According to Wikipedia, becoming self empowered is defined as “increasing the spiritual, political, social or economic strength of individuals and communities. It often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities” (Empowerment, 2011) or “deriving the strength to do something through one's own thoughts and based on the belief that one knows what is best for oneself” (Dictionary.com, 2011).
In conjunction with self-awareness, becoming self empowered helps us to discover and know ourselves, gain greater understanding and awareness of others, and develop better tolerance to new environments, mores, and events.
Becoming self empowered and self aware can be initiated by entering isolated, or collective life crises causing emotional upheaval and the need for one to rethink priorities and unlearn previous conditioning; or by finding disillusionment over how or what you were told things were supposed to be. Examples of life crises include: disease, dissatisfaction with one's reality, experiencing a life-changing event (death, loss, danger, etc.), noticing previously unnoticed forces at play, or unfamiliar social dynamics.
Some people who have become self empowered and have developed self awareness feel that it is a process with a force as great as that of the forces of nature, and irreversible. Like learning advanced technical skills or riding a bike, once self empowerment and awareness are discovered and developed, there was no way to return to the previous state of mind and evolution. Trying to return to a different point of view after gaining greater awareness and perspective is like trying to ride a bicycle backwards - technically possible, but not especially enjoyable.
A starting point in choosing whether to try a new path of personal power and development is awareness of automatic choices based on "this is the way it has always been” or “this is the choice that everyone else will make”. There is nothing wrong with making life decisions based upon group dynamics, it would be better, in this writer's opinion, to understand why we make the choices that we do in order to make informed decisions rather than blind ones.
After gaining self awareness one is placed in the position of choosing the usual path or finding the courage to choose a different path. “The Road Less Traveled” states that “"Life is complex. Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another...The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness." (M Scott Peck Quotes, 2011)
The benefit of becoming self empowered, gaining the courage to try this new path is that by understanding and knowing oneself, it is possible to know another, and vice versa; creating your own path rather that following another’s, increases rather than decreases, one's personal power, identity, and self-esteem; and by following one’s path of personal resonance and speaking one’s truth does one reach self-actualization and peace.
• Integrity Tone Scale (Belser, 2005)
• The Road Less Traveled (M Scott Peck Quotes, 2011)
• 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 (Paul, 2011)
Dictionary.com. (2011). Retrieved 06 01, 2011, from self-empowered: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/self-empowered
Empowerment. (2011, 05 11). Retrieved 06 01, 2011, from Widipedia Empowerment: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_empowerment
M Scott Peck Quotes. (2011). Retrieved 06 01, 2011, from Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/3061.M_Scott_Peck
Belser, K. (2005, 11 10). Seven Steps Home. Retrieved 06 01, 2011, from Integrity Tone Scale: Some History: http://www.karl-belser.com/SevenSteps/IntegrityTone.html
Paul, S. (2011). 1 Corinthians 13 (New International Version). Retrieved 06 01, 2011, from BibleGateway.com: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13&version=NIV