Empowerment is a term very commonly and freely used in the self-help arena.
Empowering oneself often means to give yourself the authority and capabilities to achieve your goals. I would like to suggest that this term by its very definition can be debilitating. I know that this seems to be an odd standpoint on a word that is so freely used, but I want you to consider this.
Today “empowerment” invokes power while signifying the lack of it, to begin with. Empowerment does not increase your potential so much as it assures you that your potential was and is just as it should be. The term empowerment is synonymous with permission, approval, and consent. The implications are that before you made the decision to stand for yourself, you did not have the authority to do so. But, you always have!
This word has become widely used as a marketing tactic to apply a feeling of power behind something, typically products you can use. But here’s the thing, you’ve had the power all the while.
I had previously experienced a situation related to work. A bit of back history, I’m not one that reveals in confrontation. In many instances, even when I have something to say I won’t engage if I believe it will lead to conflict. This may sound like I’m too timid or shy, however it’s quite the contrary. You see, I value my energy and what I focus on. So, I just assess if it’s worth the energy that I will have to expend to confront an unwanted situation and in more instances than not, it is something I will let go.
But, I had a situation at work where there was an implication about my work effort that simply had no merit. This particular instance I was not prepared to let it go. I set aside some time to carefully and thoughtfully allow a space for me to speak my truth, unsolicited and after the fact, I might add. I truly spoke from a loving place that honored who I was and what I wanted to represent and it definitely seemed to soften the response.
Afterward, I experienced this amazing powerful release that you can have when you voice your truth for someone to know and they accept it. This situation could have been considered an empowering one, but in reflection I had an understanding that this capacity, to speak my truth, is always within me. I did not need any permission, approval or consent to use it.
So you see it becomes more about the recognition of your power within. Don’t get sucked into the glamour of “being empowered” today. Own it, embody it, use it! You are all powerful and don’t ever need to be empowered to know that.