“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.” – Steve Maraboli
Becoming more self-empowered can be a catalyst for positive and meaningful change in your life. It can allow you to make good decisions for your wellbeing, help you to boost your self-confidence and develop your relationship with yourself for the better! In this article, you’ll discover what self-empowerment actually is, simple examples of being self-empowered and 4 clever strategies you can use to strengthen your self-empowerment. You can also take our fun Self-Empowerment Quiz.
Let’s dive in!
What is self-empowerment?
Self-empowerment means taking control of your own life and believing in yourself. Someone who is self-empowered tends to:
- Make positive decisions for their future and wellbeing
- Stand up for what they believe in
- Value their own wants and needs, while respecting the wants and needs of others
- Be aware of both their strengths and weaknesses without judgment
- Grow and improve as a person using realistic goals
- Engage in positive and encouraging self-talk
“Self-worth. Self-love. Self-esteem. Self-motivation. Self-confidence. All of these things equal self-empowerment. Always believe in yourself, even if nobody does!” – Stephanie Lahart
If you would like to learn more about your self-empowerment, try answering our fun quiz below!
The Daily Guru Self-Empowerment Quiz
1: When you make a mistake, do you use encouraging self-talk, such as “it’s okay, everyone makes mistakes” or “I know I’m doing the best I can, I don’t have to be perfect”?
2: Do you set realistic goals and prioritize your dreams and ambitions?
3: When faced with a challenge, do you trust yourself to get through it?
4: Do you often take initiative, knowing that it’s better to fail than to not try?
5: Do you believe that you are worthy of success and happiness?
6: When you make a decision, do you take your own wants and needs into consideration?
7: Do you accept and embrace both your strengths and your flaws?
8: Are you open to change and new possibilities?
9: Do you take responsibility for your own happiness by doing things which bring you joy and by engaging in self-care/hobbies?
10: Do you stand up for yourself and the things you believe in?
If you answered mostly “yes”, then your self-empowerment is quite well developed! If you answered mostly “no” or “sometimes”, then your levels of self-empowerment might be on the low side. Either way, be sure to check out our 4 clever self- empowerment strategies below to help you continue cultivating your personal empowerment!
How to develop self-empowerment?
Are you ready to develop your self-empowerment? Discover 4 clever self-empowerment strategies below, including cultivating a growth mindset, becoming more assertive, reading books that encourage self-empowerment and breathing, rather than reacting straight away.
Cultivate a growth mindset
Through her research on achievement and success, Carol Dweck discovered two different types of mindset: fixed mindset and growth mindset.
People who have a fixed mindset tend to believe their skills and intelligence are “fixed” traits – that they’re either talented in certain areas, or they’re not. Therefore, they spend less time developing and nurturing their skills and prefer to stick to things they’re already good at.
People with a growth mindset tend to believe they can develop their skills and abilities. They love to learn and go outside their comfort zones in order to grow in different areas (such as sport, intelligence, hobbies and work).
Cultivating a growth mindset for yourself can be incredibly empowering! It means you will be more open to trying new things, embracing flaws and failure more easily (and keep moving forward), improving yourself, learning new information and exploring outside your comfort zone.
Here are 3 simple ways you can cultivate a growth mindset:
- Change your self-talk from “I can’t do it” to “I can’t do it YET – but I can learn”.
- Look at failures, flaws and mistakes as opportunities to learn and become a better, stronger and more resilient version of yourself.
- Do different things, even when you think you’re not good at them. Be open to feedback from others and self-reflect to help yourself grow and improve.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Become more assertive
Assertiveness is about clearly and calmly expressing your thoughts, ideas and opinions. It is a method of communication which is both respectful and honest. When you’re assertive, you can ask to have your needs met and stand up for yourself, without hurting others.
Here are 7 examples of self-empowering assertiveness.
- Saying no to working overtime because you know you need to rest and recover.
- Letting the host of an event know you have to leave early because you have a 6am start the next day.
- Compromising on the housework so you and your housemates do equal amounts of chores around the house.
- Asking for a refund on a faulty item without getting angry at the sales assistant.
- Telling your friend you respect their opinion, but you don’t agree with their point of view (then calmly explaining why).
- Using open and friendly body language when you communicate.
- Looking at alternative options and making compromises, rather than over-extending yourself to help others to the detriment of your own needs.
When you become more assertive, you’ll be showing yourself and others that you value your own wants, beliefs, needs and opinions. It allows you to set boundaries and honour yourself, helping you become more self-empowered. At the same time, you are still respectful and compassionate towards other people.
What a great way to become more empowered!
“It’s okay to speak up for yourself, be assertive and refuse disrespect. It doesn’t make you a bitch. It makes you someone who is setting healthy boundaries.” – Karen Salmansohn
Read books that encourage self-empowerment
When you read self-help books, you can identify new ways to grow and improve, empower yourself with meaningful knowledge and make positive decisions about how to prioritise your health and wellbeing.
Here are some great books to get you started!
- The Happiness Trap by Dr Russ Harris
- Mindset by Carol Dweck
- The Mindful Kind by Rachael Kable
- Quiet by Susan Cain
- The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
- Lost Connections by Johann Hari
- Becoming Brave by Katie Dean
- The Art of Wellbeing by Meredith Gaston
- Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini
- The Happy Life by Lola Berry
- Slow by Brooke Mcalary
- You Are Enough by Cassie Mendoza-Jones
- The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington
- The Life Plan by Shannah Kennedy
Become excited to learn new things and embrace challenges which might improve your life. It’s okay for you to experiment and find what works for you! The journey towards self-empowerment isn’t meant to be perfect.
“Instead of becoming a victim of your life, become a student of your life and watch yourself become a better woman for it.” – Brittney Moses
Breathe before you act
Sometimes, our actions aren’t self-empowering.
Have you ever been excluded and immediately started to question your self-worth?
Have you avoided trying something new because someone told you that you wouldn’t be successful?
And have you ever agreed with someone else just to avoid a disagreement (and then later regretted it)?
Sometimes, you might feel compelled to act in ways that aren’t self-empowering, which is why it can be incredibly important to take some time to breathe and think about your reaction first.
For example, imagine you’ve just heard a friend was talking about you behind your back, saying that you’ve put on an excessive amount of weight. You might feel compelled to go home and avoid other people while you push yourself to lose the weight and start a new diet. This isn’t self-empowering because you’ve let someone else’s opinion of you make you feel like you’re not good enough and you’re doing things you don’t really want to do just because of that person’s criticism.
However, if you take some time to breathe deeply, calm down and think about how you could react in a self-empowered way, you might decide to:
- Have an honest and assertive conversation with your friend about how hurt you were and explain that you need a break from the friendship.
- Use positive self-talk or affirmations, such as “yes, I have gained weight. But I’m happy, I’m healthy and I’m worthy of being loved” or “I might start going to the gym to reach a healthier weight, but I’m doing it for myself and my own wellbeing – not for anyone else.”
- Engage in self-care while you process your feelings of hurt by taking a bath, meditating, or writing in a journal
By creating the space for yourself to think about the best ways to move forward, you can give yourself the opportunity to take more self-empowered actions.
“Stop giving people the power to steal your peace. It belongs to you and no one should be able to run away with it.” – A. Elle
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading all about self-empowerment! We’d love to hear how you’ll be working on your empowerment in the comments below. Will you try cultivating a growth mindset, becoming more assertive, reading books that encourage self-empowerment or breathing, rather than reacting straight away?
Articles written by our internal Daily Guru writers, who are certified & qualified growth & development professionals.