So, first things first, what do we mean by self-empower?
The general meaning of self-empowerment is taking control of your life, setting goals and making positive choices. But as a methodology to create a career and life you love, I think the notion requires some elaboration, here it goes:
From my own personal development journey and having worked as a coach and with countless women for a number of years now, I know that to self-empower is a mindset. It means knowing that you have the ability to take control of your own life and identity and that you can change the course of that at any point. It means knowing what is important to you, being true to and loving you, living with intention and in alignment with those things. And it also means not wasting time and energy or dwelling on the things that you cannot control; you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react, what you let have power over you (from the past and in the present) and therefore you can affect the outcome and your trajectory moving forward.
“Self-empowerment is seeking the solution rather than fixating on the problem” - Unknown Source
When you self-empower you are able to develop an emotional resilience, grow your inner confidence, a self-love, self-belief, a trust in your path and that you know what is best for you, that you already have all that you need – the power to make the choices, decisions and to take the actions you need to in order to create the life you want. Self-empowerment also requires accepting 100% responsibility for your life, successes, failures and learning from those things, because when you do that, you will thrive.
In summary then, self-empowerment can be seen as a methodology, a mindset which if exercised, applied, conditioned and backed by action will enable you to achieve your full potential and live a happy, fulfilled and balanced life.
But how do you actually get from where you are now to where you want to be in that dream career and life?
Here are my top 10 tips
Most of us lead busy lives, for some of us even our social lives are heavily diarised! And whilst we are all constantly trying to be more productive at home and at work, do more exercise etc. and manage being increasingly connected through email, WhatsApp, social media – you name it; so many of us are neglecting to give ourselves the time out and space to think about what it is that we really want, to plan for the future and even enjoy the present.
The thing is, if you want to be the best version of you, create success on your terms and live your best life then you will need to get clear on what that those things look like and mean to you.
If that is working super long hours in your job so you can reach the top of your game because you thrive off that kind of achievement then good for you (although I would still encourage you to have a game plan as hard work may not necessarily equate to the outcome you are hoping for); but if you would rather be running your own freedom business working on your terms from a coffee shop or a beach on a paradise island whilst fulfilling some philanthropic mission, then you need to recognise that and start taking actions towards it.
Top Tip: Take some time to reflect, reconnect with your desires, plan for the future and the life you really want. Write it all down and have it somewhere visible or where you can refer back and add to. I find doing this in an aspirational setting, an environment or space that I love away from home can help facilitate the inspiration and of course, remove any distractions!
Connecting with ourselves, our wants and our desires means knowing our values.
Our values are like our core pillars, they are the things that we deem most important to us and they are the foundations upon which our lives should be built, for example, family, health, love, achievement, security… and these will vary for from person to person.
If you aren't aware of your values and if you are not living in alignment with them, chances are you won’t be very happy or what you are doing won’t be sustainable.
Say honesty is one of your core values and you are working in a company that you don’t feel operates with true transparency or you have a colleague, partner or friend that doesn’t hold this quality as dear as you do, chances are those situations or relationships where that becomes clear won’t sit well with you and will likely cause conflicted feelings. Or, say family is your number one value, your upbringing centered around family so caring for, providing for and being with your own family is what you feel strongly about; then you get a job which requires you to work long hours away from home and you spend less time with and have less energy for your loved ones, you are not likely to be feeling good about what you are doing or how you are living your life.
Knowing your values is like your compass and is vital to you making empowered decisions within your life.
Top Tip: Make the effort to get to know and pay attention to your values so that you can start living in alignment with them. I have an exercise for this so please get in touch if you need some help!
Priorities are areas of our lives that are important to us and that require regular input, for example, health, relationships, career, finance, hobbies, contribution etc.
But just because we consider something a priority it doesn’t always mean that we act accordingly. Take our health, probably a priority for most us. Then say we end up working super long hours in our job, as a result our diet takes a hit, we start exercising less, drinking more alcohol to combat the stress and to “relax” and before we know it we are like a 4 out of 10 on the health and well-being scale.
If one life area takes precedence over another especially to the detriment of others there is no way that we can be self-empowering to be the best that we can be and nor will we be living a balanced or sustainable lifestyle.
Start paying attention to what is important and be conscious of how you are choosing to spend your time.
The most happy and successful people tend to have systems, rituals and positive habits which support their goals and lifestyle.
Top Tip: Ask yourself what is really important? What areas am I neglecting? And what disempowering habits do I need to shake and empowering habits can I make that will empower my life long term?
This is where it gets exciting! Vision is the ability to think about or plan for the future with imagination or wisdom, it is the thing inside us that guides us, creates our desire to grow and improve, gives us a sense of purpose and brings us glimpses of what is possible.
