Break Free! 5 Steps toward Personal Empowerment

“The process of spotting fear and refusing to obey it is the source of all true empowerment” – Martha Beck

SupermomEverybody has a passion – and mine is helping people discover a sense of personal empowerment. Maybe that focus comes from my own life spent learning to overcome power hurdles on the way to feeling competent and comfortable in my own skin. Whatever the reason, I’ve chosen to devote my career to helping others discover the same sense of cherished freedom that I’ve found.
So if you find yourself trapped in an unfulfilling existence and are ready to break free, here are 5 tips for stepping in to your own personal empowerment.
1. Seek Knowledge
“Knowledge is Power” – Francis Bacon
Whether you’re battling overwhelming feelings of anxiety, a lack of life direction, or difficulties in your relationships, there are plenty of resources readily available to offer you insight. In today’s high tech world of computers and smartphones answers are literally at your fingertips. Online articles, self-help book, or even lists of area experts can all help to put the pieces of your own unique puzzle together. As a counselor, we specialize in providing you with research driven data to help you reach your goals. Information is plentiful. Start by simply seeking solutions.

2. Graduate from the School of Hard Knocks
“I never lose – I either win or I learn” – Unknown
In addition to researching the area of your concern, it’s also important to examine your own past experiences for insight. While most of us don’t like to dwell on hurtful elements of our past, there are hidden gems awaiting those brave enough to take a second look. Ask yourself, what did I learn from that situation? Odds are you’ll find invaluable nuggets of wisdom that will not only ensure that you don’t repeat past mistakes but that also serve as a roadmap to your ultimate destination.

3. Take a Walk on the Wild Side
“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” – Mary Tyler Moore
Think about your heroes. More than likely, there’s some element of bravery about them. We’re meant to live life – truly experience it – and yet fears and insecurities can leave us sidelined if we don’t challenge them. Stumbles and missteps are inevitable on the path to success but as long as you keep forward momentum you will reach a better destination. Remember, there’s no shame in falling – as long as you get back up. Give yourself permission to be imperfect as you fine-tune your ultimate life.

4. Infuse with energy and enthusiasm
“There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” – Norman Vincent Peale
This is an area that’s often waning in today’s success-oriented society. Judging ourselves by others expectations can leave us feeling overly self-conscious and afraid to move. Shutting off our feelings to protect ourselves not only zaps the energy out of our lives but steals away our enjoyment. A wise person once said “take what you do seriously – but don’t take yourself too seriously.” It’s good advice. Keep your eye on the vision you have for your life but give yourself room to breathe. Beyond that, if you can go one step further and fan the flames of your passion, you will begin to breathe life back in to your existence. Life becomes an adventure again.

5. Develop an attitude of gratitude
“When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.” – Kristin Armstrong
The great thing about gratitude is that we can have it right now. You don’t have to wait to achieve gratitude. Every life contains meaningful elements that may be getting over-shadowed by life’s struggle. Take the time at the end of each day to remind yourself of at least three things that you’re grateful for. You’ll begin to see that right now isn’t so bad after all. And you’ll be more likely to bring the blessings of today into the successes of tomorrow.

Marci Wise, MA, RMHCI, is a motivational author and mental health counselor accepting clients in the Fort Myers/Naples Florida area. Call 941-202-3350 to schedule an appointment or visit for additional resources. Material is free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.

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