Do you feel that what happens to you on a day-to-day basis is outside of your control?
Being in a state of disempowerment feels horrible. It makes us stressed, fearful, anxious, resentful, angry, overwhelmed and frustrated (to name a few). We feel these emotions because our minds are telling a story that we are out of control. That we are disempowered. The story on repeat is that this thing is happening to us and we have no power to change it.
How does this impact our everyday lives?
This story triggers a fight, flight or fawn response and we are then prone to reacting in a way that might not serve us. Those reactions might be to respond aggressively (controlling, arguing, impulsivity), to flee (give up and/or leave) or to take a passive stance and lose hope for a positive outcome. It is easy to see how each of these responses can negatively impact your confidence in the long run. However ‘real’ the story seems that we are telling ourselves, it is just a story, and that means we can change it!
Feelings of disempowerment are normally learned as a result of past trauma, a restrictive or oppressive environment or a prolonged period of perceived failures. These are also impacted by a lowered self esteem, whereby a lack of confidence makes someone less likely to believe they can succeed, which negatively impacts success on tasks, further fueling the feelings of disempowerment. Understanding the role that your mindset has in perceived success means that you can retrain your brain to feel more empowered and create a more positive outlook.
Have a go at noting down the thoughts you are having about a situation and reflect on whether those thoughts are empowering or disempowering. Remember, empowered means you feel you have some power to control parts or all of the situation (including yourself and your response). Disempowered means you are focused primarily on the things you have little to no control over. If your thoughts are mainly disempowering, have a go at shifting your thoughts to things that you do have control over. Consider your choices, time, resources, strengths and your ultimate ability to control yourself.
Every day, note down all the things you have succeeded at such as completing tasks on your to do list, tackling a tricky client or even seemingly small things such as making your bed if it can give you a sense of achievement. Read through this list and shift your focus onto the wins of the day and all the ways you have been taking control of your life in order to feel more empowered.
Download the interactive worksheet below to find your power.