What is empowerment?
Empowerment means having the freedom to live your life the way you want to live it. It’s having a sense of agency, which means taking responsibility for your life. It means paying attention to all that you think, feel, and choose and reconceptualizing, or redefining, what it is that you want to change. You have the ability to do this, but sometimes you have to be intentional and fight for the life you feel called to live.
Empowerment results in having a shift in the balance of power in your life. It’s having a sense of, “I can do this!” It means going from being controlled by your thoughts, feelings, other people’s expectations, etc. to having a sense of being in control of everything in your life that is within your control. It’s a choice you make.
It’s being self-regulated, of having physical and mental self-control. It’s being resilient, alive, and free. It’s being authentic, grounded, and present in your life. Having a felt sense of empowerment reduces anxiety and depression as well as toxic thinking. It means you are getting stronger by helping yourself. It’s no longer feeling like you are just a bystander in your own life. It’s a shift from being a victim to taking back control and becoming the decision-maker of your life.
It’s being inspired and being inspiring.
The biggest contributor to having a felt sense of disempowerment and a major cause of mental suffering is likely your inner critic – that voice inside your head that keeps you from becoming who you are meant to be. The most important thing to understand about the inner critic is that it uses your power against you. It blocks you from moving forward in your life, from growing and changing. If you do, however, start to grow and expand, your inner critic will do its best to pull you back to what is familiar and safe. It will also criticize you for just having the very thought of wanting to grow and change.
The inner critic is a cunning devil.
What is the inner critic?
The inner critic is that harsh, untruthful, mental voice in your head that is constantly judging, criticizing, advising, and warning you. It compares you to others. It tells you what is acceptable and what is not. It has its own opinions, standards, and code of behaviors that it uses to shame, blame, humiliate, and instill fear into you to keep you in line. It is continually assessing your worth as a human being. It thinks it is protecting you and keeping you safe, but it is only harming and putting roadblocks in your way. It’s constantly grading your performance. It keeps you from believing in yourself. It keeps you from being spontaneous. It blocks you from having a flow, from letting life unfold.
The inner critic puts you in a state of stress. Power is energy, and the energy your inner critic uses against you is your own power, making you feel weak, contracted, small. You feel you don’t deserve to be on this planet doing the work you were made to do. Everyone else seems more important, smarter, better looking, stronger than you. You may have the viewpoint that people are unique individuals and are needed in their own special way, but this does not apply to you.
Listening to your inner critic puts you into a functional state of stress because you are always on guard because you are always under attack. This causes you to feel the need to defend yourself. Or, over time, you could just simply shut down, disappear, and hide because you don’t feel safe in your own mind and body. If you give in to your inner critic, it will simply keep beating you up. Engaging with it keeps it strong by giving it energy. You can shut it down by not engaging with it. By calling it out. By being rude to it and telling it to back off!
Live in the present
Time is moving on, whether we are paying attention or not. It is up to all of us to determine how we want to spend our moments, hours, years, etc. None of us have any idea or control over what will happen in the future. And the past is gone. All we have is this moment. How will you spend this moment? How will you spend your next moment? Will you be doing what you feel called to do, or will you be living by some other another’s person’s agenda, including your inner critic’s?
Be here. Be present. Be aware of who you are, what you are doing, what is going on around you, and not in some daydreaming, collapsed, or fearful state.
Don’t let your inner critic stop you. Do what you wish that is in alignment with your values. Think about what steps can you take now that will bring you one step closer to bringing what you want into fruition.
Being empowered creates space, openness, and presence. It allows us to be in a flow and to be connected to ourselves and others.
I end with these two questions:
How can you be more kind to yourself?
How can you open up a little more space for you to be you?
These are two questions your inner critic can’t answer. Get connected to your true, authentic self and you will become freer as you watch your life unfold before you.
Go gently. And be patient.
Does your inner critic have a strong presence in your life? If yes, then I can help.
When working with me, I will give you the guidance, compassion, and support you need. I have been through a great deal of trauma in my own life, so I know how isolating, confusing, and sad it can be. If you would like to talk about your own experiences with someone who understands, I am only a click away.
Book a call HERE to learn more about how we can work together. I would love to meet you and hear your story.
I am a certified Mind Body Eating Psychology Coach and am currently studying to become a Biology of Trauma Practitioner. My goal when exhausted women ask, “Why am I so tired all the time?” is to help them explore their story to see what has happened in the past that is draining their energy today. In addition to coaching, blogging, reading, and studying, I am a professional trumpet player. I also enjoy exercising, cooking, gardening, calligraphy, and helping others achieve their goals.
Information in this post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or condition.