The word empowerment is used a lot these days, and quite often in different contexts. Women Empowerment, Youth Empowerment, Black Economic Empowerment etc etc.
Essentially, ‘Empowerment’ is based on the idea that if you give another person the skills, resources, authority, opportunity and motivation, as well as hold them responsible and accountable for the outcomes of their actions, you will give them the ability to take control of their own destiny.
One of the ways to empower another human being is through mentorship. Another is coaching. The difference between the two is that the latter is paid for and structured with measured accountability.
Of course, as much as it is possible for you to empower another, it is entirely possible for you to empower yourself. For entrepreneurs especially, this is the most powerful form of empowerment because your ultimate success, or failure, depends entirely upon you.
If you have no idea where to begin the process, here is a quick guideline:
The 6 steps to Self-Empowerment:
Be Open to All Possibilities.
The human mind, kept clear and free, is the most powerful creativity and visualisation tool you own. The problem though is that we allow it to become full of negativity. Mindset and attitude are vital ingredients in allowing you to see the opportunities that are right in front of your eyes every single day. So often we get attached to definite or fixed outcomes in our minds, and in our pursuit of these outcomes we fail to see every other opportunity that crosses our path.
Action: Prepare yourself at the beginning of each and every day with an established morning routine that focuses on positivity, gratitude and mental preparation for the day ahead. Read often, listen to podcasts, journal positive thoughts and surround yourself with like-minded people to ensure that your state of mind keeps you alert and open to all possibilities’.
Be Self Aware.
Self-empowerment is inherently focused on you. Yes, it is slightly selfish, but this is selfishness for entirely good reasons. Your success in life will be a result of the choices you make and the effort that you put into the process, but its so important that you are clear in knowing what you want to achieve in terms of your own personal vision and goals for your life. Most people aim for nothing and then hit it with amazing accuracy. Furthermore, you need to be honest when assessing your current strengths and skills, as well as taking ownership of your weaknesses. This is your truth, and part of being self-aware is understanding exactly who you are, where you fit into the world and where you ultimately want to be.
Action: Commit your goals to writing. Just start with something, even if it is a goal for the day, the week or the month. Then look further ahead for the year, 3 years, 5 years. Know exactly what you want to achieve and accomplish in your life. Nothing happens if you keep your goals in your head. Like any company would have a vision and mission statement, prepare your own personal vision, mission statement and list of values you wish to live by. Analyse what personal strengths you can use to get you started. Be aware of your personal weaknesses, but for now focus on your strengths.
Just start. Nothing improves confidence more than taking action and moving closer towards your goals. Even the smallest step to move you in the right direction feels like an accomplishment. The more you take action, and the more momentum you build up, so your confidence continues to build. Remember that confidence is not a personality trait, it is something that can be learned and developed. Momentum also builds confidence, and is an incredible force that needs to be harnessed and maintained because once lost, its difficult to rebuild again.
Action: Break your goals down into the action steps and activities required. Focus on building your daily habits to ensure that these activities become a part of your daily routine. No success story is ever built over-night. In order to get going, just take the plunge. All fear disappears once you take action, so don’t wait for everything to be perfect, rather, perfect your plan as you keep building momentum.
Improve Your Skills
By taking action through focusing on your strengths and abilities, you will have started to build momentum, and you now have the perfect opportunity to improve skills in areas that can further enhance your momentum and build your confidence. Everyone has natural abilities, yet not everybody possesses the same natural abilities. Up-Skilling is the easiest way to bypass any natural ability ‘deficiencies’ that you may have identified. In today’s day and age, there is nothing that you cannot learn, as you have access to so much knowledge online.
Action: Identify a few areas where you feel you need to improve your skills, and seek out the information. Dedicate time to watching any tutorials, reading books, or even attending classes where necessary. You’re never too old to learn something new, especially in the areas of digital, social media and technology.
Compete Only With Yourself.
As human beings we are always inclined to look over our shoulder and compare ourselves with others. Compete with yourself. You have a completely different background, upbringing, and education, as well as different abilities, to your next competitor. What’s more is that you are exactly where you are meant to be in your life right now. This is because of every action, decision and choice you’ve taken that have lead to this exact point in time. Aim to be the best version of yourself so that you live your life at 100% of your potential. Your success or failure should be measured against whether or not you are achieving your fullest potential. Even if you are No 1 in your industry, are you maxing out at 100%? You should not consider yourself successful if you’re No 1, yet cruising at 75% in an easy environment?
Action: Measure your success against how you’re achieving your own goals. Ensure that your goals are pushing you, and stretching you outside of your comfort zones and pre-conceived limitations. Don’t become distracted by what others are doing.
Be Open to Guidance.
You don’t know everything, and you never will. Even when you think that you know it all, there will be somebody else who can teach and guide you to a new level of success. The pursuit for excellence is never-ending. Success is not a destination, only a journey and in order to keep moving forward it is so important that you are always open to learning. You will learn from those who are more successful and more experienced than you, you will learn from yourself and your own failures, and you will also learn from those less successful than you. The minute you think you know it all, you will begin a natural decline as complacency will set in. Complacency leads eventually, to irrelevance.
Action: Seek out mentors and coaches to guide you on your journey. Not only will a good coach assist you with each and every one of the six steps above, he or she will hold you accountable to ensure you achieve the goals you set for your life. Understand that there is a learning in everything. When something doesn’t go as planned, you never lose, you only learn.
Empowering others is a gift you leave for the world, and its probably the most valuable legacy you can leave to humanity, but in order to effectively give to others, you need to empower yourself first.
Make self-empowerment a focus in your life, and watch how many more people you will inspire and empower along the way.
Grant Gavin is an international speaker and award-winning entrepreneur, who coaches sales people to become better versions of themselves. For more info visit his website, www.grantgavin.com and make contact.