People who are self-empowered hold thoughts and attitudes that allow them to assume they have the ability to overcome obstacles. A self-empowered person develops goals for her or his life and sees anything that gets in the way of a particular goal as temporary. Instead of giving up when faced with difficulty, a self-empowered person falls back on an internal process that includes inspecting the difficulty, understanding it well, developing strategies for moving the difficulty out of their way and refusing to give in until they discover how to eradicate the difficulty and continue on the path to victory! Self-empowerment means you stay focused on your prize. Bumps in the road have no power to dissuade you from winning. Even if the winning takes more time than you thought it would.
The strategies involved in self-empowerment don’t change. Whether you are thinking of completing an advanced degree, losing weight or overcoming trauma, the process is the same. This means that once you understand the tools, you can apply them to success after success, over and over again.
The only thing self-empowerment does not apply to is changing other people or getting other people to do what you want them to do. (Focusing on getting another person to do what you want them to do in spite of any difficulties is manipulative and can be abusive. Although it may be a familiar pattern to some, feeling empowered by getting others to bend to your will is the opposite of healthy self-empowerment.)
Self-empowerment directly applies to the self-healing process. There are several differences between someone who can enact a self-healing process using self-empowerment strategies and some who does not. Let me outline just a few of them here to help you understand what you need to remember as you embark on your self-healing journey:
- Self-empowerment thinking requires that you maintain a “can do” attitude rather than believing that what happens to you is entirely outside of your control. While it is true that sometimes awful things happen, a self-empowered person knows that there is always a way to respond to unexpected situations that will result in a positive outcome.
- Self-empowerment thinking expects challenges and set-backs and allows for them. When I believe I can do something or I am undeterred from achieving a goal, challenges call for a re-assessment of my approach, not the forfeit of the race. Re-assessment for the self-empowered person makes no excuses and does not place blame on others. A truly self-empowered person asks the following question when confronted with a challenge: “What do I need to do to overcome this? How can I positively affect this situation and continue to move forward?”
- Self-empowered people seek information. They know that every predicament has many possible solutions. When a self-empowered person can only see one or two possibilities, they ask for help, read, research and get more information until one or more good solutions reveal themselves. This requires patience and trust in the process and in yourself.
- Self-empowered people make good use of their physical abilities. You only get one body. How you treat it determines your ability to approach situations with a self-empowered attitude. When you are unhealthy, sleep deprived or otherwise compromised physically, your body cannot support a self-empowered approach. Some obstacles to your goals will require you to stop, take a break, maybe take a nap and re-evaluate. Make sure your body is well-nourished and well-rested so that your health can support your process. “I can’t” and “I give up” are statements easily made by an overly-tired or ill person who would otherwise have a strong self-empowered mindset. Mindset is greatly influenced by your physical state. Do everything you can to be well physically.
- The final point I will make in this post also leads to an introduction to my free tool for improving your Self-empowerment mindset. Among the things I’ve been describing here is an attitude of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to stay in the present moment with calmness and acceptance of what you are feeling, thinking and experiencing in your body. It is the beginning of being able to perform a “self-diagnostic” when everything isn’t going the way you want it to. Look for my “Thoughtful Thursday” posts which will introduce you to a new exercise each week focused on helping you improve your mindfulness skills as you move closer to your own self-empowerment mindset.
For more of Tamara’s work, please visit www.2btru2you.com where you can sign up for Tamara’s newsletter and get weekly support on your self-empowerment journey. Tamara’s podcast can also be found on iTunes.
© Tamara Bess, LMFT 2016 All Rights Reserved. Any use of this article without Tamara’s express written permission is prohibited.