I try to never let myself forget that who I am is someone who Empowers others and myself. The key is “myself” and in the broader sense, ourselves. Empowerment – and please forgive me for being redundant but I feel it is very important – is just as much for our own growth and transformation as it is for others. I could never get in front of anyone, or, any large crowd and feel as though I am the teacher and they (the listeners) are the learners. For me, it would not be very effective.
This might tend to put someone’s ego in check but that more than likely, is the real clue. Why would my ego be hurt? Can a very young child not teach me something about Empowerment? I pray that I will never feel that way.
Taking the time by myself to reflect, is a good way for personal Empowerment. A while back, I posted the poem written while I was at Mt. Charleston. (See post August 2nd) Most of the day was spent reflecting on how my shame filter nearly controlled everything I did. This type of reflection is something done on a regular basis. Next time, I’ll get a little more personal on how I do it.
Once I discovered my shame filter, the next logical step was to “fix it”. How do I deal with all this negative thinking, low self-esteem and the feeling of unworthiness? After all isn’t that a normal reaction? Here’s the problem……..now go and fix it!
The difficulty is that it’s not a leaky faucet or a worn brakes. There is no changing of a washer or putting on new pads to fix years of shame-based thinking. For me, at 53, this type of thinking had been going on for most of my life. One pep talk – even from the most dynamic speaker in the world – can’t take years of thinking and emotional traumas and just “fix” it.
So many issues that we deal with, have taken YEARS to solidify. Now that we realize there is a problem, well we just can’t take it to the local mechanic or “shrink” and say “fix it, please”. The first step? It’s quite simple. We must acknowledge that the problem exists. We must understand that there is something that needs “fixing” or even better changing. After that? Well you’ll have to tune into the next post.
As was stated previously, Empowerment comes in many ways. Take for instance my partner, Joe Birmingham. In the last post. if you remember the guy in the picture, that’s Joe. AKA Joe-Mentum. You will definitely be hearing that word a lot. For Joe, his Empowerment comes in the form of Joe-Mentum.
Just as it is my passion to help Empower others and myself, Joe’s passion is to help others get Joe-Mentum. As the name implies, you gradually increase at what you are doing. However – and this I can totally attest to – Joe-Mentum is the ability to increase in speed uphill. In many ways Joe-Mentum is Empowerment and vice versa.
He was dubbed that nickname by his boss and it couldn’t be more fitting. So much so that we purchased the domain, http://www.joe-mentum.com. That will be his blog site so you’ll be able to get some very good insight from a couple of seasoned characters. After all Empowerment is my purpose. Just in case you missed it last time, his picture is below. That day was an experience in Joe-Mentum for the both of us.
Leading by example is very important because it will establish a congruent way of living in our own lives. I don’t mean simply obeying laws, it’s about establishing goals, values, and boundaries in your life and living within those criteria.
Remember, what your ideals are about each of these may not reflect what everyone else thinks. Living congruently with your own thinking is Empowering. Saying one thing but not living it by your actions diminishes your ability to Empower. It may also lose any effect or effectiveness it had.
Leading by example will also teach us compassion. When you are helping someone who is struggling, more than likely, you went through a similar struggle and know that it takes more love an patience to help that person through. But always remember, Empowerment is a two way street. Look for what is Empowering you in that situation as well.
Are we all Empowerment beings? I would certainly like to think so. If we are not empowering, then by default what are we? However, each of us has our own way of defining what Empowerment is. My interpretation of Empowerment is inspiring others to do more than they thought they could do. When we “inspire” others, the best way is to be an example – to be a reflection of Empowerment.
Oftentimes we may think that the person who gets up in front of a crowd and dazzles us with inspirational speeches and catchphrases, that is what inspires us to do great things and be an empowered person. I am out to challenge that way of thinking. By being an example, I don’t stand in front of people and talk’ I do. I act. I am. And along with that, I listen. Not only am I a reflection by being an example, I reflect what they are saying. Sometimes, they may not hear clearly what they are saying .
And….. I always remember to look be Empowered at the same time.
The best way I know of helping anybody is by citing my own example. But the thing to remember is that what works for me may not work for others. Discovering how my own shame-based thinking was the force behind me leading a less than productive life, this was the first step toward growth and transformation.
What brought me to that place? How was I able to come across this revelation? I can remember telling my therapist early on, I was ready. Whatever I needed to do, I was willing to put the time in. Although I was still confused, doing something about it was foremost in my mind. All he needed to do was to tell me and I would do it!
The irony is that that is exactly what I did NOT need. Telling me step by step what move to make, how to think, etc; all of this would have only made things worse. I’ll cover that in future blogs. The important thing was – I was ready. More than ready. Fortunately, I found someone who understood that telling me what to do was the wrong thing as well.