With all the non-stop circulation in the media about women wearing vaginally-shaped apparel (which is loosely tied to real-life circumstances that women face in the workplace), you may have heard your fill on empowerment. We get it. We need to respect everyone. We need to make sure women are heard. We need to make sure our daughters feel powerful.
But I want to change the pace a little bit here. It is still important – but not for political or religious reasons. I don’t think we need any more noise in those arenas; it is most definitely covered.
Most likely, you’re not in a heavily-famed position in a religious culture. Even less likely that you are in a power-wielding political position. How does this relate to a normal, everyday individual such as myself?
Before I begin, allow me to define two things. First, empowerment affects women AND men, adults AND children. Second, a lack of empowerment is the hesitation or absence of encouraging another person to reach higher or grow more, and it echoes underlying disrespect.
Perception is reality, and reality shapes your image.
If you have ever worked in a customer-facing position (whether retail or a service industry), you are probably very familiar with this concept. If you are clocked out, you would rather be out of uniform or out of customer sight simply based on that they will ask for help or get upset if you aren’t working. They don’t know that you aren’t getting paid at that instant; their perception is that you are lazy and the facility is poorly-managed.
This rings true in both your personal and professional life. The perception that you place anyone at a lower value or your time is more valuable than those around you will cause others to take notice and begin to get a bitter taste in their mouth about you. This can not only affect your ability to impact others’ lives in the ways that you want to, but this will also affect your future career path.
Whether it is a promotion you are looking for or a networking opportunity that you need to seize, people don’t want to be connected to someone who doesn’t empower and respect other people. Maybe you aren’t trying to be ugly to other people. Maybe you just write off others’ feelings toward you as jealousy or your self-proclaimed “RBF.” If those around you seem to feel this way about you, try investing some time in someone other than yourself. I promise that you will enjoy it.
If you’re raising children, leading adults, & especially if you’re doing both.
Whenever you offer empowerment, such as public praise, to someone, it communicates to those that look up to you (whether it be your little people or your big people) that you can humble yourself and raise someone else up. There is a saying that goes, “A boss says, ‘Go, do.’ And a leader says, ‘Come, follow me.’” Whenever you foster than environment that empowers other people in your life, it will be returned to you ten-fold.
It is especially rewarding to see those people in your life begin to turn and show that same respect and kindness for those around them. If you are a parent or a leader in the workplace, then there are a couple of people who want to be like you. Maybe they want to be a great motivator like you are, or maybe they want to command attention the way that you do. You are helping shape and design their aspirations, and what is more impactful than that?
It fosters a healthy environment for love and respect to thrive.
Any two people who love each other will agree that even when they feel as though their love for each other has reached its’ peak and it couldn’t possibly get any better, it still does. I am one that believes that love truly is a choice, at least initially. But after you have taken that leap, there is very little that can be done to stop that kind of free fall. And why would you want it to? The sad thing about this is the overwhelming cause behind break-ups and divorce, and that is lack of empowerment.
My marriage has not always been perfect. In fact, there was a time that it was about to end. It was my unwillingness to empower my husband and allow him to feel important. Now things have vastly improved, and he is embarking on a new business venture. What would happen if I were to fall back into that ugly hole and attitude? Either our marriage would fail, his business would fail, or most likely both. It is vital to foster and monitor the atmosphere that encourages growth on both sides of ANY relationship.
When we both continue to practice this, we are giving our marriage the best chance that we can.
You can’t change the world; start with what you CAN change.
I don’t have anything against social movements or individuals taking a united and public stand for what they believe. That is what America is about. If we stopped allowing others to speak their mind and express themselves, we would become a communistic country.
But while you are participating in big events (or little events, or no events), make sure that you are putting your world first. Your network of those close to you makes up a “body,” and if that “body” were to become weak at any point, then the entire “body” will begin to fail.
“Healthy” practices to stay in good shape can include offering kind words to others, doing small acts of kindness for those around you, or even beginning to mentor someone with less experience than you have. I strongly believe that if each person ensures that their “body” is healthy and fully-functioning, then we will have a lot less problems in the world. You can’t help other bodies to heal if yours is not tip-top.
As always, I’m very interested to hear your thoughts and feedback around the topic of empowerment! Please share with myself and others. 🙂