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How Do You Empower Yourself?

Hi everyone! Today’s blog post is one where everyone’s input is welcomed and needed. It’s about empowering ourselves. I was reading the mindset section of the WF today and one thread was about handling people that hold you back. It spurred me into thinking about how we hold OURSELVES back with our own mindset.

The reality is, no one can hold us back. They can throw a million influence darts at us and try, but we choose whether or not we shield ourselves from it or let it puncture our skin, right?

We all have many areas of our lives where we could potentially become vulnerable to losing our power. We do it in our careers, our relationships, our health…

Sometimes we wake up and realize that we’ve simply lost (or never had) power and we say, “That’s not okay! I want my power back!” And sometimes (all too often), we don’t want to rock the boat or face the dreaded worst case “what if” scenario, so we deal with the situation by remaining silent and powerless.

In my own life, I feel powerful for the most part. I’ve felt powerful in my personal self confidence since I was 38 and started seeing that nutritionist who changed my life about food guilt, etc. Not only did she change my food outlook but my entire self esteem did a 180. 

In my career I feel SO powerful. I never apologize for things unless I screwed up – and then there’s immense power in admitting a mistake. But I don’t apologize simply to smooth things over with someone I know is wrong.

In my health, I normally feel powerful. Had a rocky time during the health scare, always do, but even now I know in February I have to return for another lung xray and I’m not sitting here panicked every day. I’ll face the xray and deal with whatever happens later.

I want to talk about this in today’s vlog – about my journey with power – and get your feedback on how you empower yourself in any area of life when you realize you’ve been weak. My only bit of advice (that I’m implementing now in one area of my life) is “Do it afraid – the courage will come later.” I know I use this a lot.

But it’s so relevant. Watch the video and then share your insight with me. Might help ME. Might help someone else. Might even remind yourself that you need to take the bull by the horns and tackle an area where you’ve been feeling powerless lately.

How Do You Empower Yourself? from Tiffany Dow

Tiff ;)






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44 Responses to “How Do You Empower Yourself?”

  • Ruth P says:

    I don’t feel powerful in two areas: relationship and confidence.

    Confidence, well it’s a daily struggle. Loss and gain of power are good ways to describe it. I have to tell myself every day that it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks, as this is my biggest struggle (thinking that it does). Almost every day I make small steps in the right direction. I do take steps back again, but I just have to remember how far I’ve come!

    And travelling together for 12 months can put a strain on the best of relationships, and it’s certainly left things in a bad position for us. We are working things out but it’s hard – we’ve come back after 12 months away, we don’t have a home here anymore and he has been working for me. But things are getting there. The toughest thing was being honest about the problems, and now we are it seems a lot more positive.

    • Tiffany says:

      I think age helped me gain power with self confidence. Wasted too many years worry about everyone else’s opinions. Hope it all works out for you Ruth!

    • Ruth,
      Being together 24/7 can definitely put a strain on things. We did it in 2010 with a job Kevin had and I could go with him, lot of travel involved and it was great. But he’s been unemployed for the last 6 months and that’s definitely different and has put a big strain on us, financially and personally.

      That’s what I confronted yesterday.

      My power and confidence seems to come and go too, but I know we’ll all get through this and it’ll all be worth it. All the best to you!

      • Ruth P says:

        Patti – I imagine that’s making you feel pressure about the business too! So sorry to hear about the unemployment and the strain, I hope things pick up soon!

        And thanks Tiff, I always think that about confidence and age. I read it everywhere so I always hope it will be true with me at some point in future too!

  • How timely. I confronted the same thing yesterday. My personal relationship affects my whole life, especially my business life. Most of it is great, but there’s a few areas I’ve been struggling with lately and I confronted them yesterday. It must have been “Take no shit, Wednesday.” LOL.

    Like you, I have to get completely fed up before I say something. We both know that’s pretty dumb, but I don’t like to rock the boat either. But if we never rock the boat, we stay stuck. I was tired of being stuck and not speaking up. So I did it! So, gonna say again how timely this post is. That’s way cool. :)

    By confronting it yesterday, I hope it will actually help line out my business life too. I don’t go balls to the wall when other issues are bothering me—always admire that about you–but I am working on getting there.

    Thanks for sharing this today.

