Self-empowerment can be a difficult task sometimes, especially for those who of us who suffer from self-esteem issues, anxiety, or other problems that hinder us in our ability to realize our true potential in life. Luckily, there are many different things you can do in order to improve your sense of self-empowerment.
So how do you achieve self-empowerment? Here are some ways you can empower yourself:
- Be proactive, because you are in control of your own life.
- Change your perspective and this will help you to understand others and the world from a new angle.
- Discover yourself by making some conscious efforts to uncover what you really want.
- Set healthy boundaries, which means knowing your limitations and not letting others drag you elsewhere
There are many ways you can approach these differences in methods of self-empowerment that will help you become a more satisfied, happy person who is assured in your self-identity and feel confident to make life-changing decisions.
Read on to find out more about self-empowerment and how it can aid you in changing your life.
1. Be Proactive: You’re in Control of Your Own Life!
Taking action to address aspects of your own life is probably the single most important thing you can do with regards to becoming self-empowered.
No matter how much you change your own perspective on the world, your intentions and mindset don’t matter at all if they do not change your behavior.
Instead, for true self-empowerment, focus on actively taking steps to improve your life situation and self-assess your strengths and weaknesses and address them head-on, rather than sit around vexed thinking about them.
Here are some of the ways that you can be more proactive for self-empowerment:
One of the ways in which we feel weakened as individuals is when we feel disconnected from other people.
Being lonely or professionally isolated can make us anxious and depressed, while having a support network of friends, family, and coworkers can help us feel empowered by knowing we have other people who care about us at our back.
Networking is an important skill to acquire both professionally for your career as well as just to continue being able to make friends and possibly seek romantic relationships as an adult.
It’s a vital skill towards becoming a stronger, more empowered person because, at the end of the day, no man is an island.
2) Count your blessings
Gratitude is an empowering personality trait because it allows us to see the best in everything that we have available to us.
By taking time out of each day to write down 3-5 things that you are grateful for, you are remaining conscious of the many resources you have available to you.
This consciousness not only makes you happier that you have the resources available, but it also gives you more mental energy to turn those resources to your benefit.
Knowing what you have and how lucky you are to have, it feels very empowering.
3) Make a to-do list
A lot of times, when people feel personally powerless, it is because they are completely overwhelmed by all of the things they are thinking and needing to do.
Keeping an ongoing list of things that you need to keep track of in your head is not only mentally exhausting, but it also makes you too weak to actually be proactive and make headway on anything you’re trying to get done.
Take 10-15 minutes, an egg timer, a piece of paper, and a pen. Jot down every possible thing you can think of that you need or want to do, buy, or plan for.
Don’t stop for the entire 10-15 minute and get another piece of paper if you need it.
Once you get all of these things out of your head and onto paper, you can go about organizing your thoughts into small, actionable steps.
Once a few small tasks are accomplished, you will feel empowered to tackle the rest.
4) Exercise daily and protect your health
Physical empowerment leads to mental and emotional empowerment, and the opposite is also true. When we feel physically weak, we also feel mentally and emotionally weak.
Good health is one blessing most of us take for granted until we lose it, so you owe it to yourself to get in the best shape you possibly can.
Not only does this make you a stronger person for your own self-empowerment, but it also gives you the endurance and strength to tackle challenges on the behalf of others.
Along with exercise, you should take other active steps to protect your health. Stay educated about vaccinations, vitamins, and other supplemental healthcare methods.
Make sure to get preventative healthcare such as medical physicals and vital checks such as mammograms and prostate exams.
If you are overweight, daily exercise can help you to lose weight, which can bolster your confidence and help with emotional self-empowerment.
Not only will you have the cosmetic benefits of a slim, toned body, you’ll also have the confidence that comes with knowing you built it yourself.
5) Practice self-care
As the saying goes, if you don’t value yourself, you’ll have a hard time getting anyone else to value you either.
Self-care can range from daily meditation and affirmations to mental health days off from work or home spa weekends.
