Self Discovery

A Guide To Empowering Yourself on Your Own Terms

Show life who is boss by taking it into your own hands

There are moments in life that challenge your confidence, and sometimes those moments win the battle. They leave you feeling down and defeated, and there is nothing anyone can do to make you feel better. Sometimes you have to be the one to pick up the pieces and build your own self up again.

Self-doubt comes in many forms, whether it be a breakup leaving you heartbroken, a personal failure bruising your ego or the lack of confidence humans sometimes experience.

I recently lost a person in my life I once believed I was going to spend forever with. We were just twenty-something-year-old individuals growing in our own ways. We eventually found ourselves on life paths going in different directions.

I placed all of my time and energy into a person who simply was not reciprocating the same. I did everything in my power to hold on to the relationship we once had that I was not being the strong, confident woman I know myself to be.

While processing this change in my life has been difficult, I have simultaneously been trying to find ways to empower myself. My friends and family are a strong support system, but I have found that I am at my best when I’m being proactive about my own life and feelings.

They say empowered women empower women, so why not be the woman to empower yourself?

I have curated a list of activities I have been attempting to incorporate into my daily routine to live each day feeling happy and strong. Confidence is a trait that is mastered over time and may come and go throughout life but continue working toward it. You will get there.

empowering yourself
Photo by Tristen Lee Young

Keep a growing inventory of self-appreciation

Remind yourself of the positive attributes that make you who you are. Write down compliments and place them in a jar. Take one out every morning to get your day started on the right foot.

Perhaps keep an on-going list of these qualities in your phone to glance at when you’re feeling overwhelmed or upset. This activity will allow you to get to know and understand yourself better.

Take responsibility for your thoughts

You may find yourself blaming those around you for the way you are thinking or feeling. Someone may have done you wrong, but it’s your choice to adopt certain thoughts and perspectives.

While losing someone I was very close to was painful, I try to view the situation as me gaining back a part of myself. I could place blame and hold on to anger, but I choose to let all that go and focus on being a better, more powerful me.

When taking ownership of your thoughts, remember to be kind to yourself. This action may take some brainpower to accomplish, but it is important to be just as nice to yourself as you are to others.

No one is perfect, and life will always have its ups and downs, but it is about perspective and how you want to deal with the situation at hand.

empowering yourself

Learn to say no

If you’re anything like me, you have trouble saying no to people out of the fear of letting them down; however, this habit can lead you to overschedule yourself and stretching yourself too thin.

When you have too many things going on in your life, it can be difficult to feel as if you are in control of it. I had several personal and professional endeavors on my plate this semester that I never quite felt like I was in control of my day-to-day life.

Learning the art of saying no to people and opportunities that simply will not benefit you or make you happy is key. There are 24 hours in a day, it’s important to spend them wisely and on your own terms.

Expand on your natural talents

Everyone is good at something, whether it be singing, playing a sport or making crafts. One of my strongest assets is writing, which is why I spend so much of my time doing it.

Writing makes me feel empowered because I can share my thoughts and stories with the world and reach an audience. It’s almost as if I’m having a conversation with people and hoping they find what I have to say compelling or relatable.

I write when I’m joyful, upset, angry…it allows me to free my thoughts.

Use your talents as vehicles to empower yourself. By putting your actions in to play you are not only strengthening them, but you are also strengthening yourself to be more confident.

empowering yourself

Although it is important to have a support system during the times you are just not feeling like your happy self, it is essential to learn to be independent. Keep yourself company and take time to get to know who you are again.


Also published on Medium.

Journalism and Mass Communication Major, Barrett the Honors College at...