There’s more to self empowerment than feel good aphorisms and confidence boosters.
Up until now, that’s likely all you’ve been given, and that’s exactly why nothing has worked.
To be empowered means to be in control. After all, you are the Arbiter of your own life. If you don’t start off from that premise, you’re doing everything wrong.
You have to be in the mindset that you are in the driver’s seat, and that your destination is always in your hands.
The problem with this is, it requires a certain level of responsibility. This is something that cheeky feel good aphorisms never mention.
You actually have to start being accountable for your actions before you learn how to empower yourself.
Think about it. If you believe that your lot in life is because of the whims of fate, or taxes, or other people you’ve never met, or because of “genetics,” or some other x-factor, how could you ever truly take control?
Your first step is to take a stand right now, and own everything in your life. Everything around you, the good and the bad, is the result of your choices. Even if this doesn’t explain the whole picture or isn’t apparently 100% accurate, this is the mindset you need.
Once you get to a certain point on the Path, you realize that everything around us is indeed the result of our decisions and thoughts, but you don’t need to go this deep just yet.
Just own everything in your life. Stop unloading your responsibility and issues onto other people and blaming “the other” for what transpires around you.
You are the Arbiter. Own that shit.
Once you have made the affirmation and taken conscious responsibility for your life, you can start on the road to empowerment with the following techniques.
Begin Each Day Purposefully
Start off by owning your mornings. Most people wake up in a haze and dread the hours to come, and can only numb their dissatisfaction with coffee.
Don’t be this person.
Before even getting to this point, you should be getting a decent night of sleep, no less than 6 hours, preferably 7 to 8.
Frame the day in terms of opportunities. What great things will come your way today? What will you be able to accomplish?
Even if you are just going through the motions at a dead-end 9 to 5, understand that this is only a temporary position and that you are the arbiter. Better things will come your way, but you have to be open to the opportunity.
It comes down to understanding your brain, your biological interface with the world. Mindset dictates what you can see and therefore what experiences occur around you.
If you tell yourself that the world sucks, there’s nothing for you, there’s no way out, that’s what you will see. Opportunities and great experiences are all around us every day, but if your mind is not open to them, you will quite literally not see them. It’s how we are wired.
Use your mornings to get things done. This should be the most productive part of your day. Feeling empowered involves generating the right conditions for personal success.
I highly recommend getting into a morning workout routine. Lift weights at the crack of dawn and you’ll go through the day a hell of lot less disgruntled.
Don’t rely on feelings and old habits with this. We’re talking pure biochemistry here.
If you get your blood flowing and tear muscle right after you wake up, you will feel better throughout the day. Depression, anxiety, brain fog – this is all the result of your internal chemistry being off. The only way to correct it is to do what is natural, and that means actually using your body.
Diet also plays an important role in this, which we will be getting to shortly. Suffice it enough to say, make sure you eat a breakfast, and not just processed cereal or leftover pizza.
Hygiene and Body-Sculpting
This isn’t always obvious to some people, but it needs to be said: if you don’t take care of yourself, your subconscious is going to believe you’re not worth taking care of.
Almost always, this results in low self-esteem and loss of personal power.
Take control of your life by first taking control of your own body.
This goes especially for those people who “don’t care what other people think.”
That’s cute, but your subconscious cares. A lot.
Empowering oneself involves practicing personal responsibility.
An improvement in overall hygiene can work wonders for self-confidence and empowerment. The mind feeds off of the magnetism of the body. Look good, feel good.
So what does this mean?
Take thorough showers every day, wash your hair, shave and trim the hair on your body, brush your teeth at least 3 to 5 times a day, wash your hands, dress to impress, take stock of your posture and body language and correct it as necessary.
Don’t slouch. Don’t lower your head for no reason. Don’t shuffle your feet. Walk with purpose, loose but not erratic.
If you don’t typically behave this way, understand that these aren’t personality traits and this is not an attack. Your ego may feel threatened, but you are not your ego.
Empowerment is magnetism and charisma, and that can only be generated from the deeper parts of the mind and body.
You won’t feel or be empowered if you are metaphysically scrunched up like a little messy ball, shuffling and unkempt.
Bathe. Shave. Dress accordingly. Conduct yourself with dignity.
Self-care is a massive part of empowerment. Your subconscious will not believe itself worthy of control or success if it is outwardly unkempt or unmaintained.
There’s a reason why monks and sages are typically astute in their self-maintenance, and spend an inordinately large amount of time every day performing cleansing rituals, cleaning their personal space, and conducting themselves with poise and dignity.
It trains the subconscious and develops confidence, control of personal space and power, improves health and awareness, and in general benefits the Self.
Don’t Fear Decisions
You can’t run from choice. If you do, you give up your personal power.
This is one of the biggest issues people have. If you want to actually empower yourself, you have to control what goes on around you. That means playing a more active role in making choices.
And by this I mean choices that actually matter.
The more choices you actively participate in, the more you will begin to generate the results you are looking for.
Conversely, the more you leave everything to chance and the whims of people around you, the more metaphysical ground you cede.
