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Published on July 13, 2021

How to Develop Self-Empowerment to Live the Life You Want

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How to Develop Self-Empowerment to Live the Life You Want

Strong. Inspiring. Influential. Confident. In control. These are the descriptors of self-empowerment. A self-empowered person is someone who knows what they want and why they want it. A self-empowered person is someone willing to take control and take responsibility for their own life. They know who they are, and they are comfortable in their own skin.

Based on what I’ve just described, it’s natural for most of us to seek a sense of self-empowerment in our own lives. But how do you develop it?

Let’s dive into the 5 ways to develop-self empowerment to live the life you want.

1. Find Your Purpose

To have self-empowerment, you need to have a purpose—a reason, a cause, a “why” that underpins your actions. Getting clear about that is going to give you clarity in almost every area of your life because it gives you a filter with which to decide what you’re willing to do or not to do.

Here’s how I express my “why”: ”To empower and educate people everywhere so that they can improve their lives and achieve their goals.”

Knowing my “why” empowers me to make the impact I desire, whether that’s through writing books and articles, delivering speeches, publishing new episodes of my personal development podcast, or via the book summaries that we publish at FlashBooks. These all fall under my “why.”

If you look at anything I do, you’ll notice that all roads lead back to my “why”—to empower and educate people everywhere so that they can improve their lives and achieve their goals.

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So, what’s your “why”? Figure it out, and you’ll be on the fast track to developing your sense of self-empowerment.

2. Know What You Want

The definition of empowerment is to give someone the authority or power to do something. Naturally then, self-empowerment is about giving yourself the authority or power to do something.

But if you don’t know what that something is, how could you be empowered? Answer: you can’t. That’s why it’s crucial to be able to identify what you want. And the best way to do that is to look at each of the major areas of your life—personally, professionally, financially, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually—and set goals for each.

Setting goals gives you direction, and a person with direction is far more empowered than someone without it. To develop self-empowerment, get crystal-clear about what you want and set goals to help you make it happen.[1]

Here’s a great way to get started setting more empowering goals:

  1. Grab a stack of paper and write down each of the major areas of your life at the top, using a separate sheet for each domain. For example, page 1 might be for “Health,” page 2 might be for “Business,” and so on.
  2. Once you’ve got each of your domains or areas are written down, grab your first page and start listing some big goals you want to achieve within that specific domain. For example, under the “Business” domain, you might write down some goals like, “(1) Acquire 100,000 paying subscribers within the next 12 months. (2) Get more press. (3) Hire new marketing manager, etc.” Repeat this process for each domain.
  3. Once you’re done, review your goals and select the one goal that could make the biggest difference within each of your domains. By the time you’re done, you should have one major goal for each of the major areas of your life.
  4. Finally, identify a single action you can take to get the ball rolling for each goal.

Doing this will not only give you clarity, but it will also show you that making progress isn’t as difficult as you may have thought—you can do this. And each time you do something to inch yourself closer toward your goals, you’re simultaneously developing a stronger and stronger sense of self-empowerment.

3. Take Action

Once you know your “why” and you’ve set some goals, it’s time to take action—empowered action. Be decisive and take actions that align with your “why” and help you achieve your goals. This isn’t always easy, and it’s often scary., especially if you’ve got a big vision and audacious goals.

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But here’s the good news: as you take decisive action consistently, your sense of empowerment gets stronger and stronger. In fact, when it comes to developing self-empowerment, the results of your actions don’t always matter. The fact that you actually take action is what matters because action leads to motivation, and motivation is empowering.

Here’s a quick tip you can use pretty much anytime to get yourself to start taking action. It’s called the “5-second rule” (pioneered by author Mel Robbins in her book of the same title), and it’s insanely simple: If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within five seconds or your brain will kill the idea.[2]

Next time you get an impulse to make a positive change or to take any action of any kind, count down from 5-4-3-2-1—and start moving immediately. Otherwise, hesitation and doubt will take over and talk you out of taking action.

Right before we’re about to anything that feels hard or scary, we tend to hesitate, and hesitation is where dreams go to die. You might hesitate for just a second, but that’s all it takes. That one small moment of hesitation sets off a mental system that’s designed to stop you, and it happens in less than five seconds.

Another tip: when you’re using the 5-second rule, remember to count down rather than up because the natural thing to do after you get to five is to keep counting, whereas there are strong associations with using countdowns prior to action. (Think of the New Year’s countdown or a countdown to the launch of a rocket ship.)