Let’s face it, most of us have to work to earn a living and our lives revolve around some kind of routine; life isn’t exciting every day but if we focus on what is just in front of us, allow ourselves to get caught up in a mundane routine and stay firmly within our comfort zone, that is a sure fire way to get well and truly stuck in a rut.
Top Tip: Give yourself permission to dream big and create a meaningful vision for your future that is in tune with your values, priorities and passions and that the universe can work with you on. Write it all down, let it be your guiding north star and make it your mission to manifest. And don’t worry if this feels a bit scary right now – see next steps!
If you have big dreams and goals then you will need to create a roadmap, that is a plan or strategy for how you are going to make those things become a reality.
Big dreams and goals can feel overwhelming but breaking them down into key milestones, mini goals and manageable tasks will help make them feel much more achievable plus you will build confidence as you tick them off.
For example, if your dream is to have your own business but that feels a bit scary right now, think about what needs to happen in order to make that a reality and start there.
If you were to do so, your milestones could look like this:
Make the decision to start working on your business alongside your job (i.e. birth a sidehustle!)
Start working with a mentor or coach to get clear on your business and strategy, to overcome any block that are holding you back and to implement an action plan
Set up your website and social media accounts
Hand your notice in on (date)
And so on…
Some tasks see more daunting than others but when you break it down and apply some logic it is far easier to see how you are going to get there.
Top Tip: Once you have your vision, create your key milestones and chunk them down until the actions don’t seem scary.
The bottom line is if you don’t take action then you aren’t going anywhere and that is consistent and intentional action over time.
I love the expression Rome wasn’t built in a day and it is the same for your dream career and life; in fact building your dream career and life is ongoing. It took me 3 job changes, lots of hard work, some bold decisions and actions to get me to where I am today and I am just getting started because my dreams keep getting bigger!
Action is concrete proof of your commitment to what you are doing, it breeds confidence and is ultimately what is going to bridge the gap from where you are now to where you want to be. Warning, these actions shouldn’t be an easy to tick-off to-do list, they should often push you outside of your comfort zone and represent or pave the way for significant progress in whatever you are working towards.
Top Tip: Do not underestimate the power of intentional action, even if these actions feel like small wins at the time or in the grand scheme of things, what counts is that you are moving in the right direction. Once you have done steps 1 to 5 as outlined here - just start and then keep going!
“Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort” – Theodore Roosevelt
Central to self-empowerment is self-love and that means looking after number one in every sense of the word.
It means becoming a priority in your life…
Doing more of what makes you feel good…
Living your life true to your passions and purpose …
Making time for the joyful things…
Being grateful for who you are, what you have and your experiences…
But most importantly being kind to yourself and knowing your own worth…
If you tell yourself you are not good enough or don’t believe you can, then how are you going to be your best self or show up for your best career and life? The answer is you won’t.
What you think, what you say, what you do and what comes true are all linked and can become self-fulfilling. So banish those self-limiting stories and beliefs you have about yourself and turn them into mantras that will empower your best life - starting with I am or I will. For example, “I am a successful business woman”, “I am a great manager”, “I am a wonderful mum”, “I am good enough”, “I will create my dream life” and make a note of all the evidence.
Remember you are the author of your story - not your parents, partners, friends, colleagues, bullies or negative people that have knocked your confidence or self-worth – You.
Top Tip: Tell your story through your self-empowered lense, make a list of all the reasons you have to love yourself, your life and what you have learnt along the way that has made you who you are now, who you are determined to become and to accomplish.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. if you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb
I love this quote. As human beings, we don’t live in isolation and as human beings we thrive off connection with one another - even the introverts amongst us!
So whether that be in your personal or professional relationships, it is hugely important to surround yourself with people who get it, that support, stretch and empower you in your dreams, that you have fun with and who make you feel good - your tribe, your crew if you like for whatever it is that you need at that moment in time.
Top Tip: Place value on connection, reach out and spend time with those that lift you up, go to events where you might meet like-minded people or create your own like me on Meetup.com.
Remember life is not a destination it is a journey through which we learn, grow, explore and evolve.
Top Tip: Embrace discomfort, adventure and take more chances, you only live once and what if the best happens?! Oh yeah and create opportunities to celebrate as much as possible!
And lastly, one of my favourite quotes…
“Bring into play the almighty power within you so that on the stage of your life you can fulfil your high destined role.” - Paramahansa Yogananda
Top Tip: Do not fear your power, draw on it, embrace it and live as though you are creating your legacy - who knows what you could accomplish ;)
Text by Mikaela Jackson
Preview Image by Jessica Lewis via Unsplash
Visit www.shealmighty.com to learn more about Mikaela, her programmes, workshops and events.