At a basic level, the term ‘empowerment‘ simply means ‘becoming powerful‘. Building personal empowerment involves reflecting on our personal values, skills and goals and being prepared to adjust our behavior in order to achieve our goals. Personal empowerment also means being aware that other people have their own set of values and goals which may different to ours.
A person aiming for empowerment is able to take control of their life by making positive choices and setting goals. Developing self-awareness, an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses – knowing your own limitations is key to personal empowerment.
Taking steps to set and achieve goals – both short and longer-term and developing new skills, acts to increase confidence which, in itself, is essential to self-empowerment. Many other, more detailed, definitions exist. These usually center on the idea that personal empowerment gives an individual the ability to:
> Take control of their circumstances and achieve their own goals in their personal and working life.
> Become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses and therefore be better equipped to deal with problems and achieve goals.
> Enhance the contribution they make both as an individual and as a member of a team.
> Take opportunities to enhance personal growth and a sense of fulfillment.
Developing personal empowerment usually involves making some fundamental changes in life, which is not always an easy process. The degree of change required will differ from person to person, depending on the individual starting point.