The rule is what habit experts call a “starting ritual,” and it has the power to replace negative habits by interrupting them and replacing them with a better one—a key habit-change strategy. Additionally, it activates the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that is used when taking deliberate action.[3]

There are ways we can trick our own brains into taking the actions we know we want to take but somehow allow ourselves to chicken out of taking because of fear, anxiety, or over-analyzing ourselves into paralysis. It seems that after you count backward, you mentally shift the gears in your mind. You interrupt your normal thought patterns, and you instead do what psychologists refer to as “assert control.”

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The 5-4-3-2-1-countdown shifts your attention from focusing on excuses to focusing on taking immediate action in a new direction, and once you physically get going and start moving rather than stopping to think, your entire physiology changes and your mind follows suit.

Another reason why the rule works so well is that it gets us started. Why is that important? Because we tend to remember unfinished tasks better than those we have already completed. And since big goals and projects aren’t achieved in one sitting, our brains will actually want to loop us back to whatever big project or goal we started working on—this is the power of the “5-second rule.” Starting on a project makes it much more likely that we will remember to act on it than if we had just thought about it when first getting the idea.

4. Take Responsibility

Sometimes, the actions you take won’t work out or, even worse, your actions could result in negative outcomes for other people. Someone without self-empowerment might make excuses or point the finger at someone else in these scenarios, but not you. If you want to develop self-empowerment, you’ll need to start taking responsibility.

Responsibility is about how you respond to what happens to you. It’s about accepting the results of your actions—whether they be good, bad, or somewhere in between. When a responsible person realizes they’ve made a mistake, they acknowledge it and apologize for it immediately and emphatically. They don’t hide from their mistakes; they learn from them.

Responsibility is also about not sweating the small stuff. When someone you don’t know says your t-shirt is ugly, it could be because your t-shirt is actually ugly, or it could be because they themselves feel insecure about their own choice of clothing. Either way, what they think about you is none of your business! A responsible person recognizes this and moves on with their day, while an irresponsible person might fly off the handle and have a hard time letting it go.

To be responsible is to recognize that your behavior is a function of your decisions, not your conditions. Having a bad day doesn’t mean you need to be in a bad mood. You can decide to be in a good mood.

Making responsibility a habit takes practice and patience, but it’s worth it—because the return on your investment comes in the form of a higher sense of empowerment.

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5. Empower Others

We learn best when we’re teaching and sharing what we learn with others. It helps us grasp—and eventually master—what we’re learning about. Developing self-empowerment is no different. In fact, when you empower others to improve their lives, you empower yourself in the process.

A big part of developing your sense of self-empowerment is about being able to inspire and influence yourself as well as others. The most powerful way to do that is with words. Whether they’re spoken or written or both, words have the power to change the world. Use them.

Learn about how to communicate effectively. Read books like How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, and other leadership books to help you harness your skills as someone who can communicate to inspire and empower.

Final Thoughts

Self-empowerment is about taking control over your own life. It’s about living life on your own terms, having confidence, and making a positive contribution by empowering others. All-in-all, developing self-empowerment is both essential and worth it if you want to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life.

So, to develop self-empowerment to lead the life you want, remember to:

  1. Find your purpose. (Draft a “why” statement.)
  2. Know what you want. (Set goals.)
  3. Take action. (Take purposeful action towards your goals).
  4. Take responsibility. (Life and how we live it is one big string of decisions.)
  5. Empower others. (Helping others helps and empowers you.)

More Articles About Self-Empowerment

Featured photo credit: Antonette Marie via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Dean Bokhari: THE POWER OF CLARITY
[2] (flash)books: The 5 Second Rule
[3] TIME: 5 Science-Approved Ways to Break a Bad Habit

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Dean Bokhari

Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

How to Get “I Can’t Do It” Out of Your Vocabulary

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How to Get “I Can’t Do It” Out of Your Vocabulary

When someone says, “I can’t do it” . . . I say to myself, “What do you mean you can’t do it?” Maybe you don’t want to do it, but saying you “can’t” do it is a completely different story.

With the right mindset, positive attitude, and a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, the only thing that is holding you back is yourself.

Can’t is a terrible word and it has to be taken out of your vocabulary.

By saying you can’t do something, you’re already doubting yourself, submitting to defeat, and you’re making that barrier around your life tighter.

So today, right now, we are going to remove this word for good.

From now on there is nothing we can’t do.

“Attitude is Tattoo”

Your attitude is everything; it’s your reason, your why and how, your facial expression, emotions, body language, and potentially the end result. How you approach an opportunity, and the result of it, is solely based on you — not your boss or your co-worker or friend.

