In a world that has traditionally been dominated by men, feeling personally empowered as a woman can be difficult. While we continue moving towards gender equality, there are still obstacles that block many women from realizing their full potential or living with confidence and independence. Many of these obstacles are mental in nature and imposed on us by societal norms or even ourselves. As author Alice Walker states:
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”
What if I told you there are ways to combat these obstacles? Here are a few ways you can start empowering yourself.
Assert Your Opinions
As a woman, it’s possible that you subconsciously believe the narrative that your thoughts and opinions aren’t as important as other’s. This belief may stem from your experiences at home, school, or work. Did your brothers often have the last say at the dinner table? Did your male classmates get called on more often? Was your input at work overshadowed by a male co-worker? While these situations are often unintentional, they can still add up and lead to feelings of inferiority. Instead of feeding into that story, actively choose to rewrite it. Use your voice to assert your opinions with the expectation that others will listen. Your opinions are just as valuable as anyone’s and are worth being listened to. It’s incredible how empowering confidently speaking your mind is.
Ask for What You Deserve
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you only deserve what you are given by others. For instance, if your boss hasn’t given you a raise, you may think you don’t deserve one. However, this belief isn’t necessarily true, and it leaves you at the whim of the giver. Empower yourself by asking for what you feel you deserve, whether that be a raise or a vacation. You’ll need to be able to explain your reasoning and potentially negotiate a win-win situation. Even if you don’t get everything you asked for, it’s better to get something than nothing at all. Relish the fact that you took your needs into your own hands.
Take Control of Who Is in Your Life
If you’re constantly around people who disrespect you or treat you less than, know you have the power to change that. While you can own your voice and demand they treat you equally, that doesn’t guarantee they will change. What you do have absolute control over is whether you continue to spend time with these people. If they don’t treat you right, they aren’t worth your time. You should strive to surround yourself with people who empower and support you. Being around positive people can lift you up when you’re feeling down. You can feel empowered by the fact that you’re in control of who you let into your life.
Helping you feel empowered is my ultimate goal. Sometimes though, it requires a deeper understanding of yourself. If you need additional support, feel free to contact me. I offer in-person appointments as well as HIPAA-compliant virtual options.