Feeling empowered is about having a sense of personal power. It is closely related to self-esteem, and involves the ability to say ‘yes’ when you want to, and importantly ‘no’ when you want to.
By personal power, I don’t mean ‘power’ in the sense that you want to be powerful over others, or control others. I mean being assertive, and being able to say ‘no’ when you want to and ‘yes’ when you want to.
Yet another way to think of feeling empowered is feeling you can be assertive. It is also having enough self-esteem not to take on board negativity that does not belong to you. I believe this is important for a sense of personal power. When you are not assertive, and let people walk over you, you are giving your energy away.
Do you ever feel a sudden loss of energy? This can be a sense that you have given away your power to someone or something else.
This can be because we all have vibrations. These literally have energy. When we give away our personal power, we are losing energy, and feel flat or deflated. This can occur for example when we allow others to manipulate us. It perhaps could be likened to a battery that goes flat when it runs out of power.
Many people are people-pleasers, for example. Such is their need for approval that they will say ‘yes’ when they don’t really want to, for fear of loss of the other’s approval. People can also say ‘yes’ when they want to gain approval, where there is a lack of self-esteem. Self-esteem is being about being able to approve of yourself, being able to self-validate.
When you don’t feel in control of your life or your self, this is basically disempowerment.
By feeling in control of yourself I mean being able to also say ‘no’ to yourself. For example if we gave into every whim or temptation that was floating around, this obviously can be detrimental. We could over-eat, over-spend, do what we felt like. Obviously we can’t always do what we feel like. The consequences can be poor health for example with over-eating, drinking, smoking and the like, or financial trouble.
An important caveat is that it is okay and fine I believe to be human! We all have our own little temptations and habits. We all make mistakes. But when any of these behaviours have the consequence where your life spirals out of control, you feel out of control. Short-term gratification gives way to long term depression and anger toward the self for the consequences of ‘running riot’ %% such that that your health is impacted to a serious degree, or you are in financial dire straits’. Again, we are human, we all need to enjoy pleasures. I am just talking about when your life is spiralling out of control because of this.
So empowerment is not just about not letting others control you, it’s also about having a certain degree of self-control. The rewards of not doing whatever you feel like are longer term rewards, even though you forgo instant self-gratification. Again if you give away your control to something else such as impulses and temptations, you are giving away personal power, and the consequences are similar it away to another person.
In conclusion, being empowered is about:
1. Being assertive. Saying yes when you want to and no when you want to. Not giving your power away to others is being empowered. This is related to:
**2 . Having self esteem. %% Being able to have self-esteem means you can give approval to yourself and don’t need to rely on others for it.
The way this is related to the ability to be assertive is that you need self-esteem first. Without the self-esteem, it will be hard to be assertive, as people-pleasing to gain this will be more likely.
2. Having healthy boundaries. Not allowing other peoples’ negativity or manipulation to affect you. Letting in what you need, leaving out what is toxic.
3. Also having self-control: not being rigid and harsh with yourself; being human by all means. But if you have no self-control, your life will become out of control. Tempations may be nice in the moment but you will have lower self-esteem longer term because you feel you can’t say no when you know that something is not good for you. This will lead you to feel disempowered.
You are in control of yourself, what you let in and out, and how you allow others to treat you.
Get your personal power back!