If you enter a business meeting with a sour attitude, that negative energy can spread like wildfire. People can also feel it — maybe even taste it. This is not an impression you want to leave.

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Now imagine you enter a business meeting with a positive attitude, that whatever happens in here is going to be your result, in your control, not someone else’s. Of course, we can’t always win, but even if the outcome is negative, your attitude and perception can turn it into a positive. The question is: can you do it?

Of course you can, because there is nothing in this world you can’t do.

It’s much better to be known for your positive attitude — your poise, your energy, the reason why things go so well because you are able to maintain such character. A negative attitude is easy. It’s easy to complain, it’s easy to be mad, and it’s even easier to do nothing to change it.

When I say your “attitude is tattoo”, it sounds permanent. Tattoos can be removed, but that’s not the point. Your attitude is like a tattoo because you wear it. People can see it and sometimes, they will judge you on it. If you maintain a negative attitude, then it is permanent until you change it.

Change your attitude and I guarantee the results change as well.

Believe You Can Do It

Do you know why most people say “can’t” and doubt themselves before trying anything?

It’s our lack of self-confidence and fear on many different levels. The one thing we have to purge from ourselves is fear — fear of bad results, fear of change, fear of denial, fear of loss, the fear that makes us worry and lose sleep. Worrying is the same as going outside with an umbrella, waiting for rain to hit it. Stop worrying and move on.

Confidence is fragile: It builds up slowly, but can shatter like glass. Project your confidence and energy into believing in yourself. This is a very important and groundbreaking step — one that is usually the hardest to take. Start telling yourself you can do something, anything, and you will do it the best to your ability. Remove doubt, remove fear, and stick with positive energy.

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Learn how to boost your confidence: How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence

Embrace Failure

Do not fear failure. Do not run away from it. Face it, learn from it, grow, and take action. Just remember: You will never know success if you have never failed.

Your confidence will bolster after embracing these facts. You will be immune to demoralizing results, and instead you will find ways to fix it, improve upon it, and make it better than before. You will learn to never say “can’t,” and will realize how many more opportunities you can create by removing that one word.

Don’t let one simple and ugly word plague your confidence. You’re better and stronger than that.

Start Making the Change

But to actually start the process of change is very challenging.

Why is that?

Fear? Time? Don’t know how — or where — to start?

It’s hard because what we’re doing is unlearning what we know. We are used to doing things a certain way, and chances are we’ve been doing them for years.

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So here are some ways that I avoid using the word “can’t”, and actually take the steps to put forth the change that I wish to see. I hope you can incorporate these methods into your life.

Write down What You Want to Change

Write it on post-its, notecards, whatever makes you comfortable — something you will always see. I usually write mine on post-its and put them all over the wall behind my monitor so I always see them.

Tell a Friend and Talk About It

Discussing your goals, what you want to change, is very effective when you say it out loud and tell another person other than yourself. It’s almost like saying, hey, I bet I can do it — watch me.

When you fulfill that goal and tell your friend, it feels rewarding and will motivate you to do it again in a different aspect. Who knows? Maybe your friend adopts the same mindset as you.

Stop Yourself from Saying the Forbidden Word

Sometimes,I can’t control myself in public when I’m with friends, so I have to be careful with the words I use so I don’t embarrass or insult anyone.

Treat the word “can’t” as the worst word you can possibly use. Stop yourself from saying it, mid-sentence if you must, and turn your whole perspective around — you can do it, you will do it, and nothing is impossible!

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

You think this change will be overnight? No way. This is a practice. Something you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life from now until forever.

As I said earlier, you are unlearning what you know. You know how easy it is to say you can’t do something, so by unlearning this easy practice, you’re self-disciplining yourself to live without boundaries.

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Practice this everyday, a little at a time, and before you know it, the word can’t will not be part of your language.

Do Anything That Can Relieve Your Uncertainty

When I catch myself saying I can’t do something or I don’t know something, looking up information on that action or subject, doing research, educating yourself, relieves that uncertainty.

Sometimes, we think we can’t do something because the whole idea of it seems too large. We skip the small steps in our head and only focus on the end.

Before you say you can’t do something, rewind and slow down a little bit. Focus on what the first step is, then the next. Take it a step at a time, and before you know it you will have done something you previously thought you couldn’t do.

Final Thoughts

You know what you must do. The first step is right now. Once you begin this habit, and really start noticing some change, you’ll realize the door to opportunity is everywhere.

The funny thing is: Those doors have always been there. The evil word that we no longer use put a veil over our eyes because that’s how powerful that word is.

More Tips for Strengthening Your Resilience

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

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