  • Mary says:

    I just attended a Wellness seminar where they spoke about Cognitive Therapy and distorted thinking. It was an eye opener!

    I think we are born empowered, and then quickly learn to DISEMPOWER ourselves as we grow up — with negative thoughts, slippery-slope thinking,and buying into OTHER people’s beliefs and values instead of our own.

    One thing that was very powerful for me was the concept of reframing. I used to worry about people liking me — until one day I had an epiphany and thought, “Hey, maybe THEY should be worried whether I like THEM or not!”

    When it comes down to it, your ride on this journey through your life should be centered on you and your values — and you get to decide who merits entry into your inner circle or relationships, and who does not.

    Never give that life-affirming power away – you are worthy and invincible!

  • Mary S. says:

    I’ve regained power in my relationship by following the advice of Mort Fertel, of Marriage Fitness. His overall strategy is this: Forget about what the other person is or isn’t doing. Look, instead, to yourself. He says, What’s YOUR “fixing”? How could you behave as the partner your spouse deserves?

    This changed everything for me. It freed me from worrying about what my husband was or wasn’t doing and forced me to focus on my own behavior. Following Mort’s program, I started doing tangible things that demonstrate my feelings to my husband in ways he can relate to. I’ve never felt better about myself as a wife or, frankly, as a person.

    And here’s the kicker: I fully believe that this approach, which I’ve been doing for 11 months, allowed my husband to finally — finally — recognize that our marital problems have been caused by his untreated depression. By not waiting for him to do something and, instead, being active in reconnecting with him, I gave him the space to get to this point. Now he’s seeking treatment, and perhaps our marriage can become wonderful again.

  • Pamela says:

    Sometimes I feel powerless in my introversion. I have had times when my ideas have been usurped by others, just because they talk more than I do. I now see my introverted traits assets and not a detriment.

    I get back to my power by getting back to me. I do that through reading inspirational books, or blogs. I’m a self-help junkie!

    I find the older I get the less tolerant I am of me giving my power away.

    For some reason something clicked inside of me last year when I just decided I would put myself out there. No more will I be the best kept secret that people steal from.

    Such a timely post.

  • LisaH says:

    Dealing with feeling disempowered can be hard. For me, it always leads to avoidance and it stresses me out. I’m like you, I have to be very fed up with something until I face up to it. The only exception to that is relationships – I always try to address the issue immediately and it’s worked well so far. Can’t do that with other areas though.

    But once that fed up point is reached, there’s no turning back. I’m not good at lying to myself, so I always know in the back of my mind what those issues are. Once it’s time to face them, knowledge is my way of empowering myself.

    If I have to deal with something that makes me feel weak or scares me, I try to learn as much as I can about that topic. I read everything I can get my hands on, try to learn from others who have dealt with the same thing before and develop a way to deal with it myself.

    This process might take some time (sometimes a long time LOL!), but it starts the journey of baby steps to dealing with it.

    My biggest issue is standing up for myself when dealing with negativity from others, especially people I like a lot.

    I tell myself that there’s no need for me to accept their opinion, but it’s hard if you value that person and their opinion a lot. I’ve gotten over caring about what strangers think, but when it comes to the people close to me that’s another story.

    I’m hoping to nurture my inner honey badger to deal with mean, demeaning or discouraging comments appropriately =)

  • Bonnie Gean says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    I hold things back until the pot overflows. Then, I let it all loose. The problem dealing with LIFE in this manner is that you never really resolve the issues that made you explode in the first place.

    At least, that’s how it is with me.

    The problem with holding it all back until there’s no room for more is the fact that you come across as a “complainer” and not someone who has a valid point that needs resolution.

    It’s communication at its worst!

    I don’t get the issue resolved because the person let’s it go through one ear and out the other, because after all, I’m just “letting off steam” which of course ticks me off even more because I’m not getting a valid response.

    So, I’ve been trying to approach problems, as they arise, in a calm manner. I get more feedback that way and I feel more in control of the situation because I approached it with a different mindset.

    I admit, it takes practice – at least from where I’m sitting. I’ve been the “chronic complainer” as it’s put for many years.

    YOU would think I’d of changed my approach years ago. Yet, with each new discussion that takes place, I gain sanity in return.