In daily life, we are pulled in a dozen different directions trying to do everything for everyone. It’s important to remember that in order to adequately care for others, we must care for ourselves first.
This is empowering because it allows you to embrace your own value as a person. You are worth that bubble bath. So light some candles and go take it!
Self-care can also mean just basic fashion and hygiene. When we’re feeling powerless, it’s often easy to slip into our grubbiest outfits or to feel too tired to run a brush through our hair.
Making sure to maintain your hair, teeth, skin, and nails not only makes you physically healthier, but it also projects confidence and power to others.
Dress for success has been advice for those in a rut for decades, and it is still good advice today.
If you’re in a slump, you might feel compelled to face life in a bathrobe but go take a shower and put on real adult clothes. You’ll feel a lot more powerful afterwards.
2. Change Your Perspective: Understand Others and the World From a New Angle.
When we feel less than powerful, it is a result of our own perspective on the world and our position in it.
When we feel weak and powerless, this is often not a reflection of reality but rather our perceptions, which do not match up with reality a lot of the time, according to psychologists.
In order to become more self-empowered, it’s important to address the negative aspects of one’s perception of the world and change those perceptions to something more proactive and positive.
Simply reframing a real-time situation in the mind can lead to stronger feelings of motivation in times of inertia, or gentleness in times of cruelty.
Changing our perspectives–especially when it comes to trying to empathize with the perspectives of others–can be an extremely empowering tool for bettering our lives and understanding the people in them better.
Here are some of the ways that can greatly help you redirect your perspectives to achieve a true self-empowerment:
1) Learn to accept criticism
Nobody likes being criticized, except for that one guy, and nobody likes him. However, chances are in life you’re going to be put in a position where you’re going to be criticized for something you did, and it’s going to make you feel alternatively furious and guilty.
But criticism doesn’t have to be a negative experience. That negativity is only generated as a result of us perceiving the criticism as a) personally insulting, or b) incorrect. In many cases, the person criticizing our work is not trying to criticize us personally, and as the creators, our perception of “correct” is often, sadly, a little skewed.
People become so blinded by hurt feelings when criticized that we fail to recognize that if we look at our work impartially instead, there is probably something valuable to be learned from the criticism that we can use to empower ourselves.
It is also important to learn how to move forward with personal projects in the face of criticism while still inspecting it for useful insight.
Sometimes criticism is baseless, and sometimes it isn’t, but if we have true visions as creative individuals, we have to see them through regardless of the naysayers.
2) Accept imperfection
Perfectionism is the death of creativity and can stifle even the most visionary artist or scientific mind.
Perfection defies failure, and no great human breakthrough was ever accomplished without somebody screwing something up at some point in the process.
To empower yourself, learn to accept failure as part of the process of success, not as the stopping point that keeps you from it.
Many people refuse to try new things that they potentially have massive amounts of innate talent for because they are afraid to fail in front of other people.
Embracing the art of wabi-sabi and learning how to laugh off your mistakes is an important part of learning true self-empowerment.
3) Focus on the present, not the past or the future
The future is full of worry, and the past is full of regret, but the present is a gift, a shining moment full of endless possibilities.
Simply grounding yourself in day to day life and staying consciously aware of your environment in the present moment can be incredibly empowering.
One way to increase your mindfulness in the present moment is to practice mindful breathing or mindful meditation. Along with many documented medical benefits, meditation is the best way to develop a practice of remaining in the present moment.
4) Take personal responsibility
Often when we feel personally powerless, it comes from a place of feeling like our problems in life are someone else’s fault.
But the harsh truth is that often some of our most pervasive problems are the result of our own choices, rather than the choices of others.
Taking personal responsibility is empowering because it allows you to take a long, hard look at your own failings and flaws.
This is difficult to do because the ego is very resistant to it, but this introspection is vital to gaining a more authentic understanding of your own behavior.
