Empowerment is an interesting word. People use but don’t always understand how to make it work for them, especially when they really need to become empowered. Here are a few examples of where empowerment would be of benefit: living in an abusive setting (emotional/physical); suffering from a chronic illness; feeling situationally depressed; not reaching your full potential on the job or in school; experiencing an unsuccessful dating life. The list could be endless but, in all cases, a dose of being more self-empowered would work like a charm.
Sidebar on me: I’ve recovered from six different chronic and life-threatening conditions in my life – leukemia twice (seven occasions) – all without conventional medicine or pharmaceuticals. I’ve owned my own successful business twice and reinvented myself three times. I’m 76, look 55 and have the energy of a 50-year old. I have survived much, including the loss of my only child, two-years ago and now have just finished my second book. In all cases, I’ve changed negatives into positives. I’m resilient because I’m also empowered. So, let me share a few hints on how that all works. It’s not complicated.
First: take personal responsibility for your situation. If you constantly blame others for the state of your life, you’ll never realize a different result. You did whatever it was that got you here: made bad choices that put you in a lousy relationship or left you with bad health; thought so little of yourself that others began to believe it too; and finally created a boring life because you did nothing to change that. Sound familiar? So, step one is to accept responsibility and then open your heart and mind to different options. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result, is not going to work.
Second: Make a plan but not a specific plan. Have a vision, that’s all. “See” where you want to end up long term and then trust the process of life to take you there. Don’t expect a straight line but rather the path will zig and zag. That’s the fun of the journey. Hold the vision and have faith, moving ahead with each step. Don’t be rigid about the steps to get there, be flexible and you’ll feel less frustrated, impatient and disappointed. The key is to enjoy life and the ride.
Third: Drop fear. All fear-based emotions keep you paralyzed. Instead, take action without fear. Sitting on a couch wishing things were different never works. Action, is better than no action at all. Even mistakes– at least you’ll learn from those. Baby steps, at first, are fine. Take the advice of Nike when it says: Just do it.
But, you can’t release fear if you don’t know what it looks like. Here are a few examples: believing things are unfair or not as easy as they should be; feeling hopelessness, having insecurity, self-doubt, hostility, resentment, worry, anxiety or feeling embarrassed. Fear of the unknown, competitiveness, frustration, bitterness, having a lack of confidence and so many more. Fear is counter-productive and will hold you back.
Love-based emotions fuel progress: practice gratitude – it will open doors for more to come; an open-heart and loving attitude will attract more people and they’ll like you - because you like them; having compassion, trusting, respecting, making connections, being cooperative and less judgmental. With these emotions you will become more happy, more certain, feel more belonging in your life and open yourself to wonder. Practice those emotions. Humor helps, too.
People who are empowered are fearless; they take chances, take risks, made decisions and step out of the shadows. They reach out their hand to others and somehow find their power by helping others find theirs. There is no age limit to changing your life for the better. Open your eyes to the possibilities of life and begin to live. You’ll not only feel more empowered through new actions but you’ll draw more people to you, age more youthfully and find a peace you never thought possible.