Empowerment is a bit of a buzz word in business and the social arena at the moment. Different people have different views on how we can best be empowered but invariably all empowerment relies on individuals learning new things for themselves so that they can do things – whether that is how to use the social services properly or how to create a brilliant business. The kind of empowerment we talk about at Switch On is the kind that helps us achieve our potential – so that we can manage our own lives to be as happy, successful and balanced as possible. It is all but impossible to achieve our potential without becoming more and more empowered. And to become empowered means we have to think in new ways about old things.
To be fully empowered we must understand one core idea – that we all create our own experience of the world. We don’t actually create the things that happen to us (such as a redundancy or an illness). But we do create the stories we tell ourselves about why these things happened – whose fault it was, what could be done about it and how we are going to feel about it. When we realise this insight, we are on the path to being empowered enough – or powerful enough – to experience the world around us in a way that really works for us and those we care about most. This is the key to being response-able. Own it and we can control it or change it. Blame others and we are doomed to stay within their control. Neither is right or wrong. But if we want to create the life we want, rather than live the life we find ourselves in, we must get response-able.
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