No doubt about it, control is a huge issue. Whether you are feeling controlled by other people, or you are trying to grasp every opportunity to control every aspect of your life. This leads to feeling fearful, stuck, and as though you aren’t truly living your life, causing anxiety, depression, and feeling cantankerous. With these 10 tips to empower yourself, you may break free from those chains, open your eyes, ditch unnecessary stress, and liberate yourself to embrace who you really are.
- 1. Focus on the good
- 2. Celebrate your wins
- 3. Move Your Body
- 4. Set Boundaries (and uphold them)
- 5. Learn Self-Defense
- 6. Say "No"
- 7. Audit Your Social Surroundings
- 8. Prioritize Self-Care
- 9. Try Something New
- 10. Be Mindful of Your Thoughts
- 11. Finish A Project
- 12. Authentically Live Your Purpose
- 13. Choose Gratitude
- 14. Recognize and Use Your Strengths
- 15. Choose To Live In The Present
- 16. Empower Someone Else
- What do you do to help you feel more empowered?
1. Focus on the good
We’ve all been there. “Man, this day sucks.” And then whatever it was that set you off into a negative mindset ruins what could have otherwise been a good day.
It is good to stop, and consciously remember that:
- A bad 5 minutes doesn’t make a bad day.
- A bad day doesn’t make a bad week
- A bad week doesn’t make a bad month
- A bad month doesn’t make a bad year
- A bad year doesn’t make a bad life
When you consciously choose to see the good in each day and focus on gratitude, those bad moments slip by and your mind opens to seeking out more things to be thankful for.
2. Celebrate your wins
Every little thing you do, you should feel proud and make that little win feel like a big deal. Whether you just started working for yourself and landed your first sale, or you managed to keep the house clean with the kids staying home. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small.
3. Move Your Body
You don’t need to be a fitness guru or addict to get up and move. When you move your body, whether walking, hiking, running, weight lifting, pilates… etc…, you start feeling more positive and appreciative of your body and your life.
I’ll never forget my time feeling like my body was a prison. I wasn’t able to walk around without help, often experienced seizures, and lost everything important to me in my life because of it. When I started doing yoga, I still felt hesitant because I couldn’t do the poses the same way as other people, but slowly building my body up to accomplishing the little things (like spending 30 seconds in a standing pose) made me feel incredible. Then I learned the implications of Yoga for Christians and stopped, replacing it with moderate stretching, strength training, pilates, and walking.
The more you move your body, the stronger you become. Your body releases endorphins during exercise, helping you feel happier. Exercise also helps you reduce pent-up stress and repressed emotions, which results in you feeling more capable, clear-minded, and confident. And the more you move your body, the more you become more in touch with who you are on a deeper level.
4. Set Boundaries (and uphold them)
Boundaries are a big deal. They help you not feel like a doormat being walked on every day.
Boundaries can be physical, mental/emotional, or spiritual. Setting healthy boundaries does massively improves your mental health, which also helps to support your physical health.
What does it mean to set a boundary?
“Healthy boundaries are those boundaries that are set to make sure mentally and emotionally you are stable”Prism Health North Texas
Setting healthy boundaries is an important part of practicing self-care because poor boundaries (or not having any) may lead to feeling resentful, angry, and burned out.
Examples of healthy boundaries to set:
- Keeping your personal life separate from your professional life
- Letting people you spend time with know what you’re not comfortable with
- Do not hold yourself accountable or responsible for someone else’s actions, or lack fo actions
- Honor your time by limiting distractions
- Keep drama to a minimum
Of course, boundaries only work when you enforce them. Sometimes that means you need to set consequences.
For example, after my parents divorced, I insisted they not talk about the other person with me or around me. My father understood and respected my request. My mother did not, and became abusive with misinformation and manipulation. Because of that, I decided to limit our contact. I was not ok with sacrificing my mental health because she would not honor my request to not be put in the middle of their past relationship dissolving.
5. Learn Self-Defense
When you know how to defend yourself, you walk taller and feel more confident and capable. Just knowing you’re able to defend yourself helps you not feel like a victim and reduces your fear, especially at a time when human trafficking is at an all-time high, and our overall society is experiencing global tension.
Knowing self-defense techniques doesn’t mean you have to use them, but they do come in handy in many situations.
6. Say “No”
“NO” is another boundary that should be a common thing you say. A boundary that I felt deserves its own line.
Of course, you want to help people you care about, and often strangers too, but remember… You cannot be everything to everyone.
A simple “no” is empowering. You do not need a reason for not choosing to do something. It is ok to say no just because you don’t want to, or what you’re saying no to doesn’t align with your values.
