What Is Personal Empowerment
At its most basic level, according to Oxford Dictionary, empowerment means becoming powerful. In order to build personal empowerment, you most reflect on your personal skills, goals, and values. You have to be prepared to adjust your behaviors if it means achieving your goals.
Personal empowerment means being aware that others have goals and values that do not align with yours.
While there may be a variety of other definitions, they generally center around the suggestion that empowerment offers individuals the ability to:
- Develop empowerment that involves making fundamental changes to your life, which isn’t simple. Obviously, the necessary degree of change will be dependent on the individual.
- Take control of their own circumstances, and work to achieve their goals in both their working and personal lives.
- Enhance their contribution, whether it is as a team member or as an individual.
- Be more aware of weaknesses and strengths, therefore becoming better equipped to handle problems, and achieve their goals.
Dimensions Of Personal Empowerment
There are dimensions of personal empowerment, and these are based on the belief that if an individual can develop a range of coping mechanisms, they are better armed to effectively cope with the diverse situations that life presents.
It’s the cornerstone of our entire being. We understand our character, and how we respond to particular situations. This offers us the chance to build on those positive qualities that we possess, as well as being aware of potentially negative traits that can have an impact on our effectiveness. When you are self-aware, you make conscious choices to improve your life when possible, and learn from previous experiences.
Our values are our beliefs and opinions- they play an important role in our lives, and we may not always be aware of their power. Our values can be a perceived obligation, a type of belief, or any preference we have for whatever reason. The reason you prefer something over another, or why you make a particular choice may not seem obvious. Your values, however, play an important part in who we are as individuals.
Your skills are the resources, which you rely on to achieve your desired goals. You can gain skills through training, education, practice, and experience. It is only through skill development that you can translate your values into actions.
Knowledge is vital to developing both skills and self-awareness. It’s a skill in itself, to understand where you will find the appropriate information. Without information, our choices are limited, in both your working life and your personal life. The internet has gifted us a simple way to access serious amounts of information, easily and quickly.
Setting goals is a way that allows you to take control of your life. It is an empowering process, because you have to consider your values, and the direction you want your life to take, and your goals are based on that. You make your choices by reflecting on your values, and follow those us with actions that will lead you to the end result. It is vital, however, that the goals you set are specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic. This provides you with a sense of direction and that is vital to personal empowerment.
9 Signs That You Lack Personal Power
Experiencing emotions like hate and frustration stem from feeling un-empowered. When you feel like you don’t have control over certain aspects of your life, it’s difficult to maintain control over your feelings. Those emotions may be a sign that you are lacking in personal power. You can regain your personal power by changing your perception of any given situation. It could be as easy as choosing to think a different way.
When you are dealing with feelings of insecurity and frustration, your initial instinct is to try to control everything around you, regardless of the situation. All you really need to do is take control of your personal power, by choosing what you want from your life.
What end result do you expect from the activity, and why are you doing it? How will you achieve what you want? It’s a simple method to stop the frustration, and take your power back.
Here are several signs that you’re lacking personal power:
- You Waste Your Energy By Complaining – There’s a huge difference between problem solving and complaining. Everyone needs a good rant every now and then, but if you spend most of your time complaining to anyone who will listen, then you’re too busy focusing on the problem, instead of looking for a solution. Complaining suggests you don’t have control over the situation, or your attitude.
- You Can’t Accept Responsibility For Your Feelings – If you constantly blame other people for how you are feeling, then you lack personal power. You shouldn’t allow the behavior of others to dictate your emotions. Accept that you have control over your emotions, regardless of how others choose to behave.
- You Fail To Establish Healthy Boundaries – If you don’t speak up to yourself, and often allow others to guilt trip you into certain behavior- then you’re giving your personal power away. Don’t blame other people for forcing you into behaving in a way you don’t wish to, or for wasting your time. You are in charge of you. Establish boundaries that provide you with the control over how you behave, and whom you spend time with.
- You Hold Grudges – When you hold a grudge, you are doing more harm to yourself than the person you’re holding the grudge against. You waste valuable energy and time thinking about the person who wronged you, and it robs you of your ability to enjoy life. The best way to take your power back is by forgiving someone and moving on. Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing someone, it simply means that you’re letting go of the anger and hurt it caused.
- You Don’t Know Your Values – When you don’t know what values you hold, you leave yourself at risk of being caught up by someone else’s values. You can be led astray and led down a path you don’t want to take. Take your power back and acknowledge what values are true to you.
