Personal Development and Empowerment

by Neseret on July 1, 2011

PrimaveraEmpowerment: having some autonomy of action, having the courage to act, and taking responsibility for one’s action.” ~ Austin, W., & Boyd M.A. (2008). Psychiatric Nursing for Canadian practice.

What is empowerment? What does it mean to be empowered? What does the process of personal empowerment involve? Personally what does empowerment mean to you?

There are many different definitions and meanings of empowerment. In this post I want to explore the meaning of empowerment from personal development and recovery point of view.

“Empowerment is promotion of the continued growth and development of strength, power, and personal excellence.” ~ Austin, W., & Boyd M.A. (2008). Psychiatric Nursing for Canadian practice.

We all have problems, obstacles, and challenges we face in our lives. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations and circumstances we do not have control over. An example of that would be the environment in which we are born in to or our genetic make up. Those things have great influence in our lives, but we do not have a say in the matter. That said at some point we can overcome the effects of environment and make a choice to change our environment.

Overcoming the effects of negative environment whether that was a difficult, abusive childhood, a toxic family or romantic relationship, addiction, or low self esteem requires courage. Empowerment involves becoming aware of the painful situation you’re in, but taking the necessary steps to make changes. The biggest step is recognizing there is a problem and being willing to accept it. Once you do that then the next step is to seek solutions and take the steps to overcome your challenge.

Regardless of what happened in the past you have a choice today to move forward. Yes those things that have happened in your past can and will affect you. That said, your past does not define who you are or determine your future. You have the power to make decisions for yourself and determine your own destiny.

We all have “stuff” that happened in our past. It is part of being in the “human family”. My childhood was one of the most difficult times in my life and there were things that happened in my family that affected me for a long time. However, I realized at a young age I had choices. Some of the choices were very difficult and painful, but I did what I had to do to survive and thrive. Then I took the steps I needed to find hope, and healing.

What you need to realize is that whatever it is that has happened in your past that you are struggling with know you’re not alone. If you have the desire to make changes and move forward you can do so. This is a time where there are so many tools and resources to support you in your efforts. Seek help and guidance in the areas you need. There is no shame in asking for help. Personal empowerment comes from taking responsibility for your life and for your actions.

Fear and shame are the biggest factors that hold people back from moving forward in their lives. If you can overcome those two things then what is on the other side if freedom. Freedom to be yourself and accept all part of yourself. Freedom to learn, change, grow, and become all you can become. It is being able to turn your weaknesses and challenges in to strengths. Ultimately that is what empowerment is all about. We are all capable of overcoming the challenges in our lives, growing and changing.

Please feel free to share what empowerment means to you. Also share your story of overcoming challenges and becoming empowered in your life.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Paula November 9, 2015 at 6:43 pm

This is such encouragement. During hard times it’s easy to fogret who you should really be focusing on, because it’s easy to get caught up with things right now that truely aren’t important. For myself, I just want to know he will persevere and take over. And he is, I just need to believe and have peace in our true God.


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