Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | June 8, 2010

Empowerment Series

Empowered – Having been given the power to make choices relevant to one’s situation; Acting with confidence

I think that certainly my choices empower me.
Kyra Sedgwick

When I started this post on empowerment I didn’t realize how daunting a topic it can be! There are so many topics, sub-topics, thoughts, inspirations, coaching, etc. on this topic! I have decided to write an overview of empowerment in general. In the future I hope to break out each bullet point and go into further detail. This way I don’t have to cover everything here. Phew!

I have a passion and LOVE of empowerment. I believe empowering young children, teens, and adults is an ever giving, constantly rewarding, and influential topic of conversation that NEEDS to be talked about more and integrated into life more. Integration is another of my favorite words. I think as an idea person, I have lots of thoughts on various issues and topics, but we also need to look into intervention, prevention and recovery integration of self empowerment.

My vision, hopes, and dreams for the future of Voice in Recovery (ViR)™ is to incorporate the cycle of empowerment, of self and then outwards to the community. This will be part of the ‘work in progress’ Mission Statement I am re-evaluating at the moment.

I believe in recovery and life, that empowerment is SO critical. It focuses on how we can pursue our dreams, and use our strengths to succeed in life, versus always looking at ourselves as something we need to “fix.” I believe within each individual there is a door to open and I think each person can be guided to this door and helped to find their own journey. People just need to find and use their own KEY. Life isn’t a straight line, we often come to forks in the road and need to make decisions, change our direction, re-evaluate our paths, and I believe if we empower people and ourselves, life and the journey we are on can be fun and challenging. Yes –  FUN! Not everything in life has to be so difficult, and not all challenging things in life are meant to be difficult and negative. One of my favorite words is choice. I think in recovery and life, the ability to make a choice is the greatest gift to help give us perspective and hope on our journey.

“It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal.”
~ Helen Keller

How do we empower others?

  • Refrain from doing anything that disempowers others. We do not want to reduce their energy and enthusiasm for what they are doing.
  • Show gratitude & appreciation
  • Acknowledge their success
  • Give attention – active, open, honest, receptive, engaging……notice key action words. It is a relationship
  • Communicate with respect
  • Ask questions
  • LIFE skills: Listen, inquire, focus, encourage
  • What are their vision, values, goals, passions, dreams?
  • Always be mindful of your voice: What are your words saying to those who you speak to?
  • Being an inspiration is another way to empower others.
  • Help develop SMART action steps (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timebound)
  • Instead of giving “advice” find ways to encourage and support people (by asking questions, asking what they need, etc)

How do we empower ourselves?

  • When we empower others, we also empower ourselves, a wonderful cycle
  • Learning new tools and strategies to make choices that are in alignment with our values, vision, dream, recovery, sobriety, etc.
  • CHOICES – the knowledge that we can make choices in our life is empowering
  • Reign in the SHOULD monster: that voice in your head saying you should have done this or that
  • Similar to how we empower others: ask yourself what are your visions, values, goals, passions, dreams, etc.
  • Trust your gut: listen when you are doing something that just “feels” wrong
  • Know your boundaries with regards to everything in life: co-workers, friends, family, work load, etc. Know and state your boundaries
  • Never be afraid to ask for help, support or a hug!
  • Embrace your own authenticity: this is CRITICAL! You are amazing. You are an individual. No one is just like you.
  • Embrace Body Diversity for ALL: I say this because how we view others is often how we view ourselves. How we judge things outside of ourselves is often how we can self criticize ourselves.
  • Learn to find your own difference between your wants and needs; Do you know the difference? Have you written a list?
  • Get a life coach
  • Use the GROW process (Goals, reality, options, will do)
  • Integrate SMART action steps (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timebound)
  • Find what motivates you
  • Set your intentions daily
  • Write, express, communicate your gratefuls – this empowers not only ourselves, but appreciation empowers others as well
  • Make health a priority: Health in body, mind, and spirit. This can be through nutrition, exercise, therapy, coaching, chakra work, etc.

I feel I have bitten off more than I can chew with this empowerment post. Each one of these sub-topics can in and of themselves be a blog post to further elaborate and not only give a general description, but actually have ideas, tools and ways to incorporate empowerment into our individual lives and recovery. I once read that productive employees and work environments have a few things in common: they implement the power of autonomy, personal accountability, mastery of work, self motivation, relatedness, and growth. What has been studied by motivational psychologists in the work place can be implemented into our lives and recovery!

I have decided this will be the first of many blog posts on empowerment and motivation! I watched a video a few weeks ago and it asked – is your blog communication, visionary or reactionary. I had to think about this for a long time, because I do not blog as consistent as other fellow bloggers, and never really thought about my blog as a business, and looking at it from a Mission Statement perspective; I need to make some changes. I am a voice and being mindful of what kind of blog I want to have is of utmost important. I am a visionary person in real life and business. I also hope by being a voice to communicate and spread awareness and inspiration. I want to focus less on “reactionary” unless I can find a new focus of HOW to inspire new action, new ways of looking at things, and things to actually DO to make life better. I am a reaction person. I often get overwhelmed by feelings, emotions to stories I hear in the media, but I feel often times in blogs, we focus so much on what is wrong, we forgot to see the big picture and how we can make things better for the future. So welcome to my new series, as I am calling it, on empowerment and motivation. I will as always write blogs about my current struggles, and any issues I come across I feel are important to write about, but I also want to focus and make empowerment a priority in my life, this blog, and Voice in Recovery (ViR)™.

I think that you have to do everything you can do to empower girls when they are young, from their education, to their successful independence, to their sexual self-knowledge.
Susie Bright


  1. Wow! LOVE this post! I need to save it to read it again and again and again. Very powerful stuff. Just stumbled across your blog a wk or so ago. Really connect with what you have to say. THX SO MUCH!

  2. I really liked what you had to say here. I am going to read it again, and think about the sub-topics, maybe use them as inspiration in my own writing. Thank you for taking the time to write what you did in such a positive way.

  3. nice post! It’s great to learn from our experiences, grow from them and then share our wisdom! Thank you for sharing

  4. This is a great post, I can’t wait to read more about what you have to say about this. Until then I’m going to try out some of your bullets on how to empower myself and others.

  5. Absolutely loved it! Truely a great post. Thank you so much for sharing. Your blogs are so helpful, I learn a lot from them! I’ll definitely be keeping a lot of what you wrote in mind. Thanks again!

  6. Excellent blog..can’t wait to see more. Empowerment is where it is for sure!! AWESOME
    ~Kara G.E.M.S. and Jewels empowerment Group for girls

  7. What I love about true empowerment is that it is a process that challenges our assumptions about the way things are and can be. It challenges our assumptions about power, helping, achieving and succeeding. In practice, the empowerment process helps people gain control over their own lives, fostering power in them, for use in their own lives, their communities and in their society.

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