The Art of Living an Empowered Life – Part 1

Thousands of people suffer from self-doubt, fears of inadequacy, feelings of worthlessness and unhealthy self-criticism. Each time we are faced with a difficult situation and we judge ourselves with inner dialogue, such as: ‘what’s wrong with me! I am a…. (loser, joke, stupid, useless)’, we are experiencing a drop in our self-esteem, defeating our sense of worthiness.

The journey is to gain a new perspective of ourselves through changing the way that we look at and speak to ourselves and by choosing behaviours that we respect.

I am going to create a weave of connection between self-esteem, personal power and personal growth to explore this fundamental issue.

Self-esteem can be defined as a confidence in our ability to think and cope with life’s challenges and a confidence in our own right to be successful and happy. The feelings associated with self-esteem are: being worthy, deserving, feeling entitled to assert our needs and wants and to live within our values and enjoy the success of our efforts.

Recognizing Unhealthy Self-Esteem :

There are many negative behaviours and attitudes associated with unhealthy self-esteem and many of these maladaptive actions are used in a manner that create self-sabotage. We are consciously or unconsciously doing things to obstruct our success: maintaining a chaotic area of our lives, procrastinating, lying, cheating, closing off emotions, attacking others, and refusing to participate in certain useful activities.

Describe an example of self-sabotage in your current life:

How is self-esteem developed?

The search for healthy self-esteem is important because it determines how well we treat ourselves and others and how we view and act in the world.

Experts believe that developing healthier self-esteem requires 2 things:

  • Set high, realistic goals
  • Act in a manner that provides a degree of success in reaching those goals.

We need to commit and discipline ourselves with a passion for improving our self-esteem which manifests the power to change our life, using our honesty, patience and growth work as tools for the journey.

Nathaniel Brandon in his book on self-esteem lists and describes 6 pillars of self-esteem, as he sees it:

  1. The Practice of living consciously
  2. The Practice of self-acceptance
  3. The Practice of self-responsibility
  4. The Practice of self-assertiveness
  5. The Practice of living purposefully
  6. The Practice of personal integrity

The 7 th pillar, he believes, is the commitment to the energy required for these practices. This comes from the love we have for our own life. This gives us the will, perseverance and courage needed when a change is difficult to keep moving toward the direction of our best possibilities.

Rate yourself from 1 to 4 on these 7 pillars

In another area, Gershon and Straub, who train in large corporations with groups of people who are investing in their personal empowerment, believe that there are 7 qualities that create the personal power that generates self-esteem and sustains personal growth over time:

1. Commitment – A willingness to stick with our vision throughout the ups and downs. This requires active engagement of our will and heart to follow through – a willingness to keep peeling off the layers of unconscious beliefs.

2. Discipline – We set up and continue our practices and we stay aware. Discipline is the hands-on aspect of commitment. Daily dedication to our vision is important and the vision needs to be compelling. We need to remember why we are doing what we are doing.

3. Support system – We need friendships and relationships that are dedicated to helping us grow. A support system can acknowledge our growth through love and affirmation and giving honest feedback. It takes effort and a clear intention of what we need to seek out and build a support system.

4. Inner Guidance – To become more aware of ourselves, it is essential to draw answers from within. There are 4 helpful steps: a) Get still, deep breathe and quiet our minds b) Ask for the answer c) Trust d) Act

5. Lightness – Approach improving our self-esteem through personal growth with a light spirit, without taking ourselves too seriously. Walk our growth path with a light heart.

6. Love – To love ourselves, others and be loved stimulates us to expand and open. In a state of loving openness we are most capable of profound growth. We can approach our growth as an act of self-love. We need to accept, validate and nurture ourselves each step along the way.

7. Finding Our Own Truth – This source of personal power is the most central to defining empowerment. Our own truth must be the guiding force for creating our life as we want it and no-one but ourselves can create that truth.

Rate yourself on a scale of 1 – 4 on these 7 qualities

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