According to Oxford Dictionary: em·pow·er–əmˈpou(ə)r/ To make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
Like many, I have spent my life seeking a fulfilling path. Never content to have simply a “job”, much of my professional life has been spent exploring the question of how I can best fulfill my goal to support and help people. Looking back, the most engaging times in my life have been those times when I worked with a mentor of some kind. As a young actress, I always sought wise teachers, and thrived when I performed on stage with actors who were better performers than I; when the bar was raised, I always reached higher. As a young teacher, I thrived in the company of mentors: veteran teachers who guided me and taught me at first to survive in the classroom, but then urged me to propel forward so I could thrive as an educator. I’ve always been happiest with a steep learning curve and with an eye on how I can improve both my own life and others’.
Just tonight, I got a text from a friend I’ve known for over thirty years—since childhood. We were discussing my hopes for my consulting business and life balance, and he said, “I’m glad things are going well and you’re progressing towards your recent goals. You realize, of course, that the second you reach balance, you’ll move the goalposts.” It made me laugh out loud. How well this friend knows me, and how perfectly this illustrates the idea of empowerment. When we are confident in our lives, we feel that sense that it’s ok to keep pushing. When we can do that, we grow. As we grow, our perspective can shift, and we are that much more able to change the world a little at a time. My journey has been mine, but I owe so much of my strength to the mentors and friends (sometimes both) who helped me see my own strength.
Who empowers you to own your purpose and move towards it?