What is Empowerment?Apr 11, 2022
Female empowerment is somewhat of a buzz word at the moment. It tends to mean different things to different people and diving into what it really means for me, as someone who calls herself an empowerment coach, felt like an important thing to do.
I was reading an excellent book this morning all about feminine leadership (Strong Female Lead by Arwa Mahdawi - Absolutely worth a read). Most of it landed really well, until I got to the last chapter where the writer told me she felt women had to stop looking for empowerment.
I couldn't work out if this was a trigger for me because I call myself an empowerment coach or because I truly believe in the importance of women feeling empowered and felt like she was belittling the power of it.
After reading the description of what it meant to her, I took a moment to check in with what it meant to me.
The writer used the term empowerment to mean someone’s giving you power or enabling you; that you are somehow incapable of helping yourself.
This is where our thoughts differ. Empowerment is absolutely about being able to do something you desire, but to me it comes from inner strength and inner belief.
Yes, others can help you build strength and belief, walk alongside you when it feels hard and hold you accountable for following your path. I honestly know in my soul that this is something I've been put on earth to support people to do.
But ultimately, empowerment comes from within. It comes from being able to see all the things that have held you back in the past and possibly still do.
Empowerment comes from taking the power back from all the places you have been told you should place it, the behaviours that women have been told are acceptable, the attributes that are deemed okay for success.
We no longer need to take any notice of people telling us that feminine qualities are a weakness. We can take them back, own them, safe in the knowledge that they are the way to make meaningful change in the world. (Check out our podcast episode on feminine leadership)
Empowerment comes from understanding how these qualities show up for you, where they come from, and which of these thoughts actually belong to you. And then firmly handing them back to where they belong - not to you!
Empowerment is about treating yourself with compassion and forgiveness, as well as those around you. Women have always been better able to show their empathy and understanding as it’s directly related to being okay with having emotions. That said, many of us carry conditioning that tells us feelings and emotions are bad, and it’s now time to unlearn many of these beliefs.
Accepting that you are who you are, and stepping into the belief that what you want to do and the person you want to be is totally possible is the secret to empowerment. Once we are able to let go of the idea that we should be conforming to someone else's ideal of what a woman should be and we can own who it is we want to be, knowing that all of our life experiences have formed us, we can feel empowered in our own skin and stop worrying about what that means for other people.
When we're able to do all of this for ourselves, we're able to show up for others in a more empowered and powerful way.
We show up for our family better, we show up for our friends better, our work improves, and we begin to identify potential pitfalls before we fall headlong into them.
Our sense, our knowing, is stronger, and we can use our intuition to guide us so that we are able to show up with unshakable confidence in all aspects of our lives.
What does empowerment mean for you?
Photo by Polina Kovaleva