Once you figure out what parts of your problems you’re responsible for, you can take proactive steps to resolve those problems, and this will empower you to gradually improve the quality of your own life, rather than waiting on someone else to ride in and save you from it.
3. Discover Yourself: Make a Conscious Effort to Uncover What You Really Want
It is often an issue in modern society that people are so caught up in mass media and trends that they don’t realize exactly who they are as an individual.
Things that seemed important to us as children become less so with the added responsibilities of adulthood and our dreams become muted.
Chances are when you were younger, there were things that you wanted to do or talents you had that were eventually left by the wayside due to life situations and the passing of time.
It is empowering to make a conscious effort to uncover those truths about yourself in adulthood, however.
Finding out who you really are again can allow you to fall in love with yourself, which is not only empowering, it makes you more lovable to other people too.
Here are some practical ways that can help you redefine yourself and find your true values.
1) Rediscover your passions
In order for us to feel empowered in our lives, we have to do things that excite us and make us thrilled to jump out of bed in the morning.
For some of us, that feeling can be achieved through our careers, but not everyone is lucky enough to work their dream job. For many adults, our passions are relegated to our hobbies.
If that’s the case for you, seek out those things in life that when you were younger were just yours.
Maybe you kept a sketchbook. Maybe you had aspirations to play guitar as a kid but couldn’t afford it or never made the time. Make the time now.
Passion for humans usually means creation of some kind, so figure out what you want to bring into the world and make it, whether it’s a portrait or a kitchen table or a robot or a vegetable garden.
Even if it doesn’t become your golden ticket to fame and fortune, you’ll still feel a higher sense of self-esteem for pursuing your passions and living with authenticity and joy.
2) Face your fears
What really terrifies you? Deep, dark oceans? Sky diving? Public speaking? Spiders? That one neighbor you can’t ever get up the nerve to introduce yourself to?
Everybody is afraid of something, and fear makes us all feel powerless, especially when that fear might be a fear of something that isn’t really as scary as we’re making it out to be.
A huge way you can empower yourself is to face these fears head-on and confront them, no matter how scary.
Confronting our fears is one of the hardest things we can do because it first means having to admit that we’re afraid of something to the point that we’ll make any excuse to avoid it, but having confronted one major fear, you’ll feel empowered to battle them all.
3) Compete only with yourself
Competing with other people removes our power by giving it to them, so in order to become self-empowered, you need to make a pact that you will not compare yourself to other people or try and compete with them.
Not only is competing with others an easy way to become dissatisfied and resentful, but it’s also pointless–everyone is running their own race in life, so your scores against someone else’s are worthless.
But not competing with others doesn’t get you out of the competition entirely. Instead, focus on self-improvement, acknowledging your own weaknesses, and going out of your way to try and repair them.
By deliberately tracking your own self-improvement efforts and competing against your own best records, you’ll become incrementally more powerful every time you make progress.
4. Set Healthy Boundaries: Know Your Limitations Instead of Letting Others Drag You Elsewhere
One of the reasons people start to lose a feeling of self-empowerment is that they do not give it to themselves.
Being self-empowered means being confident enough to assert yourself, especially for your own protection or the protection of others.
In an attempt to appease others, we often stretch the boundaries of our own personal limitations to try and accommodate them. In effect, this is a way of giving away your power to others.
To become self-empowered, you need to put those boundaries back into place and take your power back.
Here are some practical ways that can help you be a stronger self by setting some invisible boundaries.
1) Cultivate calm
Nobody comes across as more powerless (and childish) as someone who throws a tantrum in public over something petty. Learning to control our more impetuous emotions, such as anger and jealousy, are a vital part of self-empowerment.
In order to maintain credibility even in emotionally charged situations, a powerful person needs to at least attempt to remain the calmest person in the room.
That means if you have a quick temper or are prone to snap judgments, you need to focus on becoming more stoic, reacting more slowly and with less emotional involvement.
Often if we maintain calm through our initial emotional storm when met with information that displeases us, the very next thoughts we have are more reasonable ones, and we can, in effect, talk ourselves down “off the ledge” of an emotional outburst.
