The True Nature of Empowerment

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Empowerment is a concept that people don’t seem to fully understand. Here are a few thoughts about what it means, and how being more empowered can improve the quality of your life.

Empowerment isn’t about being able to control things; it’s about making conscious choices which will be most likely to bring you success and fulfillment. It’s about thinking ahead and preventing the problems in life that are preventable and dealing rationally and effectively with the ones you can’t prevent. There is little in life that you can control but you can make informed choices about everything.

Empowerment means being fully grounded in reality as opposed to living in hopeful fantasy. It’s about seeing the truth of every situation and relationship, even if this truth is difficult to face, and then using this knowledge to deal with life’s challenges in the most realistic, well thought-out manner.

People mistakenly see empowerment as the ability to over-power someone or something. It’s actually the ability to pursue your goals without being inhibited by any internal or external forces. It’s being confident instead of riddled by self-doubt; motivated as opposed to stuck and inspired rather than apathetic. It’s not allowing any person or negative inner voice to get in the way of your “going for it.”

Empowerment is about being assertive, as opposed to aggressive. It’s not having “power over” things but is the “power to” do things. It’s not about being pushy; it’s being persistent and following through with problems until they’re resolved to your satisfaction.

Empowerment is about having common sense; being practical and pragmatic. It’s about paying attention and gearing your actions in direct response to how things really are. It’s not about being fearless, but about having the courage and self-confidence to act, despite your fears.

Empowerment is not about possessing things or dominating things, but about being able to be your best self and to fulfill your innate potential. Having money or social status gives you power; as does being in a position of authority, but real empowerment is more about the freedom to act and to create.

Empowerment means being independent, autonomous and self-sufficient, but it’s also the ability to cooperate with others; to be a team player who can give and take with ease. It’s the ability to be strong in vulnerability; to share your true self in relationship and to be comfortable on your own.

True empowerment is a state of self-trust and self-respect. It means that you’re your own best friend at work and in relationships. You take responsibility for your choices and accept the consequences of your actions; you learn from your mistakes, so as not to repeat them.

Empowerment is being comfortable with confrontation; it’s the ability to stand up for yourself and to express your needs and feelings in a relationship. It’s also employing the best timing and strategy for such discussions. It’s also about being patient and controlling your impulses, in general.

It’s the expectation of proper treatment from others and a refusal to tolerate disrespect. This is not grandiose self-importance or superiority but an acknowledgment of your own value. Being empowered means that you have good personal boundaries and set the tone for how others behave toward you.

Last but not least, empowerment means that you don’t expect other people to compensate for anything that’s lacking in your life or to boost your self-esteem. You accept yourself as you are, and your self-worth doesn’t rise or fall, depending on how people might be judging you at any given moment. You love yourself and it’s this that motivates you to always strive to do better.

(C) Marcia Sirota MD, 2010

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Source by Marcia Sirota

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