“No” is a powerful word that enables you to take back more control in your life, help support your mental wellness, and free you from being overwhelmed later.
7. Audit Your Social Surroundings
Jim Rohn, a well-renowned entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker, said it best, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.“
And it may be more than 5, depending on your social situation. But the heart of this phrase is that who you spend time with matters in shaping who you are.
Look around at your social settings. Who are you spending the most amount of your time with? Who are you spending the most amount of your time on social media reading posts from? Which books are you spending most of your time reading? Which podcasts are you spending most of your time listening to?
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time withJim Rohn
Yes, I totally get it. Judging the people around you just doesn’t sound right. But put yourself under the microscope. Are you living the life you feel is yours? Are you living the life you feel is up to your potential (realizing you choose your potential)? Is there something missing from your life?
Our social influences do a lot to shape who you choose to be. They build you up, but they can also do a lot to tear you down. One of the biggest impacts you can make is to audit your social surroundings and make shifts as needed.
There is something said in the entrepreneurial space… you never want to be the smartest, most successful, or the most motivated one in the room. This is how you uplift yourself to seek and gain more knowledge and learn through other people’s experiences.
8. Prioritize Self-Care
Self-care is a reflection of how much you care for yourself. It doesn’t always look like manicures and massages. While those activities are important to some people, self-care really is about setting your future self up for success, reducing stress, and living your life authentically.
Self-care may look like keeping freezer meals on hand for those extra stressful or busy days that you know you won’t have time to cook an adequate meal. Or perhaps it looks like cleaning your home or doing laundry earlier than needed to ease your mind when you know you’ll be more tired than normal.
Self Care Benefits
- Improves your mental wellness
- Improves your physical wellness
- Enables you to nurture and care for others
- Enables you to become more productive
- Reduces your stress, which also enhances your immune functioning
- Enables you to feel more compassionate towards yourself and others
- Strengthens your spiritual connection
- Strengthens your relationships with your significant other, your children, and other people
- Enables you to look forward to future events knowing you chose to take care of yourself in advance
- Allows you to feel more grateful for and worthy of good events in your life
No two self-care routines look the same. Ultimately self-care is you telling your mind, body, and soul that you are worth effort, time, and love. This concept has a HUGE impact on your life. And if you’re like me surrounded by your kids 24/7, there are even things you can do with your children to continue navigating your self-care, which also teaches them to value taking care of themselves.
9. Try Something New
Do not be afraid to suck at something new.
This was a huge eye-opening quote for me. Trying something new may have many benefits. When you allow yourself to try something new, you open your mind up to other possibilities and even recognize other opportunities.
When we try something new, we aren’t always good at it. But how would you feel if you tried something new, enjoyed it, and changed your life forever?
I often experience this with my coaching clients. “I want my own business, but I’m not good at sales.” Then all the sudden they start creating their own business with products or services that they have a passion for, realize who it is they want to be serving, and BAM… a new massively fulfilling career is cultivated, allowing them to live and feel more authentic to who they really are. All for trying something new and stepping past that perfectionism fear.
10. Be Mindful of Your Thoughts
Your thoughts are more than just thoughts. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a lot of time abusing yourself through your thoughts and citing it as “true.” And then you don’t understand why life keeps throwing you stressful curveballs. When you abuse yourself in your thoughts, you’re telling yourself you don’t deserve anything better than what you have, and life is out of your control.
The fact of the matter is… your thoughts have hijacked your quality of life. Nothing will change until your thoughts do.
When you realize you are not your thoughts… you are the thinker of your thoughts and are able to choose which thoughts to dismiss and which thoughts to focus on, a whole new world of opportunities opens for you.
And when you realize that you are worth so much more than negative thoughts about yourself, look into how worthy you truly are of finding direction.
11. Finish A Project
Nothing says “I feel capable, confident, and empowered” life finishing something you previously started. Or starting something new and finishing it. Especially if you’ve been distracted in the past and haven’t finished much. Even if it’s as simple as a puzzle or board game with your family.
12. Authentically Live Your Purpose
Too often you end up caught up in living your lives based on what you think is expected of you. No wonder depression and anxiety are such big problems in our society! It’s your soul and God coming through your body telling you that something isn’t right. The old days of believing that a job is good enough are gone, as are the 40-year careers and most employer-paid retirement programs.
The good thing… even if you do something you’re passionate about in your spare time, you can still achieve feeling purposeful… with or without turning it into an income-producing activity.
