blog title graphic with orange modern flowers on a beige background that says, how to empower yourself in midlife

How to empower yourself isn’t a topic that’s directly discussed much.

You’ll often read about what’s empowering after the fact. It’s as if the feeling is a surprising result. Instead, the tools to empower yourself are simple and can become your way of being in the world. When you know what can help you reach your goals, it’s nearly impossible not to go for it!

Feeling confident, effective, and competent is essential for growth and learning. You are much more likely to accomplish what you want in life if you believe you can. The opposite is also true. Doubt and insecurity can steal your confidence to learn new things and grow when they overshadow potential.

While it may often feel like things are out of your control, it is rarely the case. Stepping into the power you have in your own life is possible and it is called empowerment. Please keep reading to learn about empowerment, how you can use it to fuel your motivation, and how to build even more of it within yourself. ​​​​​​​​​

What Is Empowerment?

Have you ever felt like you can take on any challenge despite the stress swirling around you? The feelings of self-confidence, clarity, and self-determination are essential parts of feeling empowered. Empowerment is a “process that fosters power in people for use in their own lives, their communities, and their society by acting on issues they define as important” (Page & Czuba, 1999). When you feel empowered, you feel you’re in power or control of your life. Empowerment allows you to feel confident that you have the power to create a personally fulfilling life. It’s also confidence that you can accomplish what’s important to you.

Feeling empowered is motivating. You can pursue your goals and dreams with enthusiasm. If you lack motivation or doubt yourself, increasing your sense of empowerment within yourself can help build your self-esteem and a better quality of life.

A study that used an online psychological-educational program to help people suffering from depression measured changes in empowerment. Following the program, participants noted an increase in self-esteem and empowerment. The participants improved their quality of life six months after completing the program. What this shows is that improving your self-esteem and feeling more empowered can have a positive effect on your overall quality of life.

The opposite of feeling empowered is powerlessness or defeat. A disempowered mindset can leave you feeling like you don’t have control of your life. While it isn’t possible to feel fully empowered and confident one hundred percent of the time, having a more neutral mindset is possible so you don’t experience negative consequences that can impact your health.

A lack of empowerment (high powerlessness scores) is associated with:

  • Limits on physical activity with age
  • Negative psychosocial symptoms with age
  • Health problems five- and ten-years post-survey
  • Poorer of health in general

Empowerment is a trait that you can build within yourself with time and practice.

How To Empower Yourself

Now that empowerment is defined, is it time to explore how to build more empowerment within yourself? For some people, feeling empowered and self-confident may already be skills they’ve learned. Building a sense of empowerment may take a bit of a mindset shift, especially for midlife women. The following are empowerment skills you can develop and actions you can take to implement them daily.

Develop more positive self-talk.​

Negative self-talk, especially when it involves negative self-assessments, can harm an empowered mindset. You may need to replace negative thoughts with positive ones to develop more positive self-talk. For example, instead of thinking, “I can’t do that,” think, “I can do hard things.” This simple switch can make a world of difference.

Create an action list for your goals.

Ideas and goals are a great start, but you won’t get very far without taking action! Empowered people know that moving forward and achieving your goals takes effort. One way to make the process more practical is to write down your large goals. Break them down into smaller parts by necessary progressive steps. Then, the next step is to break them down even smaller info weekly and then daily goals that are “doable.” Small, consistent goals keep you moving forward at a pace where you can integrate the changes you’ve made.

Practice confidence and assertiveness.

Stepping into a more confident and powerful sense of yourself is vital to feeling empowered. It often takes practice – you can learn to speak up and make your voice heard. Robin Sharma once said, “Speak your truth even if your voice shakes.” Try practicing what you will say in your head before you say it out loud if you feel extra nervous.

In Sum

Empowerment is an important skill to support you in achieving your goals and dreams. Feeling confident and assertive in your ability to go after what you want is priceless. People with an empowered mindset have more positive self-talk, take action to reach their goals, and are assertive and confident. Once you start believing in your capacity, you can do much more than you’ve dreamed!