Empowerment: The Courage to Be Yourself

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Empowerment takes courage. It is difficult to be yourself in a world that shouts the personal power message, but really just wants to sell you something.

What is empowerment anyway? How do you find it? Does paying a thousand dollars for a one day workshop empower you, or does it just demonstrate the depth of your dependence on others?

Building self confidence and personal power is an especially tough task, because you must make empowered decisions on how to be yourself, from a weakened perspective. It’s a classic example of trying to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. That is why you seek guidance to empower yourself. But…

Help is a double edged sword

You must be careful how you use outside help such as workshops and seminars. Your dependence on them can negate any value they offer.

A true teacher teaches you how to do without them. There is no thought of keeping you under their influence. The only outside help you should seek then, is that which triggers your personal power without hidden agendas.

Motivational seminars that artificially and temporarily boost your self confidence, only serve to disappoint when you come down from the high. For some people these seminars are like drugs. And for some seminar facilitators, that is exactly what they intend. The onus is on you to discriminate wisely; not an easy task considering the marketing prowess of some of these seminar operators.

Self empowerment

There is another way to empowerment though. Despite the impossibility projected by the bootstrap argument, it is possible to achieve self-empowerment. That is, to empower yourself to be yourself, without overly depending on outside help.

Courage and a small leap of faith are key ingredients. Without a measure of courage you won’t venture into the unknown, and without some faith in yourself you would have no reason to exercise courage in the first place. Courage and faith then make good partners.

What specifically will you base this faith upon? Well, even in your weakest moments you retain traces of self belief. Despite how you feel, you know that you have the potential to reach your goals. This knowledge is what motivates you to seek solutions in the first place, so take note of it. That small realization can be the springboard for your leap of faith.

Of course, it is easy to say you have potential. Using it is quite another matter is it not? Acting on your potential takes courage. Courage, then, is the fuel that will propel your leap of faith towards your goal of personal empowerment.

The formula for self empowerment then is: [faith or self-belief + courage + action = empowerment].

What are the things that make you special? Identify them, sink into them, and become them. You are not your most recent response to circumstance. Circumstance is like the weather; it comes; it goes; it passes over. You continue on your journey regardless. Your special and finer qualities are the only true constant. Hold them tightly, and hold them close.

Your purpose in life is found in these ‘uniquely you’ aspects; the qualities that you know you have but have lacked the courage or determination to act on.

One small action on another, properly directed, will dramatically change your life if you just keep doing it. Action speaks loudest in this world. You will become whatever you do, and you can do it a bit at a time.

To discover yourself; to be yourself; to be the finest person that it is in your nature to be, is true courage — and true empowerment.

Over to you now…

11 thoughts on “Empowerment: The Courage to Be Yourself

  1. Bamboo Forest

    “One way is to begin by reasoning with yourself that you have potential. ” This is a great pearl of wisdom, one that I’m happy to receive. We can be our worst enemy, or our greatest ally. But in order to propel ourselves and to be that ally — we must reason.

    I don’t know too much about seminars. But what I will say, is I do have mentors. Some I don’t even know personally, but consult their wisdom for my own life. When it comes to ethics, I submit: it isn’t always ideal to rely on ourselves. What we may contrive as right, may be wrong. It’s not always so simple.

    Self empowerment is not an end all be all in my calculation. It’s important. Very important. But there is also the element of living a life of goodness. And one can do that even independent of their inner climate.

    Again, another excellent post. Thank you.

  2. John R. Post author

    Bamboo,

    You are right; it’s not always so simple. It is difficult to see within ourselves and discriminate between the good and the bad, the right and the wrong. But I always feel that it is one of the most worthwhile endeavors.

    I like your thought on living a life of goodness. it is simple and true. In that I see power, and that is the self empowerment I speak of. The goodness that is in us can move mountains — if only we give it some exercise now and then 🙂

    Thank you for adding clarity to this.

  3. Jarrod - Warrior Development

    Finding the power to help yourself. This has to be the most powerful and useful power ever (the power to help others comes from it).

    The resistance to action always seems to be fear of some sort. To bring about action you have to have greater power than fear. When people see others with greater power than the perceived level of fear they say they have courage.

    So to create action you either have to lower the amount of fear or increase the amount of personal power. Here’s where personal power has the advantage.

    When you have something you want to do there is a certain level of fear opposing it.

    Then you break down a set of tasks to get you to what you want. Looking at a smaller task in isolation you still have the same amount of personal power. However the fear for the smaller task is reduced!

    The more fear you overcome the greater your personal power becomes until one day people will say you are courageous.

    That’s my take on becoming self-empowered.

  4. John R. Post author

    Hi Jarrod,

    I totally agree. fear is at the heart of all dis-ease, discontent, and dis-empowerment. You could say that fear is da king of da dises, but since it’s poor English you’d better not.

    Words are powerful aren’t they? They can be precise or vague, and then there are the different connotations we each have for many words.

    Courage and power are two of those words that are difficult to pin down. Perhaps that is why they are so powerful. They both have such broad reach and depth that expresses the perspective of the speaker more than it pins down an exact meaning. And sometimes we learn more from that perspective than we would if things were carefully spelled out.

    Thanks for your take on it. You’ve widened the view 🙂

  5. Monica

    I like this article, timely one for me this week. I find it takes a lot of courage to be yourself and as a Mom, I notice that the decisions we make as parents that do not coincide with the popular vote require me to be truly in tune with my inner guidance system.

    I agree that self help and seminars are a double edged sword and while the high is so uplifting, the post seminar lows are equally excruciating! The one thing that they have offered me, that I might otherwise not have is a new language (of possibility) that happiness and success are not as elusive as one might think.

    I think the missing ingredient in self empowerment for me was action. I finally learned that I need to take small steps forward to honor myself and my dreams, in spite of the fear.

  6. John R. Post author

    Monica,

    I too have found that workshops or seminars can expand the range of your conceptions. Another great feature of being in a group setting is that you connect with many others and benefit from their diverse perspectives. And you can make some great friends that way. Of course you have to take the lessons home and work with them.

    Most of us, myself included, have feared taking action and suffered the consequences. Your web site is a clear indication that you have taken many of those small steps you speak of 🙂

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  8. Dr. KC

    Fabulous article from the very first line: “Empowerment takes courage.” It sure does, but once you find a way to empower yourself through any of the wonderful suggestions you give here, you’re well on your way to success! I shall Stumble and Digg this wonderful article!
    Doc KC

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  10. Travis

    Interesting thought, and one I’ve had many times myself. For living a world that’s supposedly so supportive of “uniqueness,” it’s certainly funny how often creativity often gets shutout by those that don’t understand it.

    TRULY being yourself takes a LOT of courage in my opinion… being able to stand up 100% for what you believe in and live for and know that there will always be people out there who strive to bring you down. I’m not going to lie, it’s something that’s taken me years to get better at, and I still learn new things all the time.

  11. John Rocheleau Post author

    Travis,

    Yes, living genuinely does take courage. It also requires us to tone down the importance to us, of what others think of us.

    The catch for some of us, is that we are not only sensitive enough to see the value of a completely genuine life, but we are also ultra-sensitive to how others feel about us. If we are to live genuinely, then somewhere along the line we must devalue what others think of us, and re-evaluate what we think about ourselves.

    It is after all — our life.

    John

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