the expense of his or her own needs or desires”.
While you can be self-empowered and have a passion for helping people, you are not able to be self-empowered and be a people pleaser. People-pleasing goes beyond gestures of sincerity and generosity. It evokes an emotional desire to put other people’s wants, needs, and well-being above your own. People pleasers often help others to the detriment of their own mental health, finances, and other resources.
The very core of self-empowerment is making your own choices for your life. You cannot do this if you allow yourself to be ruled or controlled by others, which is the root of being a people pleaser.
Self-empowerment and ambition are not the same things. Ambition is defined as “an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power” While self-empowered people may also be ambitious, they do not always go hand in hand.
An example of this:
Cindy works at a news station as a producer for the 8 am program. She has worked there for many years, has a college degree in broadcasting, and has been instrumental in the spike in positive ratings over the last eight years. A position for an on-air newscaster becomes available, and Cindy’s supervisor offers her the role.
Cindy thanks her supervisor for his consideration but politely declines. Her supervisor urges her to reconsider as on-air newscasters make more compensation, and her widely known. Cindy again declines and explains that she loves her current position behind the scenes. She states that being in front of the camera, being known to people on the street or in the grocery store and having to attend public-wide events would diminish her enjoyment of work.
Cindy has a strong sense of self-empowerment as she turns down a promotion she doesn’t want, speaks her mind, and stands her ground. Cindy is not ambitious as she does not wish for power, fame, or fortune.
To build self-empowerment, you must practice practice practice. Below are some self-empowerment statements that you can say to boost your empowerment:
- “Do not let another day go by where your dedication to other people’s opinions is greater than your own emotions!” Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
- “Only you can take inner freedom away from yourself or give it to yourself. Nobody else can.” Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
- “Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to when all they need is one reason they can” -Martha Graham.
- I am strong, and I will dictate my path.
- My life is my own, and I will write the chapters in it.
Self-Empowerment is no easy task. You cannot wake up one day and say, “I am now self-empowered”, and have a challenge-free life. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.
Below are some of the most common challenges with achieving self-empowerment:
- Fear: Many times, we create our fears. These are also the hardest ones to break. We are fearful we focus on the “what if’s” too much. We allow ourselves to be consumed by negativity. Fear is a tough challenge to face but must be done to achieve self-empowerment.
- Impatience: Our society is based on instant gratification. We are less inclined to wait for our success or achievement as a species. We want everything to happen as quickly as possible. This is not always possible and is not always the best course of action. Think of the Greeks when they attacked Troy. After being defeated, they were patient and created the great Trojan horse. This display of patience is what ultimately led to their victory. Without patience, you cannot have self-empowerment.
- Overwhelmed: Society is also always on the move. At home, we must always clean, organise, or prepare. At work, we need to constantly take on new projects with a goal of nonstop completion. In between, we should be going to stores, reaching out to friends, and visiting family.
We’re programmed to be moving and involved in something every second of the day. What the world should be engraining in our minds is being productive instead of just nonstop busy.
To be self-empowered, you must make your action meaningful and productive. Each should serve a direct purpose instead of simply checking an item off a to-do list.
To boost self-empowerment, the following are required but certainly not limited to:
- Look in the Mirror: You must learn to accept yourself fully. Seek to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Know that you are not perfect and that you can achieve whatever it is that you desire.
- Daily Affirmations: Learn to recite daily affirmations. The best time is first thing in the morning as you begin your day. You can also set up mini reminders throughout the day. Change the background on your phone or computer to a positive quote, or leave your favourite quote taped to a notebook you use throughout the day.
- Set Goals: Set goals that you can work towards. This will help keep you motivated and will keep driving you onward.
- Try Something New: You must try new things. This allows you to move beyond your comfort zone to learn and grow.
Self-empowerment is closely connected to self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is “people’s beliefs in their capabilities to exercise control over their own functioning and over events that affect their lives.
One’s sense of self-efficacy can provide the foundation for motivation, well-being, and personal accomplishment.”
Self-efficacy is a fundamental part of having a strong sense of self-empowerment. It gives the foundation for your actions and behaviours. Without a belief in your abilities, you would be unable to act on them.
Self-empowerment is nothing without action. Learn to take the below self-empowerment actions in your life:
- Find purpose
- Decide what you want
- Take action
- Take responsibility
- Empower others
Courage is necessary to become self-empowered. Courage is “the ability to do something that frightens one.” Courage is often thought of as grand and dangerous gestures. Courage can be seen as running into traffic to save a child or jumping down a cliff to rescue a climber.
While these are examples of courage, courage can also be seen in our day-to-day lives. Stepping out of your comfort zone to register for a new class or try a recent activity is courageous. Learning to stand up for yourself is courageous.
Taking complete control of your life is courageous. These are the ways you must possess the courage to become self-empowered.