The Empowerment definition that I love is “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights”. As this would indicate, empowerment is a continuing process. As we work on becoming stronger and more confident, we become more in control of our destiny.
The dream to be in control of one’s destiny is within all of us. The ability to make it a reality differs from individual to individual. I have had the pleasure of interacting with such empowered people. Some young and some not so young.
What is the secret of these empowered individuals?
Knew their core values
They knew their core values and used them as a foundation to make choices. As their choices were in harmony with their values, they were at peace with themselves. At times, the decisions they made did not yield material well being. But they were comfortable that they had not compromised themselves in any way.
Do you know your core values? What are they?
They knew their strengths, skills, personality and talents very well. They were very conscious of any development needs that they had. They knew their passions and aspirations. They were clear on their internal and external motivators. They were also clear on the environments that made them flourish.
Do you know your strengths, skills and talents? What are your passions and aspirations? Do you know what you would sacrifice to pursue your goals? Do you know how others perceive you?
Had open minds
They were prepared to try new things or hear and consider new ideas. They did not have any mental blocks that stopped them experimenting with new experiences in life. They embraced these changes wholeheartedly and trusted that they would learn from the experience.
What new ideas or initiatives have you tried in the last two months?
Had a growth mindset
They strongly believed in consistently working on their talents . They were prepared to invest in their growth. The confidence in their abilities meant they were not hostage to anyone or anything. They acted as free agents considering opportunities that they thought would further their expertise or experience.
What have you done to improve your skill or talents in the last two months?
Responded and not reacted
They considered their approach to situations they faced in a calm and collected manner. They thought about their options and selected the one that met their needs, values and aspirations. They were rarely influenced by others. They never compared or competed with others.
They sought “win win” solutions from those around them. They ensured that they and their families approached life as one unit. They looked at ways to bring out the innerflame of each of their family members. This could require sacrifices from and investments in, all members of the family.
How do you deal with situations? What were some of the decisions you made lately? What were the drivers behind these decisions?
They had the resilience to bounce back from setbacks. They practiced a number of techniques that help them bounce back. Taking care of themselves, a positive attitude, helping others, hanging out with people they care about and having an open mind are some of the techniques they use.
What techniques do you use to bounce back from setbacks?
They did not wait for the world to give them their next break. They set themselves goals and work hard towards them. Their goals are aspirational. But they are smart enough to break these down to achievable smaller goals. They prepare and plan before they take action. Above all they had the courage and tenacity to pursue their goals against all odds.
What goals are you working on? When do you think you will achieve them?
Found a Coach or Mentor
They had a strong network. They understood the fundamentals of winning respect of their network. They were able to tap into different expertise, wisdom and knowledge to keep growing. They were proactive in seeking out this help.
Though they did have mentors or coaches, they were focused in pursuing their goals themselves.
Do you have a coach or mentor? How would you describe your network?
Empowerment is not for the lucky few. If you are reading this article it means that you are interested in taking control of your own destiny. Empowerment is a change in mindset. Empowerment is making decisions that suit you and not settling for what life throws at you.
Use the questions above to evaluate yourself. Come on! Make that first step to do something about yourself. Pick one area from the topics above and start moving the needle a little bit. Small incremental steps of improvement will get you moving on this path to empowerment.
I will be publishing articles on each of these topics listed above in the coming weeks. Look forward to hearing your views on this article and those following. One of the best ways to sharpen my thinking is to understand how you are experiencing empowerment. So please make this a conversation and not a monologue.
At Stridez we strongly believe in empowerment. At Sridez, our first release enables young graduates to approach getting their first job with this empowered mindset. If you are a young graduate, register now with Stridez.com.au and take your future into your own hands.