Aug 30 2010

Personal Empowerment

Published by at 1:15 pm under Empowerment,Personal Empowerment

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Relationships

Since my last post, I was thinking about how I could expand on each of the four areas of empowerment and figured I’d go into more detail about each one. I’ll start with Personal Empowerment today, then add the others in subsequent posts.

Personal Empowerment can be summed up in one word… relationships.

By far the most important of all relationships you have is the one with yourself. Sure, your spouse or significant other may be important to you, but ALL other relationships pale in comparison with your relationship with YOU. You will never be happy until you learn to enjoy your own company and it’s impossible to do that if you don’t like who you are. Of course, it’s much better if you actually love yourself, but start by learning to like “you”.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to ascertain what we really think about our self. It’s not hard to list all the things we’d like to change about our physical appearance, for instance, but our feelings about who we are may be more difficult to identify. Sometimes it takes a lot of detective work, but I guarantee that whatever you discover will benefit you in the long run.

You’ve probably heard of Socrates who’s credited with saying “Know Thy Self”, and that’s what your relationship with yourself really boils down to – that’s personal empowerment.

The time and effort spent on this subject will never be wasted, but where do you start improving your relationship with yourself? I suggest you begin by making a list of everything you like and everything you don’t like about who you are. Draw a line down the centre of the page and head them up with Like and Don’t Like. If you’re anything like me, your Don’t Like list will be longer than your Like :). But that’s OK. It’s a start.

Usually, when you have a Don’t Like, you can identify the opposite trait. So if you have “Too shy & introverted” on your list, the opposite would be “Outgoing and extroverted”. Before you start trying to change who you are, however, try and figure out how being shy has benefited you. There are often advantages in being the way you are and it has probably helped you in some way or another. Maybe you definitely need to learn how to be more extrovert, but if you really think about it, you may find that you only need to be more outgoing in certain situations.

What if you’re afraid to stand up and speak in front of people? That can definitely be a drawback in certain circumstances, but you don’t need to change how you are in every situation. And how can you empower yourself in the situations where you do need to change? As I mentioned in my earlier post, you must take 100% responsibility and take steps to change. Perhaps you could join Toastmasters. There are clubs in almost every area and they’re very reasonable, but if there isn’t one nearby, borrow a book from the library and learn how to speak in public.

Only YOU can improve your relationship with You and it’s up to you to figure out the best way to do that. Look at all the “Don’t Likes” and see if you really want to be the opposite and if it will serve you.

In order to increase your Personal Empowerment, you also need to be very aware of how you feel at any given moment. How do you feel about what’s happening around you? Are you happy with the people you work with? Are you happy with what you do for a living? Are you happy with your partner, or children, or in-laws, or friends? These are all areas where you can empower yourself by improving your relationship with everyone in your life.

Sometimes, it isn’t possible to improve a particular relationship. Sometimes, it’s necessary to cut the ties with your job, or a friend, or even a spouse! But before you do that, look at YOUR part of the relationship. Arer you contributing to the problem? Do you need to establish boundaries perhaps? Do you need to tell someone to back off in certain circumstances? Are you gossiping about people and creating problems? It’s necessary to be very honest about how you relate to other people. It all depends on YOU.

You are responsible for everything that happens in your life and if someone is bugging you, or you’re not happy for some reason, then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Once you begin learning about yourself, it’s inevitable that all your relationships will improve.

One response so far

One Response to “Personal Empowerment”

  1. Kim Freudenburgon 29 Mar 2011 at 10:08 am

    Yes only we have the power to change ourselves and life choices! I like your site, great job! Thank you! Kim

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