Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Social psychologists have given us no shortage of self-focused activities to pursue. Self-care, self-improvement, self-efficacy. Of all the “selfs,” self-empowerment sounds uniquely promising.
Who wouldn’t like to be more empowered? Empowerment makes you feel like a confident rock star and affects all areas of your life, including your career, relationships, and health. Most importantly, it benefits you with the power of your voice.
But what is self-empowerment, and how do we define it as it pertains to all areas of our lives?
Popular culture would have us believe that empowerment is a feeling, but we are not genuinely empowered until action initiates positive change. Self-empowerment is taking control of our lives and making informed decisions based on our goals. The first stop on our journey to empowerment begins with our intellect.
Self-empowerment is a vital skill in your growth toolbox. If you want to reach your objectives and feel like the greatest, healthiest, happiest, and most satisfied version of yourself, you need to empower yourself.
When you become empowered, you’ll be more confident and focused on the goals you want to accomplish. Challenges and hardships won’t bother you since you’ll know you’ve got the skills to conquer them. You’ll be able to identify your talents and shortcomings and utilise that knowledge to pursue success on your terms.
Understanding our values is the cornerstone of intellectual self-empowerment, so it’s crucial to shut out the world’s noise to hear our voice.
Many responsibilities vie daily for our attention, making discerning the right path difficult. Here are a few ideas to help you clear your mind.
- Wake up 30 minutes early for quiet time. Do not turn on your phone or the television; find a quiet spot to think, pray, or breathe deeply.
- Take a walk or hike in nature.
- Start a journal to record your goals, dreams, and wishes for the future.
Once you understand what you want from life, it’s time to take ownership of your emotional health.
Psychology Today says emotional intelligence is the “ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions…and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem-solving.” Emotional self-empowerment is about managing stress, navigating change, and adapting to circumstances beyond our control. It allows us to empathise with others, build solid relationships, and manage conflict.
Positive Psychology recommends building your emotional intelligence by:
- Taking time to reflect on your own emotions.
- Pausing before you react in a heated situation.
- Hesitating to take offence when criticised, instead asking, “what can I learn?”
Emotionally-empowered people understand the unique gifts, skills, and personalities they bring to social situations. Secure in their worth, they aren’t jealous or subject to peer pressure but instead can celebrate and encourage others’ unique values.
When conflict arises, they can use humour and empathy to diffuse the situation and work toward compromise. Social self-empowerment is about participating in a rich and happy social life.
In a professional environment, self-empowered people make excellent team members because they are familiar with setting goals and making plans to reach them. They do not shy away from challenges but instead think creatively about how to use available tools to make progress toward improvement.
Because of the self-reflection completed on the road to empowerment, they are in a position to capitalise on known strengths and weaknesses. They understand that no one person can be an expert in every field, so they rely on the talents of others to strengthen the team. Clear communication and the ability to inspire others to undertake challenges are hallmarks of a self-empowered professional.
Renowned American author Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
Self-empowerment is a challenging but worthwhile journey that starts within your mind and then radiates outside, to your place within the community. If done well, it can improve your personal and professional life and the lives of your family, friends, and co-workers.
Remember this: You can do anything in life with a self-empowerment mindset.