Self Empowerment: Sometimes life can leave you feeling powerless or stuck.
The good news is there are things you can do to take back control of your life, develop more confidence.
And become the best, strongest version of yourself, and getting started isn’t as hard as you might think!
Check out the tips below to learn how you can start taking steps to empower yourself and create the life you really want.
Set short-term and long-term goals.
Create short-term goals that you can reach in a few months as well as long-term goals that might take a few years.
- Short-term goals include: quitting smoking, walking for 30 minutes per day, connecting with friends and family once a week, reading 1 book a month, and setting aside 2 hours per week for art and creativity.
- Long-term goals include: saving money for a deposit on a house, building your resumé to apply for a new job, having children within the next 5 years, and saving enough money to go back to school.
Start by making a small change in your daily life.
A few small decisions are just as good as one large decision.
Practice positive self-talk.
Catch negative or self-critical thoughts as they pass through your head.
Acknowledge that those thoughts exist as an emotional signal.
Then picture the negative thoughts like clouds drifting by and let them go.
If you find yourself using a lot of “should,” “must,” “always” or “never” statements, that’s a good sign to ask yourself, “Am I speaking to myself the way I’d speak to a friend?”
- For instance, instead of saying, “I should’ve prepared more for that presentation,” give yourself credit for what you did do. For example, “I did the best that I could given the tight deadline, and my coworkers told me it was helpful.”
- Turn statements expressing worries into hopeful statements. You could turn a thought like, “I’m so nervous for this test” into a statement like, “This test is going to be tough, but I’m going to do my best.”
Set aside time for your passions.
Pursuing your hobbies and interests can bring you closer to yourself and build your self-confidence. Reconnect with an old hobby you used to enjoy, or take a chance and try something new.
- Create a list of things you’ve always wanted to try, whether it’s going to the new cafe that opened downtown or learning how to speak Italian. Take a step to cross 1 item off your list every day.
Take responsibility for your own actions.
Instead of blaming other people or circumstances for your lack of achievements, try to take ownership over them.
That way, you can feel like you have control over your own life instead of leaving it up to others.
It can be tough to do this at first, but it will be helpful in the long run.
- For example, instead of saying “I don’t have time to work toward my goals,” you could say, “I’m not making enough time throughout the week to work toward my goals.”
- If you find yourself saying “I can’t” a lot, replace it with “I don’t want to.” This can help show you that you have authority over your own life.
Accept your mistakes or setbacks.
You won’t be able to achieve all of your goals perfectly, and that’s okay!
Remember that you’re only human, and learn to forgive yourself if you mess up.
- The more you accept yourself for who you are, the more others will, too.
- Remember that you should only compare yourself to who you were in the past, not against anyone else.
Connect with your friends and family members.
Call close friends or family, arrange for dinner with a friend or go meet some new people at a community event.
Social interaction is a basic need, and it can improve your mood as well as boost your self-esteem.
- If meeting new people is difficult, start small.
- Look for a local community event in your local paper or have a video chat with a close friend in another location.
- Try to schedule something at the same time every week so it becomes a regular part of your life.
Network with people in your field.
Talking to others who are working toward your same goals can only help you on your journey.
Try to surround yourself with like-minded people by attending conferences, making friends at work, or joining a club.
- It’s important to have a support system.
- If you need help or advice, you can approach someone that you’ve networked with since they’re in the same field as you.
Say “no” if you don’t want to do something.
If you tend to avoid conflict, saying “no” to someone can be tough.
However, you should try to push your own boundaries and avoid taking on too much at one time.
Give yourself a few moments to process the request, then politely decline.
- You could say something like, “Unfortunately, that doesn’t work for me.”
- Or, “No, I’m unavailable.”
Make decisions and stick to them.
Try to stick to your guns, even on small decisions, like what movie to watch or where to go for dinner.
- This is especially important when your decisions involve other people.
- You can take their opinions into account, but don’t let them sway you every time!
Speak up for yourself.
If you don’t speak up, they’ll never know what you need!
- Say something like, “Hey, I felt kind of sad when you didn’t invite me to that party. In the future, could you just shoot me a quick text to see if I’m available?”
- Or, “I need you to let me know in advance when you’re having company over so I can prepare myself.”
Get into an exercise routine.
Start slowly by going for walks, taking a hike, or riding bicycles with friends.
- If you have a dog, try to take them out for a walk once a day.
- This will get you both out of the house and into a good exercise routine.
Maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated.
An unhealthy diet and not enough water can make you feel grumpy or irritable.
Try to eat 3 balanced meals per day and try to drink around 8 glasses of water to keep your body healthy.
- Nuts, avocados, flaxseed, beans, leafy greens, and fresh fruit are all great brain food.
- Caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugary snacks, and fried food can all negatively impact your mood. It’s okay to have things like this occasionally, but try not to have them every day.
Sleep for at least 8 hours every night.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you might feel fatigued, moody, or irritable throughout the day.
Try to go to bed around the same time every night, and work toward getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
- A consistent sleep schedule will help you regulate your mood and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle each day.
If you can, sit down and meditate once a day to become more aware of your body and your mind.
- Doing meditation on your own can be tough at first.
- Look up some guided meditation videos on YouTube to walk you through the process when you first start.
Volunteer to give back to your community.
Giving back to others can help raise your self-esteem and help give your life purpose.
- It can also help you make new connections and befriend people who are a positive influence on your life.
Empowering yourself might not happen overnight.
Keep working toward your goals to see results in the long term.