- You Waste Time On Unproductive Thoughts – I bet you’ve spent your day wishing it was time up, or that you’ve spent your night wishing you were off the following day. You’re wasting your time, giving a workday even more power than it should have. Take back control of your thoughts and don’t waste brainpower on things that don’t deserve the energy.
- You Engage In Victim Language – When you say things that you have to do something, or that you have no choice, you’re turning yourself into a victim. Sure, there may be something that are out of your control, but there are always choices to be made and with every choice comes a consequence.
- Your Self-Worth Is Dependent On Others – If your self-worth is dependent on the opinion of others, then you’re in trouble. Your self-worth should be rooted in how you feel about yourself. You don’t need to be liked by every person, nor do you need everyone to agree with the choices you make or the life you lead. Never give up your personal power by allowing one opinion to determine your worth.
- You’re Afraid To Stand Out From The Crowd – Fear and self-doubt can be powerful, and these emotions may result in you feeling desperate to blend in with your surroundings. You don’t want to rock the apple cart, or stand out from the crowd. Trying to blend in is preventing you from being who you really are; you’re effectively wearing a disguise. You should be mentally strong enough to be different, dare to stand out.
10 Major Rewards Of Personal Empowerment
- Prevent others from manipulating you
- Prevent others from bullying you
- Learn how to deal with the aggressiveness of others
- You will be able to influence people with your ideas
- You will be more adept at handling conflict with composure and a calm confidence, especially in situations that are emotionally charged
- You can reach a new level of self-responsibility and self-respect
- Other people will have more confidence in you as you communicate directly, and openly.
- You will be able to handle situations with people who are considered difficult. You will be able to avoid unnecessary aggravation, and work towards co-operation
- You will understand how negotiating provides benefits in every aspect of your life
- You will enjoy personal autonomy and self-control
25 Ways To Achieving Personal Empowerment
1. Identify a Goal
The idea of developing your own personal empowerment is to increase your level of influence at any level. You should address every situation with respect and significance.
To achieve your goal, you should be armed with the understanding of the system or situation that you are dealing with.
Before you can take action, you first have to believe in yourself. You have identified your goal, you have acquired the knowledge, and now you have to believe in yourself to put your plan into action.
The greater your skills, the greater your competence! Understanding your skillset is part of establishing the technique. This can be improved through training and practice.
We act, we reflect, we assess, and we act again. Empowerment is a cyclical process and a great way to start, is by starting out with small issues before moving on to those bigger fish you may need to fry.
Change has to come from within, and the impact of our personal empowerment comes from our insistence. You must understand that your efforts won’t always yield results immediately. It isn’t an overnight change.
7. An Open Mind
The power is all yours, and you have a responsibility to find something inside yourself that suggests that anything and everything is possible. When you keep an open mind, you become more creative, and you create a world in which you are prepared to succeed. A closed mind is a negative mind, and those are the minds that can’t see what is right in front of them. They focus on the wrong things, what can’t happen, and fail to focus on opportunity.
8. Retain Focus
One fact of life that cannot be changed is that things are going to happen that you don’t like. Our lives still move on, and success is built around unfair occurrences. Expect to experience situations that aren’t just, or correct. Your focus should be on how you will respond to these situations, not being caught up in the issues themselves. It’s all about focusing on who you are. That’s where your focus should be, which will allow you to live your life authentically. Be who you are, and allow your success to speak for itself.
9. Run Your Race
The success of others does not mean you are a failure. You are running your own race, so focus on that race. Competition may be healthy, but don’t focus on what everyone else is doing- keep your eye on the prize. Because if you become too caught up in what everyone else is doing, you’re losing focus on your contribution. Empowerment isn’t about competition, it’s about contribution.
10. Trust Yourself
You have what it takes. You need to trust that you do. Trust empowers you to achieve your goals, and if you doubt your skills, you’re only going to doubt your ability to achieve those goals. Your actions are a direct result of your thoughts, so if you spend your time focused on doubt, then it becomes difficult to believe in yourself. If you can dream it, you can do it. Trust that you are capable of thinking through your options, making the right decisions, and achieving the goals you have set out for yourself.
Remember how we mentioned that competition isn’t empowerment? Collaboration can be. Since when was success a one-person job? One of the best methods to achieve your goal is to network. Surround yourself with people who have strengths that fill the gaps of your weaknesses. Collaboration is inclusion, and in a collaborative environment, the success is shared. Competition breeds jealousy, division, and anger, and isn’t how long lasting relationships are built.
