Self-empowerment is about making a conscious decision to take control of life. It’s about becoming aware of our power, and giving ourselves permission to succeed by practising behaviours we know will be good for us.

Feeling empowered can give us the courage to chase our dreams, stand up for ourselves and our beliefs, and leave fear and self-doubt behind. It can be overwhelmingly liberating and allow us to live life in a way we’ve never experienced before.

So, if you’ve been struggling with self-limiting beliefs, or feeling helpless, unloved, or overlooked, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to stay this way. There are things you can do to take back control, rediscover your voice, and start living a life you love.

With that said, here are eight things you can do to empower yourself every day.

1. Learn

Learn

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”

When it comes to learning, knowledge really is power. Learning new things unlocks doors that we may never have known existed. It can increase confidence and self-awareness, make us better equipped to make decisions and solve problems, and help us be more open-minded about people and situations. 

The possibilities for learning are also endless – whether you’re someone who enjoys reading autobiographies, developing new skills at work, or learning all sorts of fun trivia

Why not try reading for 15 minutes a day to see what kind of knowledge you build – who knows where it could lead? Or, why not commit to doing an hour or two a week of a hobby that you’ve been wanting to try; whether it’s painting, swimming, or gardening?

To get inspired, you might like to check out our articles; 10 fascinating things to learn about in your spare time or 9 free resources for learning new skills at home. Alternatively, you could sign up for an online course – there’s over 80,000 to choose from on our website, so the options are endless.

2. Practise positive self-talk

Practise positive self-talk

The way we speak to and about ourselves can have a significant impact on our confidence and self-esteem – which is why it’s important that we use kind and compassionate language. 

For example, this scientific review looked at the way a lack of power impairs mental functions like self-control, flexible thinking, and memory. It concluded that self-affirmations can improve cognitive performance. Other research also found that positive affirmations can help us solve problems better under stress, helping to build confidence in our capabilities.

Positive affirmations are phrases like, “I am brave and strong” and “I can cope with anything that’s thrown my way”. They can be said in your head, out loud, or written down. Some people find the effects to be most powerful when said out loud while looking in the mirror.  

Repeating positive statements like these to yourself might feel unnatural and uncomfortable at first, but with practise they become easier and more effective. 

For more information on positive affirmations, you might like to check out our article on the subject. While it’s written in the context of being kind to ourselves while looking for love, it contains affirmations that we can all practise whether we’re seeking a relationship or not. 

It’s also important to remember that positive self-talk extends beyond conscious time spent practising self-affirmations. Many of us have a default mindset where negative thoughts about ourselves are the norm. For example, if we have the chance to apply for a promotion at work, we might avoid doing so because we don’t think we’re good enough. 

Therefore, another key step is to recognise when these negative thoughts are creeping in, so we can challenge them. For tips on how to do this, have a read of our article; 7 powerful ways to conquer self-limiting beliefs.

3. Lift others up

Lift others up

“We rise by lifting others”

As important as it is to believe in ourselves and be our own biggest cheerleaders, we should also make an effort to lift up the people around us. 

Helping others can not only help us to get out of our own heads, but studies have confirmed that it can also make us feel good. Plus, supporting and encouraging others can create a ripple effect and increase the likelihood of someone doing the same for you. 

Try to do one thing to help someone else every day – even if it’s something as small as complimenting someone on their outfit. 

Sometimes, lifting people up can also be a case of simply vocalising thoughts you might have anyway. So if you admire someone for something, why not tell them, rather than keeping it to yourself?

For inspiration on how you can lift others up and make a difference, check out our article; 17 meaningful ways to help others and give back to your community.

4. Move your body in a way that makes you feel good about yourself

Move your body in a way that makes you feel good about yourself

Staying active can make us both physically and mentally stronger. Even just making the decision to exercise can be empowering – and, when we start to feel the results of our efforts, it can encourage us to keep pushing. 

Exercising regularly requires discipline. Getting up and getting your workout done when you aren’t feeling motivated can help us build a mental toughness that we can carry through to other areas of our lives.

When using movement to empower yourself, it helps to choose something you enjoy and that makes you feel good about yourself – if not during, then at least after! It’s also worth setting realistic goals. These should be challenging but, ultimately, achievable, as feeling we can’t do something can leave us feeling disempowered.

For example, if you want to take up running but haven’t run in years, why not ease back in by doing the NHS Couch to 5K programme and building up your distance slowly? This can be more empowering than telling yourself that you need to run the entire distance on your first attempt, and feeling disheartened if you need to stop and walk. 

From dancing to martial arts, the fitness and exercise section of our website has plenty of ideas for ways to get active. Or, why not sign up to a virtual fitness class on Rest Less Events?

