What does empowerment truly mean?
Simply put, empowerment means becoming powerful. But the hard question is “How do I do this?” As a counselor, I empower my clients through insight and awareness. I start out with a down-to-earth, straight-forward, honest style and discuss the true realities of life. The reality is that there is no special magic. A person becomes empowered by realizing they are a unique individual, and they need to take control over what they have the power to change in their life. As a one-of-a-kind person, empowerment comes from truly understanding yourself; discover weaknesses, strengths and your range of skills so you can implement these talents to positive modifications (changes) to improve your situation. So many people have not examined who they are and, therefore, have undervalued their skills or are unaware of their true abilities. Instead, they believe the composite of all the negative garbage that has been programmed in their minds. But you can choose to stop believing in all that accumulated rubbish. In your mind, take the same thought and turn it into a positive. A personal example: “People find me overbearing.” The change: “I am polite and respectful but willing to speak my mind”.
By taking control of your life, making positive choices and setting goals that reflect your novel personality, one can achieve empowerment. It is a series of consciously choosing the best decisions for you. Set an Intention for your Life! Most people are going about their lives on autopilot making snap decisions or quick choices.Personal empowerment comes from developing self-awareness, knowing your limitations and making choices and behavior changes that reflect your values, priorities, and personality traits.
When you set both short and long-term goals, you gain new confidence since you know where you are going. When you go to a new city, it can feel overwhelming and scary if you have no idea where you are going. But if someone has provided you with good directions, key landmarks and where you will find food, restrooms and shelter – you can feel confident and empowered even going into new terrain. Do this for your LIfe!
Facets of Personal Empowerment
To cope effectively with diverse life situations, a person needs to become self-aware, gain coping skills and set goals.
Here is a list of Tools to Gain Self-Understanding
Personality Traits: As a distinctive individual, a person needs to very specifically define their character, identity, nature, and disposition. I like to use a summary of personalities from a book called Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, Ph. D. I wrote this summary in an article called, “Personality Strengths: Gain self-knowledge by learning your Unique Gifts” by Vicki Langemo, LPC, MA. Please note each personality type is a summary from the “Now” book. But I feel it has a variety of diverse descriptions that aid in developing self-awareness. So use a personality traits tool to define yourself in concrete and specific terms. Self-enlightenment leads to self-empowerment.
Values: Specify your inner core values and central beliefs. When you choose options, plans or decisions based on your core values, it helps to insure a positive outcome to your direction in life. Having this key knowledge of yourself to base choices on will help to empower you with concrete decision-making tools. You can go to the internet for a list of values, a book or you can read my article, “Define your Values, Focus your Life!” by Vicki Langemo, LPC, MA.
Priorities: Label your top 5 Priorities to have a foundation of core knowledge to use as implements in your decision-making. This understanding will lead you in the right direction just like a compass tells you where truth North is found. These basics of self-enlightenment can help guide you toward the best course for you in each challenging life situation. Again, you can find a list of priorities on the web, in books or my article, “Priorities: Define your Top 5!” by Vicki Langemo, MA, LPC. These posts are coming up in early 2016 on www.supportivetalk.com
For interesting ways to increase your inner knowledge, try Zen And the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss or Listening To Your Inner Voice by Douglas Bloch. Other articles by this author that may be interesting are: “Empower Yourself to Move Forward in Life…Starting Today!” or “Define your Values, Focus your Life”.