    I don’t “fly off the handle” so quickly anymore because I give myself a pep talk before allowing myself to get enraged. LOL

    Does that make sense?

    • Tiffany says:

      Yes! Very much so. I don’t fly off the handle. I’ve been polar opposite of Honey Badger Tiff. More like mouse Tiff.

      • Bonnie Gean says:

        OH well, that’s no good either. It gives too much control to the other party in the equation!

        Glad to hear you got your honey badger back. May I say “It’s about time” woman! :)

  • Lisa Oliver says:

    Wow that must have been some Wednesday (Thursday for me):) I alternate between feeling really empowered and confident about my business and my relationship through to feeling like I am doing everything wrong or I am not doing enough…feelings like that. Yesterday was a downer for me – I felt unloved and insecure. The challenge for me is trying to work out how much of this is caused through my own head chatter and how much of it stems from what someone else (in this case my husband) is doing or not doing.

    What I have been working on is speaking up before a situation gets explosive. I have found nothing is resolved if I just attack my husband (verbally of course) because he just gets angry back. Instead I try to keep my voice calm and I explain how I feel rather than how I think he makes me feel. By doing this my husband hasn’t got anything negative to respond to; what I am basically doing is asking him for help with the way I feel rather than blaming him for it.

    Its not a 100% foolproof system. Last night when I tried to broach how I was feeling we somehow got onto a topic that was all about him and I felt a bit shortchanged by it all. But I simply said that it was getting late and I DID make the point that we hadn’t discussed what was bugging me. But I left it at that as one thing I have found with 12 years of marriage is that going to bed angry, or staying up late and fighting is just not a good idea for either of us.

    I faced the idea that my husband would leave me a good few years ago – that was my “what if” worst case scenario at the time. I know I could live on my own and be relatively happy but I don’t want to. When it is all said and done I do love the man and I know underneath he is a good man. He is just like so many other blokes though and inclined to take me for granted a bit. We will work through it as we have been doing, and as I know you will too Tiffany.

    Huge hugs and thanks for the awesome post :)

    Lisa

  • Yoan says:

    I empower myself by thinking of one person ONLY. JR EWING! Try it! Fears go away…you’re on top of the world! LOl! No, seriously, I have learnt from very early on to trust your INSTINCT! It’s that little guide inside you telling you what to do and what not to do…and it works for me! I read lots of self-help books but then I end up thinking that they’ve succeeded once more in making me buy something that I already knew! The one thing that help me get over fears and doubts is MEDITATION. This is a big thing for me. It takes practice but it’s worth it. I try to believe in myself as much as possible and so far it’s worked fine. I have stopped comparing myself to others- more successful people, or allegedly so! Since we all have different interests at heart, nothing compares, really? When I get disheartened, I tend to blame the world until I remember how ungrateful I am being and change asap! To be honest with you, I don’t really like the word “empower”…it’s the end of the word that bothers me! I am no power-wh***! It’s way to tiring and I wouldn’t have time to watch Melrose Place and Dallas if I tried my best….lol! I do suck at relationship sometimes and I am a loner but my cave is open sometimes lol! I sometimes shut people down when they get on my nerves- and without notice because I assume they should know they’ve crossed the line. And, that’s that! No coming back. LOL. Finally, the only thing that makes me feel “powerless” is pain and disease. That’s all. The rest can be worked out. I learnt early on- in school- that if you don’t follow your instinct, others will take you by the hand even though you don’t want to…so making your own decision, standing for yourself and saying NO when required is the best way to empower yourself, in my own very arrogant opinion. I also suck at making decisions sometimes but that’s fine. Why rush anyway? I don’t want to be a clone so instead of turning right, I’ll turn left and come what may! Thinking differently is power, if you wish. You know this Tiff, you’re very opinionated and voice it loud if you feel like you have to and that’s right. That’s what makes you unique. My two cents! Lol! Yoan xxx!

  • Debi J says:

    Great post and great timing as always. My first business was entirely centered around personal development. I spent 4 years figuring out who I was, what I wanted, and how to get it. A few years after leaving that company, I stopped working on me. And, just like working out at a gym, if you don’t use it, you go back to the way you were before.

    With all the frustration over the past 2 years in my relationships, job and business, I’ve felt less than empowered but haven’t been able to slow down long enough to take a detailed look at the what and why of it all.

