By Harry Petsanis and Donna McCance
To reflect the true meaning of the word "empowerment," it should be called “impowerment,” which we define as “I am power.” “Impowerment” is intrinsic, an ability that comes from within an individual to take control of their own life.
“Impowerment” is the belief that you have in who you are and what you’re capable of doing. It’s strength and confidence that doesn’t come from anyone or anything externally. It’s your internal foundation that everything is built upon.
Every person has power and authenticity within themselves. You cannot force or motivate others “to be impowered” because authenticity is who someone is, which includes their values, beliefs, and being true to who they are. When you think you are “Impowering someone”, you are actually pushing your own agenda onto them. All you would be doing is having them replicate what’s inside of you, which is controlling people as a way to conform to your own ways.
Most people don’t feel “impowered” because at their earliest age when they started to show it, it was suppressed and slammed down by other people who were trying to control them. Children are punished for being who they are and equally punished for not being the person others want and demand that they be. It threatens their power. As a way to control children, adults take their power away from them, diminishing their sense of self and “impowerment.”
Many times as children we were most punished when we were saying exactly what we felt or thought, being who we are. That’s the last thing people want us to be because when we are who we want to be, we are much more of a threat to their ability to control us.
If you asked a child over a seven day period “How many times did you hear the word ‘don’t’ versus the word ‘do,’ the answer would probably be 100 to 1. “Don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t say this, don’t say that.” Even when adults use the word “do,” it’s not used in a positive way, but rather as an order. “”Do this, do that, do your homework, do your chores.” Both words are spoken to children every day and they’re restricting and confining.
The reason why people aren’t authentic is because through the punishment of societal conditioning, they continue their inauthentic behavior.
When we become adults, even though we hated being "disempowered" as a child, we repeat the behavior because it benefits us to control others as adults. It reveals everything about human nature. People’s first instinct is to do what’s in their best interest and what’s convenient for them.
When we were suppressed as children, we didn’t like it. As adults we repeat the behavior because now it benefits us to control and suppress someone else, just as it didn't benefit us as a child. We can stop this behavior by first acknowledging it, and then allowing others the opportunity to create their own options if that is what they desire. This allows others to "impower" themselves and stops you from infringing on them and "disempowering" them.
Become Authentic and "Impowered"
You can become authentic and "impowered" by not concerning yourself with what other people think of you. Once you do that, you will be true to who you are. You will no longer allow other people to "disempower" you. When you feel "impowered," you think and feel about yourself and how those thoughts and feelings transcend into your actions.
If you’re looking to be "empowered" by others, that "empowerment" will never sustain and you will compromise your authenticity. The greatest resource we have is our faith in who we are. You will also learn not to "disempower" others because you will understand what it feels like. You will allow people to be themselves and allow them to consider their own options, not yours.
The greatest resource we have is our faith in who we are.
About the Authors
Harry Petsanis is a philosopher of human nature, mindset specialist, and lifelong fitness and wellness advisor. He is a writer and author, with three published books: “The Truth is A Lie,” “The Logical Path To Life,” and "Knowing Me from A to Z, A Child's Mindset," which he co-authored with Donna McCance, M.Ed.. Harry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He has an intense passion for psychology and the human condition.
Donna McCance, M.Ed. is a business administrator, writer, author, licensed teacher and principal/vice principal with over 20 years experience teaching in elementary education and educational leadership. She has a Masters in Education, Masters in Human Services Management, Bachelors in Business Administration and Associates in Business Administration.
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The Truth is A Lie" and "The Logical Path To Life"
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"Knowing Me From A to Z, A Child's Mindset"