Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Empowerment Can Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths

By Yu Zhen Ng

What is empowerment? Well, empowerment is defined as increasing the spiritual, political, social, or economic strength of individuals and communities. Empowerment often involves the empowered individual developing confidence in their own capacities. To quote Abraham Lincoln, he said, "Whatever you are, be a good one." But how do you become good at what you do? How do you increase confidence in what you can do? How do you become empowered? Here are some tips:

1. Tell yourself positive things.

Each person has a positive and negative aspect in themselves and sometimes, when you are with a lot of people you only want to highlight the positive aspects. But when you are alone in your room, all you see are your flaws, and you talk to yourself about how dumb you are and or how useless and pathetic you are. That is not going to do you good. You only put yourself down. Your piercing words are as good as someone's insult on you. Your mind is like a computer. If you input negativity, your output is negative too. Thus, say nice things to yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done no matter how small it is.

2. Get your goals clearly set.

You say you want get the best of what you are. Then right now, you must have a clear mindset of what your goals are. It is not enough to just say, "I will be successful in the future." You must climb your way to success. First you must know whether your goal will be worth the effort. Next, eliminate all the things that will keep you from reaching your goals whether it is a bad habit or a negative experience, etc. Lastly, post encouraging quotes on your wall, so every time you feel knocked down, you can read things that fuel up your mind.

3. Practice Makes Perfect.

Yes. It may sound like a cliché but it is in fact right. If you want to be good at something then practice. If you have poor math skills then try to compensate by practicing during your free time. Just like in life, the more you make the same mistake over and over again, in the future, it should not happen once more because if it did, then it means that you did not learn your lesson and you should practice until you master the art of overcoming that obstacle.

4. Speak your mind and take action.

This may sound a bit absurd to many who say that one should be tactful wherever he or she may go. Well, being tactless is different from speaking your mind. Of course, you should say things respectfully at the right time. When you speak your mind, it is when you felt that your rights have been stepped upon and you want to make the oppressor understand that it does not please you. Learning to speak your mind can lead you somewhere. Take action. If you see others are not doing anything to make a difference, be a good example. This is one way to hone your empowerment skills.

5. Open your mind.

The more you clam up, the more you learn nothing. It is through open channels of communication that people can actually understand each other. According to Confucius, "Do unto others, what you want others to do unto you." In this way, if you want people to listen to you, try to listen to them too.