5 Steps to Empower You
Empowerment is a word that has been used a lot lately.
What does this mean? Is it a movement? How do we do this? Where do we start?
What if we started with ourselves?
If you have flown on an airplane you have probably heard the airline attendant say, “And in the case of an emergency and cabin pressure changes, an oxygen mask will fall from the ceiling above you. Please secure your oxygen mask before helping others.”
This may seem counterintuitive to some people. As a mom, I want to help my kids secure their masks first but if I’m losing oxygen and not able to get the job done because I’ve neglected myself, then I won’t be of much service to my kids.
It’s how I feel about empowerment. To create communities that are empowered, it’s important to start locally and by that, I mean with yourself. There are many definitions that describe empowerment. It all leads to greater autonomy, confidence, self-determination and strength.
Having delivered workshops on courage and confidence to both men and women, I have seen how this topic is one that is always top of mind, even for those that seem the most courageous. Why? Because courage and confidence are undercurrents that can ebb or flow. Empowering others seems like a dream versus a reality when the individual doesn’t feel empowered themselves.
How do you begin to empower yourself? If working on building more of a flow, here are 5 simple things you can do to get started.
Volunteer to serve others
This does the mind, heart and soul good. It takes the focus away from self and puts it on selflessness. It gives you the opportunity to shine for others. In return volunteering to serve, boosts your confidence too.
Feeling less than accomplished? Start small. Even Mt. Everest climbers climb one step at a time. If you have a project, break it down into smaller goals and track your progress. Everest climbers have a plan, including what to do when bad things happen (weather, injury, equipment failure, etc.). Make your plan first. Everest climbers have help. Who will be your “Sherpa” on making sure you stick with the plan and accomplish the small goals? Then get going! Your summit awaits!
Fail fabulously – often and fast
This is where grit (failing often) and courage (failing fast) come in. It also will serve you well when you are ready to empower others. People want to deal with people that have led “real lives”. Being “battle tested” is a sign of a person that knows adversity, has managed challenge and overcome obstacles. How we rise against failure is where the keys to success may be found. Jump into something where fear may have its foot hold, telling yourself, “It’s ok if I fail because I’m going to do it fabulously!” Rise and repeat.
Give yourself a break
As you build your personal empowerment flow and begin to work to empower others, it requires your time and your energy. Empowering oneself also means pampering oneself. Eat well, sleep well, exercise well, relax well, recharge well.
Be the student and the teacher
Life moves and changes rapidly. Be as curious as a child when it comes to learning. Teach others what you have learned. Eleanor Roosevelt once stated, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Be a great mind and share your ideas.
Imagine for a moment, if we all did the things above consistently and well. That’s self-empowerment. Put on your oxygen mask and BREATHE, others await your help.
By Tina Fox, Creator of the Success Series and Chair of Women on Course. Success Series workshops are launching in Washington DC, Philadelphia and Boston. Join us for a dynamic afternoon!