The start of the new year is a great time for new beginnings. It is a time when it seems easier than usual to feel motivated to make positive changes. We can identify patterns of thought and behaviors that keep us stuck and commit ourselves to action plans for change.
Empowerment is a key concept that underlies every successful personal change effort and gives us the best chance of achieving our goals. Every one of us has encountered disempowering experiences—times when we were treated unfairly, times our efforts failed to produce desired results and times we have been left or left behind. What makes the difference between letting these events defeat us and being able to put them in perspective and move forward?
Empowerment is the key. Empowerment can take both emotional and tangible forms. Emotionally, it is the internal sense that you are capable and will find the resources you need to make positive things happen in your life. It is the feeling that we have the power to create change and improve our lives. Empowerment can also be tangible. It can take the form of money, education, and personal rights, such as the right to vote. Ultimately, empowerment can lead us to develop our own abilities so that we can make contributions to others and to the world. When we feel empowered, we can generate outcomes that empower others, initiating a positive cycle that can continue indefinitely.
1) What is your definition of empowerment?
2) In what ways do you feel empowered in your life? In what ways do you feel disempowered?
3) Who or what has empowered you to achieve your goals and fulfill your desires?
4) Are there things or people or situations you need to let go of in order to become empowered in your own life?
5) How have you contributed to others’ self-empowerment?