The journey to self-empowerment is long and requires not only perseverance, but trust. One must trust themselves, those on the road with them and the journey itself. Yet so few of us really know what empowerment is or what it feels like. According to the World Bank, empowerment is defined as “the process of increasing capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes.” Additionally, the World Health Organisation states that empowerment is “an action-oriented concept”, “focuses on power relations and intervention strategies” and includes “both processes and outcomes”.
These two highly regarded world organisations have not only laid out similar meanings for the same word, they have made clear the importance of action in the process of change. There cannot only be theory, it must be acted upon. Now, turning to self-empowerment rather than community empowerment, we find the most common roadblock to success. So many individuals do not recognise their own resources, their own power within and fail to act on the good intentions they may have. Therefore, the first step to self-empowerment is in enlightenment. We learn about our own skills, abilities, gifts, aptitudes, and talents; everything that lies within. No matter if it is perceived as positive or negative, everything is a well of power.
It can be easy to get wrapped up in the societal judgements of inner gifts. Our perspective becomes too singular. When we are so used to walking through our daily lives with the labels coworkers, peers and family have put on us, then it can be extremely difficult to shift our perspective away from those labels. Societal judgements, no matter how well meaning they may be, tend to lock us onto one path. As a consequence, we become stagnant, un-empowered, and unsuccessful. Yet, by stepping into the shoes of those peers we can better see why they labelled us in such a way, and usually it has more to do with them than us. Perhaps we are guilty of the same labelling, but in identifying the behaviour we are half way to eradicating it.
Now that we know our own resources and have encouraged a healthy perspective, how do we create inner power? Dr. Ken Blanchard, renowned author and speaker, answered that best when he said “Empowerment is not giving people power, people already have plenty of power, in the wealth of their knowledge and motivation to do their jobs magnificently.” Everything identified above, the skills and gifts provide millions of megawatts of power to draw from. That is, if they are given the opportunity. All that life experience, education, professional knowledge, all of it is power. Self-empowerment is about letting that power out. It already exists in there, put to work.
It is so common, for those who have not had the same opportunities as others, to believe their own lack of formal education or training is a barrier to success. While social and political marginalisation is nothing to be discounted in any way, a lack of training is in no way a barrier to self-empowerment. There are always skills to be identified, drawn from, and built upon. Every person in every walk of life has something offer. It may be genuine empathy, a diverse understanding of cultural obstacles, varied abilities with language or simply the capacity for active listening. All qualities of any person can be the basis for self-empowerment.
Once inner power is identified, it is time to let it out. Positive thinking and positive self-talk are key ingredients here. Our inner voice encouraging action must be heard. Active self-talk that reminds us of our gifts will help to spur on confident changes in behaviour. Using critical thinking strategies to make sound decisions can result in a positive outcome, which in turn builds self-confidence. Through self-confidence, self-empowerment will grow. It is also important to identify creative thinking when it comes to problem solving. Very often the most successful solutions to dilemmas are rooted in a creative range of options. Moreover, as positive thinking and positive self-talk become second nature, one’s capacity for discreet thinking to make decisions on sensitive subjects will emerge.
The one caveat to all of these strategies is in regeneration. Just as our physical bodies need sleep to rejuvenate, so does the inner power. Change in life is constant in a multitude of ways, and therefore our need to foster a growth process through that change is essential in maintaining self-empowerment. Never cease appreciating and using those millions of megawatts within, but be just as vigilant in cultivating new power.
HLC life coach training and spiritual counseling has been developed upon 10-years of clinically-tested research that have been proven to work on thousands of people. HLCs life coach certification courses are developed for students who want to receive a customized, clinically proven, one-on-one professional prep education.