There are 5 foundations for empowered living presented in this post.
Empowerment is a huge field. The amount of information is overwhelming. These 5 foundations for empowered living provide a framework for organizing the information. This framework allows you to analyse each area. You can then select specific targets for change work.
Whether we are empowered or disempowered in how we live our lives, is a direct outcome of how we manage these foundations. Each foundation topic has several subsets. (These will be explored in future posts.)
Five Foundations For Empowered Living
- managing the mind
- managing feelings and emotional life
- managing habits and behaviours
- developing specific life skills
- cultivating the power of will
Managing the Mind
There are two central components in managing the mind. These are:
- the content . Content is literally about what we think. This includes thoughts, beliefs and mindsets. These are reflected in our self talk.
- how we think. How we think relates to the ways we process information. We have different information processing styles. For example, some people are more abstract, or intuitive. Some people are very logical, and deductive. Our processing is more or less accurate or flawed and faulty.
Empowered living features core beliefs that support strong self esteem and self acceptance. We have core beliefs that allow a positive and compassionate relationship with ourselves and with other people. We have a ‘can do’ mindset. These mindsets support mastery and resilience. Our ways of processing information demonstrate ‘smart thinking.’
Threats to ‘smart thinking’ include such factors as generalisations and distortions. We make untested assumptions. We jump to faulty conclusions. We make inaccurate interpretations. We misunderstand the intended meaning of what is said or done.
Counselling applies various techniques to make adjustments. The focus might be on the content. Beliefs for example, can be changed. Expectations can be adjusted. Another important focus in counselling change work is to examine the actual thinking processes. Our thinking is often flawed. How we process information and experiences is checked for truth and accuracy. Interpretations, conclusions and assumptions are examined. Ruminating habits can be stopped.
Emotions have a direct relationship with empowered living. This is the domain of ‘emotional intelligence.’ The aim is to develop awareness and skill around managing our emotional life.
How we manage individual feelings and our overall emotional life is vitally important. It has enormous impact on the quality of our lives.
How we manage feelings can either empower us or disempower us. Depression, anxiety, fear, guilt and chronic hurt are disempowering. Gratitude, love and compassion are phenomenally empowering. Interestingly, anger can be either empowering or disempowering depending on how it is triggered and managed.
How well we manage habits is vital to success with virtually all goals. This applies to every area of life from health to financial security to parenting to satisfying relationships
The task is to replace unhelpful or ‘sabotaging’ habits with helpful habits. The challenge is cultivating the power of discipline over habits. This is fundamental to success in any goal. For example, what habits prevent you from losing weight? Or reaching savings goals? Or achieving career goals?
Satisfying relationships are profoundly enhanced or limited by our habits. For example the habit of ‘not listening’ is a source of huge conflict and discontent in many relationships. The habit of spending regular enjoyable time together is a feature of both happy couples and happy parent child relationships.
Habits like procrastination and negative thinking are hugely disempowering. So are habits of being reactive and defensive. A habit of blaming others and making excuses is a potent form of disempowerment.
People who enjoy empowered living share certain specific habits. For example health seeking habits. Or relationship nurturing habits. Or self reflection habits. Old habitual behaviours can be replaced. New habits can be installed within weeks.
Developing Life Skills
There are a vast array of life skills that support empowered living. The most valuable include the range of relationship skills, communication skills, decision making skills and problem solving skills. Empowered people are skilled in handling conflict. They are confident in their interactions with others.
Within each skill set are subsets of skills. For example communication includes individual skills such as listening, responding, clarifying and assertiveness skills.
As with any skill, each life skill can be learned, and practised to mastery.
Will power is like a muscle. The more you work it out the stronger it becomes. The most successful and empowered people have mastered the phenomenal power of will. They are persistent and determined. They know how to fire up and sustain motivation.
An experienced and skillful counselling Psychologist can assist you in a myriad of ways. Is it time to live a more empowered life?