What is Self-Empowerment?

Self-empowerment. This word is thrown around a lot, but we never really talk about what it means. How do we define the act of self-empowerment?

I’ve spent some time recently asking others how they define this term. And perhaps not surprisingly, after asking five different people, I received five different answers.


Because the way one person experiences empowerment is often quite different from another.

If you’re a teacher, for example, you might find self-empowerment in the ability to establish an efficient, well-behaved classroom. You don’t have to raise your voice or deal with major disciplinary issues, because you have command of the classroom.

A doctor, on the other hand, might see self-empowerment as the ability to maintain calm clarity during the most intense of situations, and practice self-forgiveness for circumstances out of their control.

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I’ve been interested in this idea of self-empowerment for a while now, and despite the very personalized nature of the term, I nevertheless find myself wondering if there are also universal traits.

Are there characteristics or behaviors that everyone recognizes as self-empowering?

Upon this reflection, I’ve discovered two broader – yet often unrecognized – universal traits that encompass the idea of self-empowerment well. What are they, you ask? The first is the ability to slow down. And the second focuses on successful communication.

Self-empowerment Is Slowing Down

If I ask you to define self-empowerment, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is a strong, determined, “dive right in” attitude. And this makes sense. Resisting hesitation suggests confidence, which often feels empowering.

That being said, this type of empowerment is not the only answer.

In fact, self-empowerment is also a practice in self-control. It is the ability to step back, to look at the bigger picture, consider the different thoughts you’re having about the circumstance, and decide on purpose how you want to think and feel.

Admittedly, this can be a challenge. It’s tempting to jump right into a project without excessive planning; we often strive to achieve everything within the space of one day, which leaves little time for careful deliberation.

By taking time to step back, however, you’re maintaining an open, clear mind, which allows for that reflection. You have the chance to consider different options, and you can move forward with confidence in choosing the best one to help you tackle your goals.

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Self -empowerment Is Communication

While self-empowerment often suggests a go-it-alone mentality, it’s important to remember that isolation can also be a detriment to our progress.

Self-empowerment means having the confidence to ask for help when we need it. And it also means showing the courage and compassion to help others when the situation arises.

We are often stronger as a unit; practicing self-empowerment with open communication helps leads to healthier relationships filled with integrity, honesty, and openness.

So as you decide on your own definition of self-empowerment, keep these two traits in mind. They may not be the bold “go get ‘em” attitude one might first associate with self-empowerment, but they play a key role in making healthy decisions while increasing our tolerance and understanding.

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What does self-empowerment mean to you? How do you practice this characteristic? Let me know below!

18 thoughts on “What is Self-Empowerment?”

  1. Sometimes for me self empowerment is about letting go of things and not trying to do everything. It’s a bit counter-intuitive but if you’re buried under so many “to dos” you can’t do what you need to well.

  2. I think self empowerment is being strong for yourself. It’s a way to uplift yourself and give yourself permission to be a force in the world. I love that idea, because we often don’t give ourselves enough room to be as great as we want to be.

  3. Love this post, also love that you say it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. I think self-empowerment also comes from helping others and allowing them to help you.

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