Self-Empowerment as a Focus
In all of my work with clients, a theme that has emerged time and again, regardless of what issues they’re coming in to address, has been self versus others. Collectively, this is a human and societal concern: What do others think of me? Why do others treat me this way? How can I get others to like me, to love me? And because of the innate human need to organize, understand, and control things, we try to answer these questions by taking responsibility, or blaming ourselves. By making others’ thoughts, behaviors, and feelings our responsibility, we easily lose sight of our own values and needs and start letting forces outside of us dictate our actions and direction.
But this is your life. Your thoughts, feelings, and values are uniquely yours, formed from the constellation of your experiences and through your individual lens. Think about how complex your thoughts can be, how many layers of feelings and memories and associations exist inside of you in any given moment. Pretty special, isn’t it? You deserve to treasure and honor all of those parts of you. That’s what I want for you.
Okay, but, you want to know, how does that help me with relationships?
Conflict and distress in relationships most commonly arise due to an imbalance in the power dynamic. It feels as if the other person holds power over you — oftentimes more power than you hold over yourself. Maybe you’re subconsciously (or consciously!) trying to resolve this by exerting power over things you can’t control, like the other person. This is disempowerment, and it really has no place in relationships — especially partner relationships.
When you find yourself deferring to another person to define your worth, your values, and your decisions, you’re in a place of disempowerment. But don’t despair! Self-empowerment is the process of prioritizing, honoring, and protecting your place in and experience of the world. It can be learned and practiced, and once you’ve integrated it into your way of being, you will feel more confident, secure, and internally anchored in your relationships with both self and others — friends, family, co-workers, and partners included.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it? I think so, too. That’s why I do the work I do.