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Are you confident in your decision-making abilities?
Do you feel in control of yourself and your future?
We all experience moments of uncertainty, self-doubt, and regret, which leads to holding back from going for the things we really want in life.
But when you feel empowered, you know what your starting point is and what you need to do to get to your finish line and achieve your goals. With feelings of empowerment, you’re willing to take some risks to gain rewards and command control over your circumstances. But self empowerment isn’t just about going after the things that you want–self empowerment requires having the confidence to move forward, no matter what difficulties you’re facing.
If you’re lacking confidence or you feel insecure about your ability to reach your goals, there are steps you can take to gain control and live a more empowered life. You can change your patterns of behavior to stop letting your partner, boss, family, or friends make your decisions for you, and instead, increase your self-awareness and belief in your abilities.
In this article, we are going to uncover 9 tips you can use to help you change your mindset and behavior and become empowered. Whether you realize it or not, you have an immense reserve of power and influence over yourself. And when you practice the self-empowerment tips laid out in this article, you can guide your own path to any future that you envision.
But before discussing tips to empower yourself, let’s first take a look at what self-empowerment is and why you should want to gain it.
What Is Self-Empowerment and Why Is It Important?
Have you ever felt that dreaded sense of losing control or watching something horrible unfold in front of you that you couldn’t prevent? Self-empowerment is the exact opposite of this. When you feel empowered, you’re able to make conscious decisions that determine and control your destiny.
Self-empowerment involves being proactive and being confident in your decisions and the actions you take to advance your life every day. When you feel empowered, you also feel motivated to achieve your goals, work in line with your unique strengths, and not rely on other people to make decisions for you.
Self empowerment is important because it plays a critical role in anyone’s journey to self-actualization. People who feel empowered don’t wait around passively for their success to come to them, they’re motivated to go out and make things happen to create a positive change. As you begin to feel empowered, you will start to realize the power and influence of your choices and your ability to live an accomplished life.
By allowing yourself to be guided by your own values and priorities, you’ll see that you even have an impact on other people around you. And the more authentically you live your life, the more power you can demonstrate to the world and help create the changes you wish to see.
Now that you know the significance of self empowerment, let’s take a look at some tips that will help you with this critical component to success in your life.
9 Tips to Empower Yourself
1. Develop a Positive Attitude
Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking. Having a positive attitude can bring you peace of mind, happiness, and feelings of self-worth. Maintaining a habit of thinking positively will allow you to decide which direction your thoughts will go in at any given time, which puts you in control of your mental state.
A big part of having a positive attitude is focusing on the things you can do rather than the things you can’t. And remember, maintaining a growth mindset is a key part of realizing that you are never finished learning. So, for example, if you want to apply for a job that requires you to be bilingual, instead of writing it off as being something that you can’t do, tell yourself, “I’m not bilingual yet. But I can learn.” Find comfort in self-growth and developing your abilities, and understand that success will not happen overnight, rather it’s a culmination of your choices and actions.
By practicing affirmations and displaying confidence in your ability to succeed, you can make anything happen. With a positive attitude, you can solve problems with confidence and face any hurdles you encounter head-on, as a positive attitude is at the core of successful people. Your positive attitude will breed the belief that your efforts and abilities will help you reach your goals.
2. Discover Your “Why”
If you don’t know your values or what is important to you in this world, then you likely don’t feel a sense of direction or purpose in your life. And your “why” doesn’t need to be some great achievement that you’re working toward, it can simply be discovering how you can spend your time in meaningful ways.
What is your passion? What makes you tick? Discovering your why in life will help you focus on doing something that comes naturally to you. And when you’re doing something that you find to be enjoyable and it comes easy to you, you will most certainly feel confident and empowered that you are where you’re supposed to be.
Discovering your purpose really boils down to finding your passion that sets your priorities and steers your actions. Whether that’s travel, art, cooking, writing, teaching, volunteering, healthcare, etc., you will feel empowered if you find something that you love and devote as much time as you can to doing it.
Having trouble determining your sense of purpose? Check out these 9 life purpose questionnaires and explore these passion project ideas to gain some inspiration.
3. Set Achievable Goals
The goals that you set are meant to motivate you and lead you to self-improvement. However, many people don’t reach their goals because they aren’t setting themselves up for success. If you set short term goals, achieving them will have a positive impact on your life. Being able to frequently measure your progress will help you build your confidence incrementally rather than setting one big goal that could take months to achieve.
Setting goals that are within reach is an important component of generating self-empowerment, so it’s important to know how to set achievable goals so you can feel good about what you accomplish. Because your long term goals stretch out your road to success, break them up in a way that allows you to feel empowered every day. Don’t set a goal to write a book in a month; rather, create smaller milestones to hit along the way to achieving something great.
Setting SMART goals is a great place to start when you’re processing what you want to accomplish in the short and long term future. And each time you reach one of your achievable goals, you will feel more empowered to tackle the next one.
4. Hold Yourself Accountable
Take ownership of your successes and failures by building personal accountability. When you do this, you will gain a sense of control over your circumstances, which will also give you the power to change them. It can be difficult at first to accept accountability, but once you put yourself in the driver’s seat, it will help you feel empowered.
Some long term benefits of accepting accountability include:
Finally, when you take responsibility for your life and actions, you will avoid looking toward external factors to blame when things go wrong. When you play the blame game, you’re also playing the victim, as if you’re powerless over your response to your surroundings. To reclaim your power, search within yourself to work through your problems on your own and develop a “can do” attitude.
