Over the past five years I have pondered the question of empowerment and what does it really mean?
I always classed myself as a strong empowered woman. On the outside I was a headteacher of school, I earned my own money, paid my own way and could make tough decisions. All this seemed to demonstrate that I was empowered, however I felt totally disempowered.
I discovered that most of my decisions and choices were actually coming from my fears and limiting beliefs and I was in fact powerless to this.
My need to be super successful in the workplace was covering up a limiting belief that I was stupid. My need to be finically independent was covering up a belief that it was wrong to ask for help. My need to be the best was covering up the belief that I wasn't good enough or important.
The most interesting part of all this was that I was totally unaware that these beliefs were running in me, however I was an unconscious slave to covering them up. I was exhausted, I was constantly on red alert so that nobody would discover the real me and was often triggered by comments or experiences that would slightly shed light on these beliefs.
I was disempowered by own beliefs and fears. They were running the show. The benefit of this was that I learnt as much as I could about early years education, so that nobody would discover I was stupid. I pushed myself into leadership and learned a whole new set of skills there, so that my belief of being insignificant was not uncovered. The belief that it was wrong to ask for help pushed me towards saving some money, which helped me to eventually start up my own business.
I don't view this time as bad, as I benefited from it, however I now know a different way.
Over the last three years I have invested in myself and learnt how I create my reality and experiences. During this time I have became aware of my fears and beliefs and how they were driving my actions. Just having the simple awareness of my fears and limiting beliefs gave me a feeling of peace and the constant anxiety I felt started to subside.
I was now able to make choices with the awareness of ‘Is this something I really want to do? or, is it being driven by fear of not wanting to look stupid etc?’
With more and more self awareness, I became more comfortable with sharing the beliefs I had about myself with others and was always surprised when people disclosed to me that they also felt similar.
I started to make very different choices in my life and ones that I would never of know I wanted before. Things that I craved before like, lots of clothes, big houses and high powered job roles didn't seem important anymore. My decisions were now being made from a place of passion rather than fear.