This kind of self-control is both powerful as a personal trait and influential with other people.
2) Be honest
Being honest starts at home, too. If you can’t be honest with yourself about yourself, chances are you’re going to find it a lot easier to be deceitful with other people.
Being honest is powerful because it means looking at yourself without the rose-tinted glasses of your own ego, where you’d really like to think that you’re the best thing since sliced bread and not a fallible human being like the rest of us.
This is not an easy task for anyone, especially people who are proud, to accomplish.
Being honest in business dealings makes you more powerful because you will be seen as a person of integrity. As a result, people will take your opinions more seriously because they know you to be a truthful person.
However, when being truthful, you must also remember to be kind. Many people love to call themselves brutally honest when “brutal” is the only part of the phrase they’re really interested in. When being honest, also be gentle with both yourself and others.
3) Control your speech
It is easy enough to gossip or complain, but these verbal habits often come back to bite us. If we spend too much of our time back-biting or coworkers or whining about things, these habits will lead us to be seen as socially weak (and more than a little obnoxious) by others.
To become more self-empowered, it’s important to start looking at the things we say, since these things both inform others of what we think and color our emotional mood.
One person complaining can send an entire room into a downward spiral of negativity, whereas the same person who either says nothing and silently observes their own negative mood with detachment or says something cheerful instead to diffuse the tension in the room gains both personal and social control.
4) Say no. N-O. NO!
Saying no is very hard for many of us because we are socially programmed to please others, but this often leads to us saying yes to situations that go against our common sense or our moral values.
To become more powerful in this sense, practice saying “no” on small commitments that you’d rather not do and that have no real social consequence if you decline, other than the overblown consequences you’ve built up in your head.
Don’t justify your decision. Don’t make excuses. Just say no.
Watch the world not explode when you decline a request, because guess what? It doesn’t revolve around you, and chances are, the person you declined is gonna be just fine and will either find someone else or carry on without you.
You’re now free to move on with the confidence to say no when other people overstep your personal boundaries.
Whether it’s not wanting to be involved with a particular person or declining to accept more responsibility onto an already-overflowing plate, learning to (politely) say no to people is an important skill to become a more powerful and confident person.
5) Support others, but don’t let them drag you down
It is important for us to be kind and to be present for others in their times of need in order to draw on that same well of support for ourselves when we need help, but there is a difference between helping someone and getting mired in a “misery loves company” situation.
If you are in a position to help someone, you should do it, but unfortunately, it is easy to allow toxic situations to fester in your personal life out of the desire to help someone else with their problems.
This can lead to you becoming weakened by taking on the problems of someone else even if you don’t have any of your own.
Providing counsel to those in distress is an important aspect of being kind with others, but learn to recognize when a person’s behavior has become toxic and be strong enough to let them go if they start to negatively affect your mental and emotional health.
You can’t be a self-empowered person if you’re having to constantly take action on someone else’s behalf or dedicate massive amounts of emotional and mental energy to their problems.
You have your own problems to solve first. Self-empowerment means looking at the man in the mirror.
Self-Empowerment Means Changing How You Think and Act
For true self-empowerment, you can’t just take action or change the way you think. You have to do both.
This is because if you only change how you think and not how you act, your daily life will not change in any kind of positive way.
Meanwhile, if you only change how you act and not how you think, it’s doubtful the changes you’ve made will last for long.
For lasting empowerment, you not only have to change your own behavior and the way you interact with the world, but you also have to change your understanding of why you act the way you do, and why you should act differently.
Self-Empowerment Means Being Your Own Hero
It’s easy to feel helpless when we sit around for other people to drop out of the sky and fix our problems for us, but by taking action to improve your sense of self-empowerment in daily life, you can avoid this weak feeling and make lasting, positive improvements in your daily perceptions and lifestyle.
Even if you just take a few of the steps listed above, you should soon begin to sense increased motivation and confidence in yourself, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a more self-empowered person.