12. Love Your Life
Passion is greater than failure, and the most powerful of emotions is love. This is often why people who are truly empowered do jobs that they love. Most people would do absolutely anything for love, and the only thing standing between you and doing something you love is you. When an obstacle presents itself, you shouldn’t let it deter you from your path. Provided you are passionate about your work and your life, work won’t feel like work. Nor will an obstacle be enough to push you off your path to success.
13. Go With Grace
With any level of success, you will experience haters. Michelle Obama said it best when she said, “When they go low, we go high.”
You don’t need to give haters your grace; you should simply behave with grace. You won’t inspire change in people through anger. Empowerment is by behaving right and the right action is what will inspire change.
When you are face to face with people who want to tear you down, you should show composure and self-discipline. ‘Haters’ is just a cute word to describe jealously, and they’re only jealous because they aren’t a part of your success. Let them say what they want to say, you should stick to that road less travelled.
14. Embrace Imperfection
We live in an imperfect world, filled with imperfect people. Imperfection is okay, because empowerment is cultivated during challenging times. Failure is a fundamental element to building yourself back up, and developing yourself. Without failure, how would you improve? Failure is simply a way to evolve into who you want to become, you learn from your mistakes and go again.
15. Stay Aware
Awareness is about recognizing yourself, your power, the people around you, and the environment that you are in. If you are truly aware, then you will understand the importance of disengaging from stressful situations and things. It’s about defining when to disempower yourself from a particular environment, and taking power of your life.
16. Let It Go
If you want to achieve inner peace and achieve personal empowerment, then you need to be living in the now. Holding a grudge will leave you with anger. Wasting time judging and criticizing others leaves you feeling guilty. You will experience symptoms of anxiety and depression that all relate to past feelings. It’s vital that you are able to let go of those feelings from the past, so that are able to move forward.
It’s important that we are willing to grow and expand as humans. It’s vital to our growth that we are open to cultivating a new mindset. Just think about what thoughts are currently dominating your mind, your current belief system, and habits.
What are they doing to serve you?
Do they provide you with positivity, or do they encourage a negative mindset?
If it’s the latter, then it’s time to cultivate a new mindset and take back control of your mind, rather than allowing your mind to take control of you.
18. Don’t Worry About The Future
It’s safe to say that there is a fine line between personal empowerment and the future. It’s important to make plans and have goals, but it’s equally as important to accept the truth of what the future may hold for you. Accept when is in front of you, and surrender to what will be yours. Every tomorrow offers a new challenge, accept each one constructively.
19. Trust Others & Yourself
Trust is a valuable quality, and it is a quality that makes you better at making decisions. You should have trust in your own judgement, and in your ability to make decisions. You should also trust the people around you too; trust that they can help with making serious life decisions. Trusting yourself and others allows you to release doubt, and worry.
20. Take Time To Recognize
If you want to see who you are, and appreciate what you have- then it’s time to take stock of what you have. Recognition is all about who, what, when, and where your power comes from and where you send it. Once you have recognized your abilities you can achieve personal empowerment. Identify the gifts that you possess, and embrace them. You don’t need the world to acknowledge your talents to take advantage of them.
Take a minute to take a break. There are a few great ways to reduce your stress levels, including meditation, yoga, and massage. No matter what method you choose- take time out to enjoy some silence and release some of that pent-up stress you are no doubt dealing with.
22. Be Responsible
True empowerment means knowing exactly what responsibilities you have in life. This allows you to release guilt from circumstances that aren’t within your control. You can take responsibility for your life, and be independent and empowered.
23. Be Positive
A positive mindset is vital to achieving your goals, and maintaining your personal empowerment. Teach yourself to stay positive by using mindfulness techniques, LivingWell.org offers a variety of different exercises.
24. Be Honest
Lying always comes with guilt, and guilt always comes with shame. Shame only leads to you feeling worthless. Honesty is the best policy in any situation, but especially when dealing with personal empowerment. You should be as truthful with yourself, as you are with others.
25. Share Greatness
You’re well on your way to personal empowerment, so now that you know how great it feels, shouldn’t you share it with the people you know and love? Everyone should be able to benefit from personal empowerment, and enjoy the same independence and peace that you have.
Living an empowered life opens up a world of possibility. Your life can be of great significance if you are prepared to educate yourself, and cooperate with others to achieve greatness. Love your life, and love what you do, and care deeply about others in order to proper them to personal empowerment, too.
Be so passionate about your goals that no obstacle or roadblock is enough to deter you from achieving your goals.
Personal empowerment means that you won’t crumble under failure; rather you will bounce back and make a conscious decision to grow from the mistakes that you make.
Go Get It and EMBRACE IT!