Lesson 4i: Steps to Empowerment
The key to empowerment is not the Nike logo "Just Do It." If it was this easy then everyone would "Just Do It" and feel empowered. The key is to understand what is getting in the way of feeling empowered. In other words, what is holding you back?
What sometimes holds people back is blame; people give their power away through blame. When we blame someone else for our problems, we give that other person power over us. Blaming others is a way of living in the past and allowing past events to define us. A healthier approach is to take responsibility for our problems and to work in the present to try to solve them. Rather than wasting energy blaming others, take action in the present and reclaim your power.
There is a four-step forgiveness process to overcome past obstacles in your life. In this process, it is important to see how you blame others for the feelings and thoughts that you have. It is important to distinguish between a past event and how you use that event to influence our current situation. Bill Riedler in his course "Understanding Yourself and Others" teaches a four-step process to forgiveness that is basically:
For example, when I was 5 years old, a boy kicked a rock that hit my right eye, causing me to lose sight in that eye. Even though the event happened to me over 30 years ago, I have used that event to hold myself back at various times in my life. I chose to see myself as disabled at times and held myself back from participating in high school sports and being in large groups. I tended to isolate myself in school because I did not trust those who reminded me of the boys who kicked the rock into my eye.
I will lead you through an example of the forgiveness process using my event. To make this example more meaningful for you, pick a person or situation in which you have been using blame but now want to use forgiveness.
Note, forgiveness is not about the other person (letting them off the hook), it is about giving yourself permission to move past the event and the feelings that have held you back.
How does this apply to financial situations? Think about how you blame others for a lose of job, lose of money in an investment or feeling that government is not doing enough to help you or others out.
Is forgiveness really linked to empowerment? If you have not seen the steps to empowerment above, look at how the two are linked:
So why should one practice forgiveness instead of empowerment? Empowerment is meant to increase energy, yet there may be a reason (blame) why your are always being held back from reaching your goal. Forgiveness is meant to remove the resistance, so that you can reach your goal. The question is would it be easier to push an object over a smooth surface with no resistance (e.g., ice) or a surface that is bumpier with more resistance (concrete)?
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