Strong or Empowered?
Written by: Angie Noll
I used to be a strong person. Now, I'm on my way to being an empowered one. And I say 'on my way' because making the switch from strong to empowered is not as easy as flicking a light on or off. It's a process.
I didn't even realise that there was a difference between strong and empowered... until I heard someone talk about it one day and I suddenly understood why being a strong person was so darned difficult... and a drain on my creative reserves.
Here's a short list comparing a strong person and an empowered one to help you understand the difference. Then think about which camp you fall into. From my experience with myself and others, I know for certain that when life feels like you're swimming upstream all the time, it's because you're being strong, not empowered.
- You don't ask for help because you're strong. You can do it all yourself.
- You always put everyone else first. You're strong remember? You don't need anything!
- Lack of prioritising. Because you're strong and doing everything all the time, a list of priorities is pointless. Or when you do have a list, it's so long that there's really no point to prioritising anything.
- You are exhausted, but you keep on going.
- Your motto is, 'If you want something done, you've got to do it yourself.'
- You get involved in all the family/office drama because you've got to be the strong one that sorts everything out for everyone... all the time.
- You feel that you have to be strong because everyone's happiness depends on you.
- You try to control everyone in the family/office because it's the only way you can stay on top of everything that you have to do. Controlling others is your coping mechanism.
- You're tense, anxious and stressed from all the hard work of being so strong for everyone, all the time.
- You are out of balance.
- You ask for help when you need it and you don't feel like you're any less capable just because you need help.
- You can delegate tasks to other members of the household/office because you know it's right that everyone pulls their weight.
- You take time out to care for you, even if ten minutes a day is all you can manage. You understand that you're only as effective as you allow yourself to be and an exhausted person has less to give than a well-taken care of one.
- You have priorities, and you include yourself in your priority list.
- You are energetic and vital because you're not leaking your power out by trying to be "strong" all the time.
- You are able to stay out of family/office drama because you don't need to sort other people's stuff out for them.
- You don't feel the need to control everyone in the house/office. You recognise that each person is a capable human being and you don't have to live their lives for them.
- Because you take care of yourself and stay out of unnecessary drama and conflict, you are more relaxed and able to deal effectively with the daily stressors of life.
- You can set healthy boundaries and enforce them firmly and lovingly.
- You are in balance.
After reading through the above list, I'm sure you would agree that suddenly "strong" doesn't sound so strong anymore.
The journey from being a strong person to becoming an empowered one is a bumpy ride, filled with potholes and unexpected challenges. But if we work at it every single day, eventually the grip that "strong" has on us loosens, and we're able to veer over into the empowered lane instead, where the road is smoother calmer and far more easy-going. It's also emptier.... (the "strong" lane is jam-packed and full of traffic accidents...).
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