5. Practice Self-Care
Self-care is a powerful tool that nourishes you so you can be your best self. According to the American Psychological Association, self-care means “providing adequate attention to one’s own physical and psychological wellness.” The key word in this definition is adequate, as it implies that self-care isn’t just about attending to your overall wellness here and there–you have to tend to yourself enough to both address and maintain your health needs.
Your mental and physical wellness are your tickets to empowerment. These aspects of your life need to be tended to on a regular basis in order for you to use them effectively and to your advantage.
Think of self-care like maintaining your car. You need to regularly change your oil and refill your gas tank to keep your car running properly. Similarly, when you become built up with emotional and physical debris, it’s hard to be your true, best, and most powerful self. However, by maintaining your rest, properly fueling your body, and immersing yourself in environments that you find to be enriching, it’s like clearing away the muck that can prevent your car from running.
While the term “self-care” may sound selfish, it can actually be the best gift you give to loved ones, as it can ignite and inspire you to model empowerment to other people as well. So, devote some time to practicing self-care by doing any activity that makes you feel happy and healthy.
Self-care can be the simple act of just eating healthy food, or it can be more elaborate like scheduling a spa day for yourself–it’s all about what works for you. When you set aside time to rest and rejuvenate, you will be empowering yourself to succeed because you will be more productive once you get back to working toward your goals, and your resilience will be strengthened to help you overcome hardships in the future.
6. Expand Your Circle of Influence
Your circle of influence represents everything in your life that you have control over. If you make an effort to expand your circle of influence, you’re taking a proactive approach to life. So, instead of being reactive to your circumstances, act on your power to choose your approach to everything that you come across in life.
The best way to start expanding your circle of influence is to change your attitude. Pay attention to your language, and if you find yourself saying, “If only…”, “I can’t…” or, “There is nothing I can do”, then make a conscious effort to change your language to say things like, “I can…” and “I’m going to…”
Another part of expanding your circle of influence is to be intentional about the information that you choose to pay attention to. Screen your sources, whether it’s through the media or word-of-mouth, and be proactive about educating yourself if you feel like you need to learn more about a topic. After all, the more you develop your knowledge, the more you will expand your circle of influence.
7. Cultivate Self-Awareness
Having self-awareness means you’re confident in your knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your personality, values and beliefs, emotions, and intentions. It’s empowering to cultivate self-awareness because the better you know yourself, the more attuned you’ll be to what you need to physically and mentally support yourself.
With self-awareness, you can create the life that you want to live. Cultivating self-awareness is a critical first step in taking control of your life and your future because it allows you to see where your thoughts and emotions are taking you. And by taking control of your actions and reactions, you will be empowered to go after what you want out of life.
8. Recognize Your Limiting Beliefs
Everyone holds some limiting beliefs that are hard to overcome. These beliefs are formed in your early childhood and are based on how you’ve interpreted prior positive and negative experiences. These foundational thoughts are ingrained in your brain and influence your behaviors as an adult. While these beliefs are different for everyone, they’re instinctual, which means you won’t challenge them unless you do so intentionally.
So, what is subconsciously holding you back? Your subconscious mind is responsible for 95% of all of your thinking, which leaves a very small percentage of your decisions to be made deliberately.
Some common limiting beliefs are:
All of these mistaken beliefs can have a profound effect on your sense of self, as the basis of all of these beliefs is that you’re undeserving in some way or you need to earn other people’s respect and support.
Your conclusions as a child probably benefited you then, because you were learning to function as a human; however, these beliefs don’t serve the same purpose for you in adulthood, and could hinder your potential to succeed.
Remember that fact and perception are two different things, and blindly trusting your own conclusions can put restraints on your growth. So if you can identify and challenge these thoughts, you’ll feel empowered to pursue the things that satisfy and fulfill you.
Here are a few ways to overcome limiting beliefs:
As you recognize your limiting beliefs and learn to change them, you will feel empowered and motivated to change your approach to life.
9. Be Proactive
Empowered people take a proactive approach to life. Being proactive means accepting responsibility for your life and taking the initiative to make positive changes. Instead of allowing your circumstances to define you, be proactive by making your decisions according to your values.
Take action instead of waiting for things to happen to you. Project yourself into the future by doing things today that will have a positive impact on your tomorrow. Seek out new opportunities to advance yourself in order to continue to improve. When you set a goal, list the actions that you will need to take to achieve your goal, and stick to the schedule that you create.
Proactive people present themselves as leaders who are capable of facilitating success. It’s empowering to adopt a proactive approach to life because it will motivate you to get things accomplished.
Final Thoughts on Tips to Empower Yourself
In this article, we looked at how actively doing things such as developing a positive attitude, cultivating self-awareness, pursuing your passions, and having trust in your abilities can help you become a more empowered individual. Many of these tips overlap with each other, so if you can focus on one or two, you will easily be able to incorporate others into your life.
No matter what challenges you’re facing, you can always take steps to regain control of your life. Create a positive and lasting change in your life by following the tips laid out in this article. With time, you will feel empowered, therefore becoming happier and more fulfilled. Having self empowerment will enable you to make positive decisions, and be proactive with achieving your goals and aspirations.
One big component to feeling empowered is having confidence. If you need a booster to help you believe in yourself, check out our article on 11 habits you can practice to gain confidence. And for more tips on self-improvement, check out 35 examples of SMART goals for any area of your life here.
Connie Mathers is a professional editor and freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her daughter and two dogs, running, or working at her full-time job as a social worker in Richmond, VA.