5. Look after yourself

Look after yourself

“I tried a new hypothesis: it was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be”

It’s easy to underestimate how much things like washing your hair, getting a good night’s sleep, and wearing clothes that you like, can have on the way that you feel about yourself. When we feel our best, we’re more likely to head out into the world with confidence, which can empower us to say yes to more opportunities.

So, even if you’re someone who always puts other people first, it’s important to remember that you can support others much better if you look after yourself first. I always like to think of the advice that cabin crew give to passengers on a plane before take-off – in the event that oxygen masks are needed, it’s essential to put yours on first before assisting those around you.

Sometimes, looking after yourself can become difficult if you’re experiencing a low mood. If you’re struggling, it’s worth speaking to your GP about it, or you may find some of the tips in this article helpful.

If the idea of self-care feels unfamiliar to you or you’d like to start making more time for it, check out our articles; 33 self-care ideas to boost your mental and physical health and 8 ways to get your ‘me time’ and why it’s important.

6. Organise your life

Organise your life

When things feel chaotic, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and disempowered. But, getting organised can help you take back control of your life.

It can be useful to start by considering which areas of your life bring you the most stress or dissatisfaction. Perhaps this is something as straightforward as wasting time in the mornings looking for things you’ve misplaced, or maybe you feel as though you don’t have any time for yourself. 

Both of these situations can be improved with some planning and organisation. For example, in the first scenario, you could set aside some time to declutter your living space, find more reliable homes for items, and pack your bag for work the night before. 

And, in the second situation, you could try adding ‘me-time’ to your diary in the same way that you would a meeting at work.

Organisation tends to become something that sticks the more you work at it. For more tips, check out The Spruce’s list of 10 things to do daily to be more organised.

7. Step outside your comfort zone

Step outside your comfort zone

“Do one thing every day that scares you”

Feeling comfortable in our relationships, work lives, exercise routines, or hobbies isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can prevent growth, and make us less driven. Without this drive, we may be less likely to set ourselves new goals. Plus, we may miss out on great opportunities, or feel uninspired and lack focus

For example, if you avoid going to the gym because you’re worried about being judged by others, you could be missing out on becoming a stronger, more empowered version of yourself. Or, if you’re too nervous to try anything new alone, your life may feel dependent on others – which can feel disempowering.

With that said, the first step in moving into a growth zone is accepting that doing so can be uncomfortable and daunting. But this isn’t a reason to avoid trying new things. In fact, many would argue that the scariest opportunities are those that bring the greatest rewards, because they encourage us to learn and develop, and achieve things we weren’t sure we could.

So, if you feel stuck in your routines and want to shake things up, it can be useful to try one new thing everyday – even if small. Why not pick up something different at the supermarket next time you do your weekly shopping? Or, why not say hi to that neighbour you usually avoid because you feel shy? Our article, 18 ways to step outside of your comfort zone, has plenty more ideas you could try.

8. Set goals

Set goals

Goals can vary in size but are very powerful tools which give our lives meaning, purpose, and direction. However, the types of goals we set can determine how effective they are at motivating and empowering us. 

After reviewing over a decade of research in the 1960s, Dr Edward Locke and Dr Gary Latham suggested that there are five goal-setting principles that can improve our chances of success.

These are…

  • Clarity – setting goals that are clear and specific, as this makes it easier to create an action plan and to measure success.
  • Challenge – setting goals that are realistic but challenge and encourage you to think big, so that you achieve more. Goals that feel easy to achieve can be a sign that you probably have the capacity to strive for more.
  • Commitment – firmly committing to your goals with everything you have to increase your chances of success. Try to be honest with yourself about whether you’re ready to tackle your goals head on.
  • Feedback – reflecting on how well things are going and listening to feedback from others where appropriate, so that you can adjust your action plan if necessary. This part can be daunting, as most of us don’t like to admit when things haven’t gone well, but it’s often the key to learning how to do things better.
  • Task complexity – make sure your goals aren’t overly complex, as this can impact morale, motivation, and productivity. It’s worth assessing the difficulty of your goal at intervals and deciding whether it needs to be broken down into smaller subgoals.

Creating a vision board can help provide a daily reminder of your long-term goals. For tips on how to create one, check out our article, here. Many people also find it effective to break down their goals into daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists, and to work through them systematically. Then, you can clearly tick things off and see what still needs to be done.

Final thoughts…

Life is full of ups and downs, and one of the most helpful things we can do to get the most out of our time on earth is to work on empowering ourselves.

It’s never too late to start and we hope that you find at least some of the tips in this article helpful – from learning to practising self-care.

Empowerment is about building a positive relationship with yourself and feeling as though the world is your oyster and you can do whatever you put your mind to. This can be an incredibly powerful feeling which everyone deserves to feel in one way or another.

For more tips on taking control of your life and striving towards your goals, you might want to check out our articles; 16 ways to improve your confidence and self-esteem and How to stay inspired during difficult times.

Do you do any of the things on this list? Is there anything else you do that empowers you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.