The uncharted territory of self-disempowerment

In the labyrinth of life, the concept of self-empowerment acts as a guiding light, illuminating the path towards personal growth and fulfilment. Yet, what if you find yourself standing at a crossroads, grappling with the disconcerting notion of not being self-empowered?


This happened to me, except it wasn’t that gentle. The reality of my own disempowerment hit me like a ton of bricks one normal day. I’d been working flat out in an event manager role at a school that allowed me to flex around school runs and holidays. It was every mother’s dream job on paper, but the role was isolated, laden with expectation and with no support. It was also the first role I’d ever held where I felt a total disinterest in me and what I was contributing.

Somehow I soldiered on in a working culture that wasn’t aligning with my own values and without any sort of vision for myself, refusing to acknowledge the reality of my self-disempowerment. Then, on that revelatory day, in the middle of a staff seminar, it came in the form of a short, sharp question put to me by someone I had been seeking approval from for a long time. ‘Claire? Why are you here?’. I don’t believe he realised his question would cut quite so deep. But his insinuation that I didn’t have a place with the wider group was the last straw and absolute confirmation that I didn’t belong there.

The absence of self-empowerment for me meant that I was not the captain of my own ship, and I was drifting aimlessly amidst the unpredictable waves of circumstance. The absence of a strong, internal feeling of control manifested in various aspects of my life –personal relationships, professional pursuits, and even the pursuit of my dreams.

If you are lacking self-empowerment, you may find yourself hostage to external forces, tossed and turned by the tides of societal expectations, opinions, and norms. The absence of a firm sense of self can lead to a disconcerting feeling of being adrift in a sea of expectations, unsure of your own desires and aspirations.

The impact of disempowerment can be profound. It may manifest in a hesitancy to take risks, a fear of failure, and a reluctance to embrace change. You may find yourself stuck in the quagmire of self-doubt, unable to muster the courage to break free from the shackles of your own insecurities, and what works best for everyone else.
However, the absence of self-empowerment can be a transient phase – a call to introspection and a catalyst for change. Recognising this void opens the door to self-discovery and the potential for transformation. It becomes an invitation to explore your values, passions, and strengths, laying the foundation for the gradual reconstruction of a robust, self-empowered identity. It serves as a process of shedding old layers to unveil the authentic self beneath. Through this journey, you will discover that self-empowerment is not just a destination but a continuous, evolving exploration of your own potential, that demands both courage and vulnerability.

8 ways to self-empower

Self-empowerment is the process of taking control and making decisions that will help you achieve your goals and improve your well-being. It involves developing a strong sense of self-awareness, self-confidence, and resilience.

Here are some important ways that you can honour yourself and start to regain that feeling of control…

1. Cultivate self-awareness

The first step towards self-empowerment is developing a strong sense of self-awareness. This involves understanding your strengths, weaknesses, and values. These are not just things that you can read about in a book. You need introspection… to take some time to reflect on your life and think about what you want to achieve. Consider what motivates you and what holds you back. By understanding yourself better, you can make more informed decisions about your life.

2. Seek approval from within

If you are always looking for approval from others, you lose the ability to self-validate. Over time this lessens your self-worth and esteem. To self-empower, you will need to learn to trust yourself again and make decisions based on your own predicted outcomes, and to your own expectations. Stop searching for the okay to proceed. Say yes to yourself making that call in the knowledge that whatever happens, you will be learning and growing.

3. Set realistic goals

Once you have a better understanding of yourself, you can start setting goals that align with your values and aspirations. Be sure to set goals that are realistic and achievable. Break them down into smaller steps and create a plan for achieving them. Celebrate your successes along the way, no matter how small they may seem.

4. Develop self-confidence

Self-confidence is an important aspect of self-empowerment. It involves believing in yourself and your abilities. To develop self-confidence, try to focus on your strengths and accomplishments. Practice positive self-talk and surround yourself with people who support and encourage you. Don't be afraid to take on new challenges outside your comfort zone.

5. Practice self-care

Taking care of yourself is crucial for self-empowerment. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. It also involves taking time for yourself to relax and do things that bring you joy. Make self-care a priority in your life and don't feel guilty about taking the time you need to recharge.

6. Learn from mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, but the key to self-empowerment is learning from them. Instead of beating yourself up over your failures, take the time to reflect on what went wrong and what you can do differently next time. Use your mistakes as an opportunity to grow and improve.

7. Surround yourself with positive influences

Surrounding yourself with positive people who support and encourage you is important for self-empowerment. Choose friends and mentors who inspire you and help you grow. Limit time spent with people who bring you down or discourage you from pursuing your goals.

8. Practice resilience

Life is full of challenges, but developing resilience can help you overcome them. Resilience involves bouncing back from setbacks and maintaining a positive outlook in the face of adversity. Practice mindfulness, gratitude, and positive thinking to help you build resilience.

Self-empowerment is a journey that requires effort and dedication. By cultivating self-awareness, setting realistic goals, developing self-confidence, practising self-care, learning from mistakes, surrounding yourself with positive influences, and practising resilience, you can take control of your life and achieve your goals. Remember, the power to change your life for the better rests with you. You can do it! If I can help guide and support you, please get in touch. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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