A Coaching Power Tool Created by Siobhain Bright
(Life Coach, CANADA)
Whether you say you can’t or you can, you’re right. Walt Disney
Self-empowerment is defined as the strength to do something through one’s thoughts, and based on the belief that one knows what is best for one’s self. Put in simple terms, self-empowerment is the ability for someone to become more self-aware and take charge of their own life, by trusting their own instincts and becoming their own personal cheerleader. Becoming self-empowered is a powerful mindset for the client to be in. They are responsible for who they are and the direction for which they are headed in their lives. Having the power to trust yourself and empower yourself to move towards your goals is a sure way to reach “success”.
A person who is self-empowered is:
- Self-aware and able to determine their values, strengths, weaknesses, and self-imposed limitations, and work towards empowering them.
- Is able to follow their inner voice and take control of their lives in a direction that is passionate and purposeful for them.
- And is able to make positive choices in their life for the highest good of all involved.
Disempowerment is defined as the ability to deprive power, authority, or influence: to make weak, ineffectual, or unimportant.
The following story helps illustrate this.
Claire is a 30 year woman who has been stuck in the same position at work for 3 years. She is watching all of her colleagues progress and find new jobs, or receive promotions. She is getting tired of standing still and has hired a life coach to help move her forward. When asked by her life coach, “What have you done to change your situation?” She responded “Nothing”. Turns out that Claire has felt paralyzed from moving forward because of disempowering beliefs that she is not good enough. Every time she sees a job position open up, she talks herself out of applying.
Like so many people throughout life, Claire developed underlying beliefs that diminished her confidence, her ability to trust in herself and her ability to move forward in order to fulfill her life purpose and dreams.
Underlying beliefs are unconscious beliefs that your ego knows to be true. These beliefs whether actually true or not, govern our behaviours in life. These include fears, negative thought patterns, worries, excuses, past experiences and conditioning from culture, society, and family. They essentially sabotage your efforts to live a fulfilling life.
Underlying beliefs were created during childhood when we absorbed all that we saw, heard and experienced to form a set of core beliefs about who we are and what our place is within this world.
We then carried these beliefs with us into adulthood where they affected our behaviors and our daily lives.
Determining our underlying beliefs can move us forward from a state of disempowerment to self-empowerment.
As coaches we know that having destructive underlying beliefs can conflict with a client’s goals and can prevent a client from moving towards achieving them.
So how can we help the client move forward in shifting from a state of disempowerment to empowerment?
We can find out what these underlying beliefs are.
How do we do that?
The best way is to look at past/current situations, outcomes and results in their life. What is the reoccurring pattern? What is the theme? This is where underlying beliefs lie.
The coach needs to help the client find out exactly what beliefs are holding them back. This will require some deep inner exploration and powerful questions.
Another area that the coach can explore with the client is emotions. Emotions are a strong indicator of unconscious thoughts and beliefs.
- Are they empowering emotions (happiness, passion, excitement)?
- Are they disempowering emotions (fear, discontent, anger)?
- What can we do to move emotions from disempowering to empowering?
Using the story of Claire above as an example, what underlying beliefs was Claire holding onto and preventing her from taking any action?
- Claire felt that she wasn’t going to get the positions she applied for.
Asking her questions such as:
- What excuses are you making that are preventing you from moving forward?
- What fears are preventing you from moving forward?
- How has your pattern of in-action worked out for you in the past?
- How will you feel once you take the first step to applying for your job?
Through deeper exploration you would be able to pick up on the underlying belief that Claire does not feel good or worthy enough. She always feels that someone else will get the job because in some way they might be “better”. These disempowering thoughts are what keep her at a standstill.
Creating a shift from Disempowerment to Self-empowerment
So how do we deal with our disempowering underlying beliefs?
We disprove the ones we have and replace them with more empowering ones.
A powerful way to do this would be to have the client find evidence to disclaim them.
- Are you really not good/worthy enough?
- What evidence can you gather that disclaims this?
Using the example above, Claire could take the belief that she is not good enough and replace it with the belief that she is.
Ways the client can help shift their mindset is through:
Affirmations are statements that if used repeatedly, can transform negative, unconscious, thought patterns that disempower you and keep you stuck.
Visualization is a tool used to get back in touch with the whole self. It is a meditative state that helps open up the creative elements in our brain, which allows us to see things in a new light. Visualization allows us to see ourselves in our full potential and get beyond the visible self. It is a way of connecting our conscious and subconscious minds. The more we focus on what is important, the more it comes into formation. It also turns images in our minds into possibilities and helps us to see where we need to go.
- Where in your life have you been held back by disempowering thoughts and feelings?
- What have you done to move past them?
- How do you know when you are in a disempowering state of mind?
- How do you know when you are in an empowering one?
Self-empowerd, Dictionary.com, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/self-empowered, (2014)
Personal Empowerment, Skills you need: Helping you develop life skills, http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ps/personal-empowerment.html, (2014)
Disempower, Merriam-Webster: An Encyclopedia Britannica Company, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disempower, (2014)
How Your Core Beliefs Shape Your Experience of Life, and What You Can Do About Them, Greene’s Release, http://greenesrelease.com/how-your-core-beliefs-shape-your-experience-of-life-and-what-you-can-do-about-them/, (2011)
 Self-empowerd, Dictionary.com, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/self-empowered, (2014)
 Personal Empowerment, Skills you need: Helping you develop life skills, http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ps/personal-empowerment.html, (2014)
 Disempower, Merriam-Webster: An Encyclopedia Britannica Company, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disempower, (2014)
 How Your Core Beliefs Shape Your Experience of Life, and What You Can Do About Them, Greene’s Release, http://greenesrelease.com/how-your-core-beliefs-shape-your-experience-of-life-and-what-you-can-do-about-them/, (2011)