It drips with images of freedom, happiness, ease, and even a touch of glamour. We all want to embody it, exude it, and live it.
But what, exactly, is empowerment?
7 individual aspects of life, when nurtured, collectively reveal how to discover, reclaim, and embrace, your own potential in order to fuel your own unique vision of personal empowerment.
The time I spend in Greece each year with my husband’s family highlights this. I struggled for years to communicate, drowning in the nets of language barriers and cultural expectations.
I’m embarrassed to admit to the hours of island perfection I sacrificed by hiding behind my husband (or glass of wine or cup of coffee) wishing to disappear and finish out a family evening unnoticed.
I made myself miserable, which really takes effort on a beautiful mediterranean island, surrounded by good food and endless summer.
I blamed my husband for not teaching me enough Greek to communicate on my own and for allowing ceaseless and uninvited family visits to hijack our plans.
I don’t know if it was from too many hours baking my head in the sun, or if my caffeine overload finally took its toll on me, but I vividly recall the day I quit feeling disempowered, invisible, and like I had nothing to offer, and instead forced myself to step up and redefine communication.
Yes, I got serious about my online language courses, but more importantly, I shifted my focus away from the struggle of trying to verbally express myself and toward simply genuinely connecting with the family around me, the food on my plate, and the sunshine on my face.
This subtle shift changed everything.
I found my voice and my power through connection. I stopped worrying selfishly about my own poor self-expression and started focusing instead on connecting with the others around me.
With self-expression, the focus is solely on you. No-one else is required to make your self-expression a success and any failures are self-inflicted.
Connection requires the participation of both you and someone else. Everyone in the equation carries equal value and importance.
Focusing on connection instead of expression, my inhibitions disappeared and my confidence returned becasue I was no longer alone.
When we clearly and effectively communicate with others, barriers, verbal or otherwise, dissolve because connection is a uniting force stronger than words, obstacles, or personal discomfort.
Show me a person who has mastered communication, and you show me and empowered individual who has shed the limiting beliefs of isolation, of feeling unheard, misunderstood, or worthless.
A person who understands how to connect with herself, with others, and with the world, harnesses a power that doesn’t just change the course of a day, it can transform a life!
Communication, fully realized in its highest form, is connection. It seeks to unite with others, and grows empathy, understanding, and personal value along the way.
Redefine communication as connection, and you’ll not only empower yourself, you’ll cultivate a wellspring of empowerment from which everyone in your life can drink and prosper.
Those once dreaded family reunions have become my favorite events of every trip. And this fall, even my parents are traveling over to join in the fun!