I read an article recently by Maryville University titled, “7 Tips for Achieving Self-Empowerment”. It was written to encourage people who are considering going back to school.
One of the key lines in the introductory paragraph is, “Self-empowered people take control of their lives by setting goals and taking actionable steps to achieve them.”
It made me ask myself: “Don’t we all consider ourselves self-empowered?” Does anyone look in the mirror and say – I’m not taking actionable steps? Or, do we have “valid” excuses for why we aren’t taking steps?
There are spaces in my life where I don’t take action the way I should. How about you?
Usually it’s because I don’t like the action that I know I should take. I don’t like it because I think it’s tough. Or because I don’t feel like being uncomfortable. Perhaps I’ve taken the action before, but didn’t get the results I expected.
So, in those places where I’m not setting goals and I’m not moving forward – does it mean that I’m not empowered?
How do I get myself unstuck and moving forward?
Have you ever heard of the ‘5 whys’ exercise? It’s a process that involves asking yourself why 5 times until you get to the root cause of an issue. The premise is to figure out the root cause and address it.
Take a look at this example:
1. Why am I not working out 5 times a week like I used to?
Answer: I have a lot of work to do and I’m not making time to work out.
2. Why do I have a lot of work to do?
Answer: I overextended myself with assignments and I’m now working more hours than I expected to work.
3. Why did I overextend myself?
Answer: I did not set boundaries for myself and I have allowed myself to lose a lot of personal time as my business has grown.
4. Why did I take everything I was offered?
Answer: I’m trying to grow my business. Early on – I was scared to say no and didn’t delegate or hire appropriately.
5. Why didn’t I have the right team in place?
Answer: I didn’t have the right processes in place to feel comfortable delegating, but I do now.
So, the root cause of me not making the right amount of time to work out is not having the right processes in place to run my business effectively.
If all that I have just answered is correct, I should be able to get back to scheduling and accomplishing workouts.
Sometimes we don’t feel empowered because we keep taking actions that don’t move the needle because we’re taking the wrong actions.
When you’re not feeling empowered to make changes in your life because nothing seems to be working, or when you’re struggling to get traction on a project – seek to determine the root cause of your lack of progress. Why don’t you want to try anymore? Why aren’t you feeling empowered? Journaling could help. I encourage you to give the 5 whys exercise a try.