Empower is to give power or authority to; to authorize, to enable or permit. We talk much about empowering people in our society. We want to empower children, survivors of domestic violence, girls, teens, moms and more.
However, we often struggle to empower ourselves. We struggle to give ourselves permission to relax, to treat ourselves, to leave a bad relationship, to be more than we are, to break out of the norm, to wear that piece of jewelry when it’s not a special occasion, to go back to school, to leave the house a mess while we play with the children, to have one more piece of cake after we’ve eaten so well and to forgo the image of it all and to just live our truth.
Whether you’re in a rut or busy in the rat race, you may be stuck in a routine and feeling helplessly trapped in what is. There is no power there. I’ve never heard of anyone feeling powerful in a job they hate, a relationship that’s falling apart, an unsafe neighborhood, not spending enough time imparting into their children, or living reactively instead of proactively. There is power in working towards a better situation for yourself.
True empowerment is finding a way to live a life free from the final say, rather than the consideration, of outside influences. It is a woman cutting her hair because, despite what society says is attractive, it would make her life easier and free her up to do other things. It is dismantling the idea that you’re not smart enough to do more than you’re doing and working smarter to improve. It is letting go of guilt and forgiving yourself, knowing that you will make better choices going forward. It is tactfully communicating your feelings to your significant other, because not doing so is keeping the peace, but eroding your love and respect for the other person. It is releasing the fear and starting that business, blog, diet, or otherwise, because you’ve always wanted to do so. True empowerment is giving yourself permission to live true.
With so many people stuck in the Land of Make Believe, there is so much opportunity for true empowerment to raise its hand. Don’t acquiesce . Instead, affirm your right to live a life that matches your vision for yourself; a vision not based upon meaningless societal suggestions, but rather based upon what fits right with your soul.
Today empower your self to be you. Live true!
Monica Cost is a communications strategist, brand manager, respected speaker and soon to be author of “The Things I Used to do to Sneeze” being released in November 2011. She is the President and Founder of Evidently Assured, a communications and brand management firm. Email her at: [email protected] Follow her via Twitter: @monicacost and Facebook.com/monicahairstoncost.