What does empowerment actually mean? In recent years empowerment has become the new buzz word, especially for women. Empowerment programs are popping up all over the place but do we really know and appreciate what it actually is?
Empowerment is more than just a feeling of confidence. It is the self-validation of our own strength and having the power to have control over our lives and rights.
First of all, we need to acknowledge that empowerment is personal and that is one of the best bits about it! There is no one size fits all for a feeling that is based on our own experiences. One person’s empowerment could be to have the freedom to wear what they choose and another is to be able to afford to buy the clothes to start! For women in many cultures, financial empowerment could be having the freedom to make their own money and in another, it would be fighting for equal pay in the workplace. It is important to understand that empowerment is rooted in a person’s cultural, social, economic and spiritual experiences.
The ability to make decisions
Our needs met
For many people, the feeling of being empowered comes from a host of other actions that support it. Actions and routines like self-care, practising gratitude, supporting other people and openly communicating thoughts and feelings all have the potential to evolve into a feeling of greater empowerment. This is something that takes action to achieve as well open and honest dialogue with ourselves and others and that is why for many it feels so elusive. But as elusive as it may seem that does not make it unachievable. In fact, you can cultivate and nurture a host of practices on your quest for feeling empowered that you can start doing today. Right now! Why not give them a go!
Create a gratitude list based on what you love and value about yourself!
People often find this difficult, acknowledging our own strengths can feel selfish and uncomfortable but being able to do it is a huge step and a cornerstone of feeling empowered!
Once you have written your gratitude list about how amazing you are, see what it feels like to read it out loud and really validate it. If you are feeling really brave (or should we say, empowered) try reading your list to someone else! Sharing and instigating open, personal communication makes things that were thoughts come to life and feel more real. The best bit, there is a high chance the person you share it with will agree with you and even have more things to add to your list!