    Thanks to my call with Craig last weekend, I’m moving the right direction. I’m regrouping and getting back to my personal development. Good thing too or there would have been a huge blowup on the job today…he did something dumb that I’ve told him for weeks isn’t a good idea. But I’d gotten tired of the fight so I kept my mouth shut today. We find out tomorrow sometime if we still have a job because of it. :/

    Not sure if I’m angrier at him for always NOT listening or me for not being willing to take on the fight again. Either way, I’m peaceful at the moment due to the work I’ve done on me in just the past few days… things happen for a reason and I’m where I’m supposed to be. :)

    Working on getting my power back in ALL areas of my life. Whether that means I’ll still have a relationship or not will be determined later.

  • Ruth Stewart says:

    I lack confidence in believing I can create a future that I want. For me it is myself that holds me back, worrying about what will happen if? I am trying to break through those barriers.

    The thing is, I know that everything is going to change, so why worry about it? Sometimes it is easier to say it in my head than to actually feel it in my heart. But I have to start somewhere.

    I try to appeal to the control freak in me, lol, which means saying the future will change whether I like it or not. If I want to, I can change it the way *I* want.

    It is working. I am getting better, more confident, doing things I never would do before. Taking small steps. Trying something that I haven’t done before and just putting it out there, like you say Tiffany.

    I try and take some time at the end of each day to recognise five things that I have done that are good. They can be in any aspect of my life – but it is extra good when I can write something positive about a struggle, or problem or issue.

  • Debora Humphries says:

    My life was chaos from a very young age and I never really felt empowered or confident in any
    area of my life until I joined the Army when I was 22 years old.

    Once I learned to stand on my own two feet and that my life was a product of the decisions I made and not anyone else, I started to empower myself and feel more confidence with that very fact in all areas of my life, versus placing blame on anyone else around me.

    I did go through a point where I felt completely out of control in my relationship
    as well. Unfortunately, I am a “Boat Rocker.”

    After the boat was rocked and the words were said, I knew I had just lost all of the power I thought I had.

    Funny thing though, about an hour later I looked out the living room window and there was my soul mate. rocking on the front porch reading his bible.

    Brought me to tears and I felt so small and completely unempowered at that point.

    I felt compelled to go into my closet and get on my knees and ask Jesus to help me
    turn that weakness I felt back into strength and empower myself to listen more first, before
    flying off the handle.

    To this very day praise the lord, the only place I need to work on empowerment so far (knock on wood), is not putting myself out there as much as I should in my business.

    Coming here to your blog and listening to you and others, has helped me a lot and I
    sincerely thank you for making that an option. :)

  • Minna Bryant says:

    Oh boy I can relate to feeling powerless in just about every part of my life at one time or another, many times at the same time.

    I’ve struggled with confidence and esteem as well as people pleasing and not wanting to rock any boat.

    Some of that comes from growing up in a dysfunctional family. Some of it from needing to go along to get along or basically survive.

    The biggest thing I’ve done for myself was to start EMDR therapy and read and use a book called Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. This link opens in another window and takes you to their website.

    The book helps because it’s teaching me to see and at least acknowledge the needs I have along with when, how and why I want and expect others to fill them. And then finding and owning my own healthy and healthful ways to fill them.

    Definitely doing the work that you need to do for you to be the person you want to be in a relationship – no matter who or what that relationship is with – like business, career, health, spirit – whatever, is the fastest most successful thing you can do.

    Does that mean the other person is off the hook? No. It means taking back our power and using it for ourselves instead of wasting it trying to make someone be or do something they may or may not be interested in being or doing.

    Talk about a work in progress. :)

  • Yoan says:

    Free spirit….as much as I can, I guess!!

  • I feel pretty powerless in my family relationship lately. Ever since my mom got remarried things have been strained. I got some bad news from the doctor recently and it’s the type of thing you want to discuss with your mother so I just said enough is enough and confronted her. It was messy. There were a lot of tears from both of us. We both came out if it understanding more about each other and hopefully things will start to get better.

  • Phillip says:

    Virtually nothing in life is smooth all the may including life itself. Powerlessness is a part of life and like every otther segment you have to go through it. How long you stay in it, how well you come of it and what you do while you are in it is up to you. Sometimes in our lives we get into powerless situations for different reasons, some of which we have absolutely no control over, some of which is caused by the choices we have made earlier.

