The big “E” for “Empowerment”

Empowerment says,  SAY WHAT YOU WANT IN ORDER FOR IT TO COME TO YOU.”  You’d be surprised how many people struggle with this.  The whole ‘Assertiveness’ movement’ of the Seventies was based on helping people empower themselves by verbalizing their wants.  ‘Assertiveness’ as a key word is passe now.

“Empowerment” is a word that’s become the contemporary jargon or key word over the last 5-10 years. “E”, [empowerment, empowering] says, Ask for what your want; State your truth; get it out on the table; be willing and ready to negotiate; Do assert what you want, what your values are, defend and protect your borders and boundaries, affirm, acknowledge and applaud [the Three “A”s] yourself in a deep way if you want the same respect and kindness, cooperation or collaboration, from others that “E”- children, spouses, colleagues, bosses and bus drivers, and especially barbers.

As a reminder, think of a barber.  If you don’t tell a barber how you want your hair cut how can they give it to you. We all have hair we like cut a certain way; we all want to be ’empowered.’ Right?  And some people work hard at empowering others, life coaches, social workers, pastors, LCSWs, therapists and such, smart and good bosses in every field.

My daughter and I chatted for half an hour on the phone last nite, long distance.  She felt more empowered at work than at home. At the end of our chat I realised and told her straight up she is already empowering herself now by clarifying her thoughts and feelings in order to set some new goals and decide her first steps in achieving them.  It has to do with her spouse, herself, her pastor and a friend.  All I did was actively listen and ask a few directive questions. Bravo for her!

She was on to some new beginnings, moving forward with awareness of her own process, ready to articulate specific goals, ready to discern whether others ‘get it’ or not and whether they are supportive or not of her objectives.  Her purpose as mom, wife, and employee was clarified in the process.  She could step out tomorrow with new focus and new confidence.  She could heartily pat herself on the back, not for coming out of a bit of confusion and consternation, but for realizing that her chat with me WAS her own self-E.

She was already doing what she aspired to do.  “E” can be, and often is, the pause to question and say what you are feeling and thinking, “trusting your gut” as they say, and embarking with new energy and motivation toward what simply needed acknowledgement and affirmation.  Applause follows.  She simply did it with another person.

That itself can be “E”.  We each do it commonly enough every day in sundry ways as we seek understanding and support from family, friends and colleagues.  Doing it consciously is a deeper mode of action.  I recommend it.  It is not easy; it is hard; it is a practice.  So practice it.  Momentum and success, even alacrity and grace, can be part of “E”‘s process.  Just do not forget, that like yoga, any skill, any sport, any career work – it is a practice.

So approach “E” with a kindly diligence toward yourself.  Add humor and patience and kindness liberally, first to “E” yourself.  And then you will “E” others around you to their best good choices to – act, grow, change, evolve, love, produce, etc.

So it is with any of us because we all have struggles.  None of us is without hassles, issues, frustrations and perturbations.  “E” your way through, around or over them.  Get angry if they lie to you or try to use you.  Anger is often about protecting what is yours, your true values and objectives.  Fight when you are clear about what it is you want or need.  Stand your ground and “E” will work for you every time.

And if you need help with “E” consider a Life Coach.   Hah!


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