If we cannot find the strength to interact with others based on our own thoughts and based on the belief that we know what is best for our self, then we will struggle with "self empowerment".
Most of us have heard this safety warning on an airplane: “Place the mask on yourself prior to assisting those around you”.
If we stop to examine this simple safety tip, we might realize that it is easier said than done. As a matter of fact, many of us come from cultural settings that say that anything other than giving of oneself is taboo. Perhaps you have experienced that whenever you have tried to “put on your own mask first” you were reminded of your social and/or religious responsibilities.
The intent of this discussion is not to go against this premise, but rather to place it on a hierarchy that will ensure that we have a healthy “self” that can CONFIDENTLY put on our OWN masks first.
The question then becomes: “Why is it so hard to “put our own mask on first”?
The answer lies in self empowerment … or the lack there of ...
Before we go on, let us loosely define the phrase “self empowerment”. Dictionary.com states that it is: “deriving the strength to do something through one's own thoughts and based on the belief that one knows what is best for oneself”.
Wow! How many of us can recall the first time that we had the insight outlined in this definition? Immediately after this recollection, we might have the memory of the first time that our self empowerment was criticised as being “selfish behavior”.
Self empowerment is often misconstrued as “selfishness”. However, in is truest sense, it is a strengthening process that ebbs and flows, like the tides, to help us to self check and self correct. With the establishment of a system of checks and balances, we are able to be more in tune with our survival instincts. Our survival instincts are designed to sustain us through difficult and/or harmful circumstances.
If we rely on our self checks and balances, we will be better able to “put on our mask first” without any adverse feelings, and in turn assist those around us.