    Think of a trip from town to a countryside. You chose a type of attire,vehicle to drive and a particular route to take. Also think of the road condition as your empowerment. Your progress depend solely on this one big factor: some times you can travel at top speed, sometimes slow and sometimes traffic jam brings you to a halt. You made the choice to take that route,the weather may change and the attire and vehicle become inappropriate. What do you do here? You are now powerless; cannot turn around, cannot exit neither can you progress.
    These must be the times in our lives when reflection,creativity, will power,self assessment,planning and patience,willingness to change and adapt, memory experience and patience all kick in. These are the times when we find new solutions new ideas amass new knowledge/experiences.

    You will now think of new routes, exits, asking more questions, jag memory on ways of getting out and speeding up to make back time lost. While sitting in the traffic waiting, you are powerless. Instead of getting furious or sighing away or getting sorry for yourself, do the above. An exit to better conditions may just be a few hundred meters away,but you have to wait until you crawl to that point.

    This could be a health problem. Do not sit back and fret away your self and kill your self before you die or wait helplessly for that day. Get up and out, be busy, try to enjoy life and be active, you never know; this could be the cure for your condition. They say when you get lemmons in life, for what ever reason, do not mourn or throw them away because they are sour. Use them to make lemmonade, this could be the solution to other problems facing you in life. Thank you.

  • Cat says:

    In my relationship, I tend to speak up as soon as I think something might be wrong. If there’s something on my mind, I just can’t let it fester. Although I do tend to sometimes think that things are wrong when they aren’t – I can be over-sensitive, which is something I’d like to let go of.

    I think that most of my feelings of disempowerment in life come from within, rather than other people. I’m prone to anxiety, and my mind can be my own worst enemy. So learning ways to get my thoughts and emotions under control can be very empowering. I like meditation, and also emotional releasing techniques (I use EFT and the Sedona method most). I try to genuinely let go of the negative stuff, rather than repress it. It’s quite a challenge, but getting easier with practice.

    As for confidence, I’ve found that to come with age too. It wasn’t until I got well into my 30s that I started feeling comfortable with just being myself. I was far too concerned about others’ opinions when I was younger – wish I could go back & change that!

    • Tiffany says:

      Isn’t that sad that so many of us don’t feel confidence until mid-late 30s? What a waste! Wish I had it from the get go. I try to instill it in Scarlett now.

  • Dianne says:

    Hi Tiff,

    In reading all of the above posts I hear the pain in what a lot of people have written regarding their disempowerment and relationships.

    Back in November 2011, your good friend Craig (whom I am still in contact with over 4 years now), introduced me to the world of Tony Robbins. I don’t get anything for recommending his products or services that he provides but a couple of things that really helped me were: his UPW event and his book Unleash the Giant Within. You will find that empowerment you need and your life will be changed forever.

    Craig and I were emailing the other day checking on each other’s progress with where we are right now. He and I also took similar training to become strategic interventionists so we have that in common as well.

    Disempowerment can be debilitating as well as your relationships. It is amazing how much our relationships affect every aspect of our life. And the thing is that they both are intertwined. There are six basic human needs and when you figure out which of the six are your top two you can start to see why things are the way they are in every aspect of your life.

    What are the six needs? Certainty, Uncertainty/Variety, Significance, Love/ Connection, Growth and Contribution. When you figure out your top two and figure out the vehicles you are using to meet those needs, it will open your eyes to all aspects of your life.

    I am also not an expert on depression (as someone mentioned this topic above) but this particular affliction is caused by the person focusing on themselves only. Hard to hear but true. When the person starts focusing on other things besides themselves and giving to others, it eliminates all of the focus on their problems.

    I hope that I have helped in some small way. ;)

  • This one was the ton of bricks I needed to be dropped on my head. Instead of a headache, it broke through my pigheadedness and helped me to really understand something in my own life. I have allowed myself to become powerless to my emotions and to let them dictate how I interact with the world. This vlog hit me so hard I had an epiphany about my own life. I don’t know when I gave up my power to my emotions, but it was before I was 11 years old, and it’s time I empowered myself when it comes to my emotions. thank you once again for the insight.

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