What Does Empower Mean?

We often hear about how important it is to empower ourselves and those around us in order to achieve a happy and healthy mental state, but what does it actually mean to empower somebody? 

What Does Empower Mean?

Many times, we’re helping to empower ourselves and others without even realizing it. It’s often the small things that can help us to make a positive difference in the world.

To find out more about what it means to empower, as well as some ways that you can actively do this in your life, keep reading below. 

So What Exactly Does Empower Mean? 

So let’s start off by taking a closer look at the word itself. If we search ‘empower’, in the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition that we get is: “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.”

This demonstrates that empowerment is when we feel that we can make our own decisions, stand up for ourselves, and take control of our own lives. 

At the opposite end of the spectrum, disempowerment would mean that we’re letting other people control our lives, and feeling hopeless, like we don’t have our own voice. 

There are many ways that we can help empower ourselves and others, and we’ve compiled a handy list of items stating the different ways you can do so. Simply keep reading to find out more. 

Ways To Empower

1. Give Compliments

How many times have you been feeling poorly about yourself, only to be completely uplifted with a change of mindset when somebody grants you a complement? 

It only takes a moment to uplift somebody through a small compliment, and leave them feeling more confident. You can help to empower others through complimenting their appearance, their work, or their personality. 

Once we open our eyes and see all of the beautiful aspects the different people in our lives hold, it’s easy to compliment others to show them just how great they are. 

2. Listen To Others 

As human beings, one of the key things that we all need at some point is validation. This is a great way for empowering others. 

When we listen to our friends and family, and hear the problems that they’re going through, we can respond intuitively and emotionally, and show them that we can relate to what they’re going through.

Having another person validate that they can empathize with what you’re going through is incredibly empowering, as you realize that you’re not alone with your problems and what you’re going through. 

This can also help to empower you too, as you can witness yourself making a positive change in somebody else’s life simply by listening to them. What better feeling is there than that? 

What Does Empower Mean?

3. Ask For Feedback 

A great way to feel more empowered in areas such as the workplace, is to simply ask for feedback from your managers. Many of us are too afraid to ask or speak up to those in higher positions than us, but doing so can be highly beneficial. 

By asking your manager for clearer instructions and feedback about specific things regarding your work, you can help to improve your performance. Having a clear set of steps to follow is the path to success. 

Demonstrating that you care about your job by asking for feedback is also a great step towards empowering yourself, because it shows that you’re willing to undertake some self improvement. 

4. Study Human Nature

In order to be a better person, many of us have to try and see things from other people’s perspective. Some people behave and act in a way which is so different from our own nature, that we find it difficult to relate to them. 

By studying psychology, we can begin to understand why some people behave the way that they do.

This helps us to see under the façade, and if somebody is behaving in a rude manner, we might be able to see that it is because of certain life experiences and traumas that they’ve gone through. 

Understanding that somebody else’s bad behavior has nothing to do with us can be incredibly empowering, and helps us to feel sorry for those who haven’t found their way yet. 

5. Give Encouragement

If you’re somebody who works in an environment where you’re responsible for others, you can help to empower them simply by changing the narrative. 

By this, we don’t mean that you praise bad behavior, but simply, encourage them when they’re doing a good job through positive reinforcement. 

Offering words of encouragement instead of giving negative feedback in the workplace works wonders, and people are more likely to work hard and aim to achieve when you’re empowering them through your words. 

6. Understand People’s Limitations

Another way that you can help to empower those around you is by understanding their limitations.

Some people might not be capable of handling all of the tasks you’ve delegated them, so giving instructions according to people’s capabilities is incredibly important. 

If you set tasks that they can’t achieve, they’ll end up feeling overwhelmed, which can eventually make them feel defeated and like giving up. 

By setting tasks that are within a person’s capabilities, you can help them to feel empowered and as though they’re achieving their goals. 

Final Thoughts 

‘Empower’, means to become strong and confident in our own capabilities and lives. The journey to empowerment can be a rocky one, but we can all get there with a little help from those around us. 

We can help to build other people’s confidence through simple ways, such as giving compliments, giving positive feedback, studying human nature, asking for feedback, and understanding people’s limitations. If we regularly practice these, we can set us and those around us up for success.

Ben Easter
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