At dinner recently, Charlie told me about a book he had just finished reading, Turn the Ship Around, which led to an interesting conversation about empowerment.
Before you groan and check out due to another post about empowerment, stick with me for a minute. A lot of people are tired of hearing about, reading about, and listening to thought leaders share their perspectives about empowerment, so I’ve been curious about what keeps landing askew for people.
A theme that I’ve heard is discomfort and uneasiness about someone outside of yourself giving you power. I could see in that way how someone empowering you could actually feeling disempowering, as if you weren’t able to do that for yourself. Trust me, I bristle at this as well.
In the more traditional use of the word empowerment, we do primarily hear about it in a relational way, with some person or group empowering another person or group. I can’t help but think about the way I get triggered (and I know I am not alone) when I hear about a group of [insert group that is made up of “dominant” members of society] empowering a [insert group that is made up of “subordinate” members of society.]
Forget all that mess. I’d like to take back the definition of empowerment that we often forget about. The non-relational empowerment that comes from within. (Side note: There’s a longer and fun conversation that may happen later about whether anything is ever non-relational.)
I’m talking about self actualization, about you empowering yourself.
I’m not going to sit around waiting for someone to pick me or tap me on the shoulder and let me know I now have permission to be empowered now. (Tweet this!)
Again, forget that mess!
I spent too many of my younger years waiting to be empowered. I’m pretty sure (it’s all hindsight now and we know how that goes) I convinced myself that I would know when I felt strong enough, bold enough, smart enough, legit enough, credentialed enough, experienced enough to be empowered.
I know now that whether I wanted to admit it or not, or whether or not I was even aware, I was waiting on someone to let me know I’d reached that place where I was empowered and legitimate and knew enough to be seen and heard.
Stop Waiting on the Sidelines
I think there are entirely too many of us who have sat on the sidelines waiting to feel ______ enough to step up. Who have you been waiting to hear from to let you know you’ve been empowered? I’m telling you now that you’re never going to get that from them, and if you do, it’s going to take far too long and won’t be worth the wait.
Here’s my challenge for you: I’m asking you to step up and let your higher self start calling the shots.
- What does it look like for you to empower yourself?
- What bold action can you take today that will stretch and grow you and that your highest self already knows “you’ve got this”?
You don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t have to make it look perfect. You don’t need to be more than you already are.
I’d love it if you’d share with me what bold action you’re taking.
Remember, what counts as bold is for you to decide. My bold looks different than your bold. It’s about stepping up and stepping out, even if someone else may not see how bold it is.
You’re empowering yourself, and that’s what matters.