13. Choose Gratitude
Choosing gratitude is where you consciously decide to focus on things to be thankful for in your life and situations you find yourself in.
Deciding to focus on gratitude in your daily routine is one of the most important empowering self-care tasks you can embody.
Benefits of choosing to be grateful
- Feel happier
- Attract better circumstances
- Improves friendships
- Inspire others (happiness and gratitude is contagious)
- Feel physically healthier
- Enhance your career
- Strengthens positive feelings that help lighten stressors
- Feel more fulfilled without the extra stuff
- Inspired to become more generous and helpful toward others
- Improves sleep quality
- Deepens your spiritual connection to God
- Reduces materialism
- Increases humble qualities
- Increases self-esteem and confidence
- Inspires you to move your body and exercise
- Inspires you to create happier memories
- Reduces feeling envious of others
- Enhances your natural energy levels
- Enables you to be friendlier towards other people
- Strengthens relationships
- Acknowledges kindness extended to you
- Inspires you to look to God for answers, instead of comparing yourself to others
- Enhances your management and leadership skills
- Increases mentorship opportunities
14. Recognize and Use Your Strengths
I’ve had several clients in the past tell me they don’t have strengths or a special talent. Initially, I feel sad hearing that because I remember how that feels. Then we slowly work through identifying interests and a message that is in their heart.
More often than not, the mess we experience in our lives is there for a significant reason… to become our message later in life, used as a beacon to uplift and inspire people going through a similar problem.
While it may not feel like a strength now, we need to stop and realize that talents and strengths are developed and cultivated over time.
How do you know what your strengths are?
Identifying your strengths takes some deep introspection, and the willingness to think differently than previously taught and accepted.
- Start by paying attention to the things/events that light you up. What do you find excitement in?
- What task or idea could you work on or teach about all day and never tire?
- If you could create your own ideal job title, what would it be?
Richard Step has a great Strengths Test (free, without needing to fill in your info) that can help you identify your personal strengths. When you lean into these strengths, you’ll see your life through a whole new lens.
15. Choose To Live In The Present
The past is done, and cannot change, though it has a huge influence over your current situation today. The future isn’t here yet and is fully dependent upon the decisions we make today, but not necessarily controlled by what we do right now.
The only thing we have control over is what is happening here and now. Which thoughts we accept. Which actions do you choose? How do you choose to emotionally respond to what is happening around you and to you? Right here in this moment.
When you aren’t being present you become a victim of time. Your mind is pulled into the past or the future, or both.Alfred James
So… what does it mean to live in the present?
To be in the present moment means to focus on the here and now.
- Forgive past events, especially if you feel they hinder you from being where you are.
- Accept that where you are right now in your life journey is exactly where you are meant to be.
- Dream about the future, acknowledging what you need to do today to create that future you dream about
- Stop worrying. If you worry about the future, you’re not living in the present. While it is good to be prepared, worrying about tomorrow isn’t going to help.
- Forget old solutions to problems. Live for today, welcoming new ideas.
- Take steps to stop addictions. Addictions hold you hostage and are usually tied to past trauma. Forgiveness paired with personal and spiritual development goes a long way to helping you move forward
- Calm your racing mind
- Think minimalist… while yes, we work hard for the things we have, too much stuff ends up taking control over you and causing undue stress. Also, when you reduce the clutter around you, it has an impact on your mind as well.
16. Empower Someone Else
There isn’t much more fulfilling, exciting, or empowering than the feelings you experience after empowering someone else to step up and be the best version of their true authentic selves.
Ideas on how you may empower someone else
- Freely give meaningful compliments
- Listen to understand (as opposed to listening to respond)
- Teach a new skill to someone
- Be involved in supporting local community needs and nonprofit initiatives
- Mentor someone who could use your help
- Talk to strangers
- Be a source of encouragement to everyone you talk with
- Live in a mindset of always being sincere
- Nurture and cultivate talent in people who lack confidence
- Be thoughtful in gift-giving
- Foster creativity
- Find local needs within your community, and orchestrate, lead, or contribute to providing assistance
- Build something together that positively impacts your community
Remember… empowered people empower people.
What do you do to help you feel more empowered?
I’d love to hear about what you’re doing to help empower yourself in the comments below!
A Note From Nicole
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Nicole is a military-trained research analyst, homeschooling mom, healthy lifestyle coach, flexible business consultant, and writer for MotherhoodTruth.com and GracefullyAbundant.com. After living through and overcoming a season of homelessness and chronic health, Nicole developed a passion for helping others develop healthier habits using functional nutrition, herbalism, and renewing faith.