This also gives your ego a clear route for complaining and unloading responsibility on others.
Classic example is someone too weak-willed to make their own choice so they leave the decision to someone else and the result doesn’t turn out the way they want. Then they have the gall to complain about the result.
Nothing screams lack of self-control like someone complaining about events and happenstance that they themselves didn’t even participate in the generation of.
It’s all ego-based nonsense, and it’s keeping you from living the life you want.
(On a side note, complaining in general is something you should give up if you find that it is a habit. Empowered people don’t complain, they act.)
As you become more comfortable with making your own decisions, you will be able to make bigger and bigger ones. Eventually you will make wide-sweeping decisions that will greatly impact the energy around you, and will enact change.
This is empowerment, the ability to arbitrate what goes on around you in accordance to natural law.
Lock Down and Eliminate Random Variables
Personal choice is important in matters of arbitration, but you can’t make proper choices or create the life you want if there are too many random variables around you.
Typical of weak-willed individuals is their habit of allowing far too many random variables into their life. They don’t want to exert their will or make choices, but choices always need to be made. This is the way the universe works.
So other forces will gladly step in and make choices for you on their behalf. Those with a “victim mindset” typically have a massive problem with this. They are conditioned into having hundreds of random variables around them, essentially rendering them helpless.
Eliminate random variables. Flaky people, unreliable appliances or machines, inconvenient habits, dangerous routines. Not all of it will be in your immediate control to do away with, but take stock of what you can and do your best to phase it all out.
And this goes for even the smallest of random variables and inconveniences.
If it steals your power or ability to make choices on your own grounds, it must be dealt with.
Empowered people have a healthy mix of variables in their life, ones they can control and ones they can’t.
You should strive for roughly an 80 / 20 mix.
80% of everything around you should be a variable that you have full control over.
The other 20% should be things like the weather, traffic, other people’s moods, and happenstance.
Most people have it the other way around, and this is why they are unhappy and lost.
It might be difficult at first, but you have to make the switch. If something doesn’t serve you correctly, it must be expelled.
Eat Like You Give a Damn
This is huge. Stop stuffing your body with garbage and eat as if your body were a temple.
Because it is.
How do you expect to exude confidence if you’re fuel is subpar?
Food is a lot more than merely “fuel” however. This is a misnomer at best.
The food you put into your body is what your cells use to reconstruct your body, produce the proper biochemistry, and enable you to exist without dying.
A car without fuel is still a perfectly fine car, it just can’t go anywhere.
A human body without food is a corpse.
Do the math.
And sadly, most of the food we eat these days is not “food” as it pertains to our biology. It’s trash.
Eating correctly is a massive step toward taking control of your life.
And sure, not everyone can afford to eat a perfectly clean, healthy diet. But let’s dispense with the excuses.
Unless you live on the moon or on Antarctica, you can find and afford fruits, vegetables, basic whole grains, and legumes.
These staple foods are the foundation of a proper diet and what your body needs in order to function correctly.
Just do what you can to slowly phase out processed foods and replace them with better options. It might be difficult or inconvenient at first, but your body will thank you and your confidence will begin to soar as your health and brain chemistry improves.
Identify Your Shortcomings and Face Them
This might be the most difficult step.
The ego hates to analyzed, picked at, and downsized.
But self empowerment is about the self, not all the other baggage in your head.
You have to be critical of your shortcomings and failings, and face them down.
What are your weak points? What don’t you like to do that’s holding back your success and contentment? What do you fear?
These are the areas you need to work on the most.
Often, there are no secret shortcuts or life hacks to get around this stuff either. It’s raw self-work, but it needs to be done.
The more personal failings that you correct, the more empowered you become.
This can include anything from bad habits and vices, to phobias, to things you hate to do, routines you need to break, and even physical issues like allergies and weight.
You might think it’s fruitless advice to sit here and say “just face yourself and change,” but at the end of the day, it’s what you need to hear.
Empowerment was never bestowed on someone by chance or given freely as a gift. It’s always earned.
That means you have to put in the work, and such work is often dirty. No getting around it.
I can say this: if you follow the other steps above, such as eating better, working out, waking up early, and taking charge of your choices, facing your Self will be a thousand times easier.
Don’t set yourself up for failure. Some poor advice I’ve seen on self empowerment tends to mention facing fears and bad habits without giving any advice on how or when.
You can’t do this kind of deep work when you are wallowing in the sunken place. It’s going to be arduous at best and probably won’t produce results.
Only take your inner fears and vices on when you’ve already made progress in your journey of self empowerment.
Learn to feel what it’s like when you treat your body right, take care of yourself, exercise, and eat properly. Your fears won’t seem as daunting and more answers will be open to you.
Remember, self empowerment begins with the right frame of mind. Arbitration and self-control.
Once you are at this point, expand from there by following these techniques, and you will make the progress you are looking for.
The founder of Digital Sages, Matt has an extensive background in self-mastery and has authored several books on the subject. His goal is to demystify important esoteric subjects and help people transform their lives through self-awareness and personal empowerment.