Before I explore empowerment – which is what I plan to cover in this article – I need to declare that being grateful, contented, often happy and living a fulfilled life is what I think ‘successful’ really means.
However, our modern world has a focus on individual success, instant gratification and on financial status.
I was fortunate to work as a volunteer in the Albany Hospice back in the 1990s and that experience changed my perception about what really matters to people. For me being in service means more to me than any perception of excellence, any award, any milestone or any public recognition.
Simply, this means how can I make the world better by my words, my actions and most importantly my thoughts?.
Life is an amazing journey of stretching and growing. No matter what, we will be challenged, and we will be blessed. Sometimes we get stuck. Sometimes we get lost. Sometimes we lack the courage to take the risks we need to move to a higher level of being. If you feel like you are standing behind an invisible wall of resistance that is stopping you from being the best you that you can be, whether that be in relationships, work, how much abundance you have or health and happiness – then that is a sign that you may be lacking in empowerment and the ability to make choices and take steps forward.
Sometimes it is good to stop and look at the life you’ve created and determine what is working and what is not.
So often, we focus on things that are not working, or what we don’t want! There are always some wonderful things happening in your life, whether it’s your job, your spouse, your grades, your children, your friends, your income level, your rose garden, your community involvement and your ability to be a good friend. Congratulate yourself on these successes and then take a look at what isn’t working out so well. What are you doing or not doing to create those experiences?
We all know that complaining and blaming outside factors for your unhappiness is seldom helpful.
When you realise that you co-create most of your experiences, you’ll also realise that you can un-create them and create new experiences whenever you want. But you must take responsibility for your happiness and your unhappiness, your successes and your failures, your good times and your bad times.
When you stop blaming, you can take that energy and redirect it to focus on creating a better situation for yourself. Blaming and complaining only ties up your energy. It also stops you focusing on how to create what you are seeking. Your mind is unable to be planning a better today or tomorrow if it’s still stuck in yesterday.
Successful people take 100% responsibility for the thoughts they think, the images they visualise and the actions they take.
They don’t waste all their time and energy blaming and complaining. They evaluate their experiences and decide if they need to change them or not. They face the uncomfortable and take risks in order to create the life they want to live. Even following an experience where another person or organisation is responsible for something bad happening, they pursue justice and recompense while still choosing to invest time and energy in those they love and planning for a better tomorrow.
People who are empowered make things happen. Positively empowered people make positive things happen, while honouring and respecting others. They have the ability to follow their yearning to make the world a better place by using their unique strengths and talents. These people make mistakes and take risks, and they keep moving towards their dreams.
“The best among us are not more gifted than the rest. They just take little steps each day as they march toward their biggest life. And the days slip into weeks, the weeks into months and before they know it, they arrive at a place called Extraordinary.” — Robin Sharma, The Greatness Guide (2006)
Unfortunately bad things happen to everyone even empowered people – that’s just life. So many events in life are out of our control such as accidents, natural disasters, a loved one’s illness.
Domestic violence campaigner and 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty is a wonderful example of an empowered person who had something unthinkable happen to her and went on to use her gifts and talents to help others.
Failure is an essential ingredient for high achievement. You can’t win without stretching your safety zone and taking some calculated risks. Too many among us live what some people call the safe harbour of the known – same old, same old – this becomes a safety rut, and the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.
Stretching ourselves feels a little uncomfortable as irrational fears creep into our mind: What if I fail? What if I look stupid? What if people think I am useless?
Failure and mistakes show that we are moving and having a go. EVERYONE makes them, so let’s get over that small hurdle to growing into being a higher expression of ourselves that we can be!
- It takes three days for a new reality to feel comfortable.
- It takes three weeks for a new pattern to become a new habit.
Are you living the life you want?
If you were brave, and could not fail, what choice would you make?