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What is Self Empowerment?

Empowerment, What is it?, How do I get it?

Self-empowerment in its simplest form means taking charge of your own life, in your work place, with your colleagues, with your subordinates, with your superiors, with your body, with your illness and for you caring for yourself. Well this sounds obvious but how come most of us don’t do it. The reason for this is that we don’t have the full understanding of how to do it properly or even what it means. We seem to rely on some sort of gut instinct or thought pattern within us, that we think this is the way it should be done. When we find out through some experience that, that is not so. we become confused, feel angry, feel hurt, indignant, feel rejected, feel not good enough, etc, etc. The list is endless. So what is the answer?

what is empowerment?  Well lets look at it this way – if you had the knowledge and understanding of what and how to do, then you would know how to do things so that they don’t blow up in your face. But in order to do this, one needs knowledge of some sort. Another way of putting it is to say that self-empowered individuals do not give away their power or allow others to infantilize them, they use it appropriately. But to do this, one has to own and know your own power and be able to access it and use it appropriately. But how do you that?

The first thing to know is that we all have it, each and every one of us. The only difference between those who own and know their power and use it appropriately and those that don’t, is the internal belief system that they have, that they cant have that power.

Ok, if I accept that, then how do I look at my belief systems, or even for that matter find them and overcome them. This is relatively easy and there are many articles on this web site that will help you and give pointers. Please see the articles suggested at the bottom of this article.

Well the first thing to do is, when a situation arises that you have a reaction to – be it anything – then it is to see where is that feeling in my body, what does it feel like. Try to imagine what it feels like. Once you have that feeling of what it feels like then have a good look at it and trace it back in your life to the first time that you felt like that.

Then have a look at what was going on at the time. What were the circumstances, what was happening to you, what you took on about yourself that did not encourage you to have power, be in your power, to be authentic, that I gave away my power. Your reaction in the present moment is that moment from the past that you are reliving now when the circumstance came up.

In this past moment lies the gem/s for you to ponder on, and overcome. Herein lies the answers that you have been looking for. If you can’t do it for yourself then get someone who is specialised to help you to get the answers and understanding for you. Once you have overcome that hurdle, you will have started to build knowledge about yourself and how you operate. When the next similar event comes up then you will be empowered to overcome that similar kind of situation, and will not react negatively. You will be able to handle that particular situation easily.

If you do this exercise over and over again every time you have a reaction to anything, you will build up huge knowledge about yourself. Through this methodology you will eventually overcome all of your reactions. what isempowerment4 As you do this more and more you will overcome your fears that were holding you back, making you feel dis-empowered. When you have reached that stage you would have become rather powerful or empowered in your own right.

Be the Expert About Your Own Life
The concept of being the expert about your own life is one that many people have some difficulty in seeing and understanding. Let me explain. We all have been raised to believe that a physician knows what's best for our health; a priest, minister or rabbi what's best for us spiritually; a therapist what's best for us emotionally or mentally. Thus, traditionally an expert has been someone else whom we were taught to defer to and trust unconditionally. Questioning the opinions of these experts was not encouraged. The blind acceptance of authority has been a fundamental component of the existing power structures in this society (and in most others as well). This has now become a learned behaviour which in turn has become our own belief system. This belief system is what runs our lives for ever more until we decide to challenge it and then change it within ourselves. Now when these belief systems become ignited in us, in a life situation, where the person is required to act in his power they feel that they can’t (feel powerless) and that they have no right to. Thus they react in a powerless type manner / in a victim type manner and so become submissive, powerless, non challenging, accepting etc etc and so the cycle goes on.

what isempowerment6Empowerment means to gain knowledge and understanding. Self empowerment means to gain knowledge and understanding of the self. Think of it like this. If you knew absolutely nothing about a car and its inner workings, and the car broke down somewhere far from home. You would have no idea what to do to fix the car, so that you can go on. Yet if you had a good knowledge and understanding of the car and its inner workings then you could figure out what needs to be done, get the tools and spares to do it, and fix it. In this situation you would be empowered (feel empowered) for you would know what to do to get yourself going again. You would not just sit in the car and wait for someone to come and sort out the problem for you.

So self-empowerment means to gain knowledge over the Self. In a similar way that you would have gained knowledge and understanding on the inner workings of the car.

So what does this mean? It is essential to gain knowledge of how we all work. What happens on the inside, what are the mechanisms that play and how do they affect our lives. This is a study on its own. Some of the articles listed below and on this web site will give you a broad understanding. Then the next stage would be to find out and understand where did our personal belief systems come from. Once we understand that then we can have a look at the interaction of the two, and see how they run our lives, and how we attract certain events into our lives that reinforce our personal belief systems,  if you are feeling a victim on the inside, then on the outside, will reflect your real life situation.

Example Let me give you an example of a child in an upmarket home, who has everything done for them, everything is given to them and they never lack for anything. They are used to just giving orders and getting what they want. This kind of child then grows up and goes out into the working world carrying this experience with them. This is their belief system about the world and the way it operates. They expect to be able to carry on the same kind of life style they were used to when they were growing up. They suddenly find that they are in constant conflict with their co workers, their subordinates and superiors. They can’t understand why and what is going on that life does not work like that. From the outside looking in we can easily see what is going on but from the inside of the person they have no idea – they think that this is the way that life should be and that is how they think they should operate. They can’t see why people are in conflict with them. They simply have no idea.

And so we can go on and on with examples of life.

Empowerment Characteristics
So lets define and discuss empowerment and in particular self empowerment. Lets start with empowerment. Empowerment is probably the totality of the following or similar capabilities:

  1. Having decision making power of your own.
  2. Having access to information and resources to enable you to take proper informed decisions for yourself.
  3. Having a range of options that you have determined for yourself so that you can make choices (not just yes / no , either / or)
  4. Ability to exercise assertiveness in collective decision making.
  5. Having the belief in self to the extent that you feel that you can make positive change or have the ability to make change for yourself.
  6. Ability to learn new skills or improving one’s personal power or group power.
  7. Ability to change others perceptions by democratic means.
  8. Involving in the growth process and changes that is never ending and self initiated. Increasing one’s positive self image and overcoming stigma.
  9. Finally all of the above be summed up together to say “I am personally responsible for my life and where I find myself” if I don’t like it, I have the power to change it and I have the right to do just that. Through the proper use of choice I can change my life.

Self empowerment means then to have the personal knowledge and belief in self to be able to perform any or all of the above. A self empowered person reflects within themselves a feeling of self confidence that is demonstrated by the following qualities;

  • Self Knowledge – the ability to know thyself in all its facets and thereby know how others operate and then how to interact with them.
  • Self appreciation – it is important to know what you are good at, to develop a sense of self dignity. Know what it is that you can offer the world – and to know that the world wants you to deliver that, for we need it from you and we cant wait for you to do it.
  • Vision – points us in the direction that we must move to, it provides the path, but in knowing where we are going we can proceed step by step despite fear.
  • Power of purpose – If we have power of purpose it inspires confidence in us and gives us a sense of purpose. Although purpose is not a panacea, it makes living worthwhile. Life matters when you have a purpose.
  • Commitment – this is the “heart felt promise to self” to see things through and will not let you down.
  • Contribution – for those that live by the principle of contribution, reward follows service; getting follows giving. You reap what you sow, sow positive things and you reap positive things, sow negative and you reap negative. Life is best when what isempowerment8we are happily and willingly contributing to others. © All Rights Reserved