Empowerment in a Chaotic Environment
- What does it mean to be empowered?
- What keeps you from feeling empowered?
- How do others seem to be so self-confident?
- What will it take for you to be a strong decision-maker?
- What is the secret to becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling your life and a commitment to contentment?
Anxiety, depression, angst, and fear are among the feelings of those who feel less than empowered. But those with a high degree of autonomy and self-determination who use those qualities to enable themselves to represent their interests in a self–determined way are listed among those who are empowered.
Empowerment is an attitude of strength. It means leaning into an issue or circumstance that may otherwise be cause for anxiety. When faced with a negative circumstance, to be empowered means to have the confidence that you can overcome. Part of this belief is looking at your history. Most people that come into my office have just such a history. Though they see life through negative lenses, when I urge them to look at their track record, they can see that though they have had fear, they have leaned into it to gain victory over each circumstance.
A sense of empowerment offers a sense of freedom. When we are empowered, we are free to embrace the challenges set before us. We are free to seek support, engage resources, be vulnerable, and experience victory. We are free to have interdependent and healthy relationships.
Case in point: Several years ago, I had a celebrity client whose profession required he often fly domestically and internationally. He came to me because of his extreme anxiety. As he explained his plight it was clear that his anxiety was not a fear of flying, but was coming from his sense of lack of control. He explained that his anxiety showed up when the flight attendant was giving instructions about seat belts, tray tables, etc. The answer to his problem was an easy fix. He empowered himself to complete all of the pre-flight passenger requirements BEFORE he was told to do so.
Take a look at what you are able to control…and what you aren’t. Make decisions for yourself that are within your control rather than fretting and fighting over things that are not. In another example, I was at my son’s soccer game some years ago. I was seated on the bleachers and ready for the game to start. Then, a woman came and sat right in front of me with an open umbrella. What did I have control over? In my mind I had 2 choices: ask her to close her umbrella (which I had no control over) or choose another seat for myself (which I did have control over).
So, I moved my seat. You may think that I acquiesced. Perhaps. But another person who was also blocked by the umbrella sat there and hurled insults at the woman. That person was not able to enjoy the game and used up a lot of energy being angry.
Empowerment is yours; next time you feel you have no power, look at where you have control and where you don’t before you choose to act.