Empowerment refers to our feelings about ourselves and the story we tell ourselves about our own lives and about the world. It is about letting go of who we think we should be and embracing who we are.
To become an empowered woman, I believe that you need to first redefine how you see yourself.
As women, I believe we need to make knowing ourselves and loving ourselves a priority. There is so much truth behind the popular saying "Empowered women, empower women". However, our ability to impact change in our lives, community and world will be determined by our confidence, self-belief and resilience. Empowerment is crucial if we want to achieve our goals and reach our potential.
Empowerment is an evolution. It has never been a straight line. It is messy and sometimes hard, but it is always worth it. It might feel like your power comes in waves and even though you cant stop them from coming, you can learn to surf.
I am really excited to share the top 7 traits of a fully empowered woman.
AN EMPOWERED WOMaN Has a loving relationship with her body
When our life's energy is consumed by anything other than nurturing love and respect for our body - our friend and our home - our way of living drastically changes and we begin to live our life in fear of our body. Our way of living becomes restricted, limited.
We cover up. We say no dates. We don't go to the beach. We don't let him touch us. We don't lean in, step forward, step up or allow ourselves to be seen and heard.
What if your bad body image is a symptom of something else in your life? For many, it's easier to give out about our wobbly arms then a job rejection. Is there anything else that is bothering you or causing you stress, which you might be shifting on to your appearance?
AN EMPOWERED WOMaN Can embrace her duality
For a long time, I would resist my vulnerability and judge myself for being weak and sensitive! However, I have learned that vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and love. I am both strong and vulnerable, a feminist and feminine, confident and fearful. I am starting to realise that I can be many things and I have fully embraced and accepted that.
AN EMPOWERED WOMaN Practices self-care and loves herself
Self-care looks different on everyone in my experience almost always introspection and sometimes a little discomfort. Self-care is care provided “for you, by you.” It’s about identifying your own unique needs and taking steps to meet them.
For me, my self-care requires setting strong personal boundaries, having regular alone time to gather my thoughts and decompress after a long day or week. It involves writing in my journal and long (phone-less) walks in nature. I regularly check in with myself using meditation and find that writing provides endless opportunities to process my feelings.
Self-care isn’t always fun, but it is always worth it. I like to see self-care as an opportunity to pull up a corner of the rug we’ve been brushing all our problems under. For just 5 minutes a day, we can gently lean into what is causing us distress and learn to soothe our pain by talking to ourselves with the same love, kindness, compassion and positive attitude we do everyone else. What we resist persists, but with the right self-care we can process and manage our discomfort in a healthy and proactive way and this is an incredibly empowering feeling.
AN EMPOWERED WOMaN Is her own best friend
My rule is simple; if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, than don’t say it yourself. The chances are you wouldn’t criticise your best friend for not getting the job she recently applied for and I feel reasonably confident that you wouldn’t judge her for feeling heartbroken after a shock breakup. The first step towards towards becoming your own best friend is to recognise that you deserve the same love, kindness, compassion as everyone else. Stop the self judgement and criticism. Life is hard, and the chances are you are doing the best you can.
AN EMPOWERED WOMEN Has goals
Honours her own desires, needs and wishes. Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn our vision of this future into reality. The process of goal setting help you to chose where you want to go in life.
AN EMPOWERED WOMaN Does not place conditions on her worth, value or happiness
Have you ever fell short of hitting your targets at work, for got to call your best friend back or had an off day in the gym; things that you expect to never happen and felt so badly about yourself? These setbacks or mistakes can often be used to help you understand if we are a good, or bad person. When we use our previous successes and accomplishments as a bench mark for feeling good about ourselves we will eventually create such high standards it will be impossible to meet these standards. Bad days are just a part of life but sometimes we forget this! Contingent self-esteem is self-esteem based on the approval of others or on social comparisons.
Contingent self-esteem will manifest in many way and I am sure you can relate some of these; excessive self-consciousness, self-criticism of your appearance, the pressure of perfection, performance and interaction with others, fear of judgement of others and maybe even a little social anxiety.
AN EMPOWERED WOMaN Appreciates the value of her mind and invests in it
If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. One of my favourite ways to nurture my own emotional, spiritual, economic and physical development is to read books like my journal Be Your Own Best Friend or attend workshops and events. This is why I created my Empowered Women workshop; a one-day confidence, compassion, self-esteem, self-care and self-love workshop designed to help you leave insecurity, low self-esteem and your inner critic behind to become your most confident and powerful self.
The next Empowered Women Workhop is taking place in September and you can use this link to grab your early bird ticket.
Sarah Doyle is a life coach, a speaker, the creator or L-School and The Empowered Women Workshops, the founder of The Better Life Project and author of Be Your Own Best Friend. Sarah works with women all over the world to help them achieve their personal and professional goals, whilst developing their confidence and self-esteem.