I have found that empowerment in life is about simply looking at what is happening for you instead of what is happening to you. – Anon.
When my job was made redundant and I found myself out of work with only 3 days notice of it happening, it would have been very easy to react in the way in which I have acted many times in the past, namely to focus on what was happening to me, the loss of my job, my loss of income, the uncertain future, facing the major struggle of finding an enjoyable, relevant and well paying new job in a very difficult job market. How was I going to find one? How long would it take? How could I reduce my expenditure int eh meantime? What would happen if I ran out of money before I got a new job.
Oh yes, it would have been very easy to fall into that way of thinking. And I’ll admit that those thoughts did start to break through initially.
However, I made the conscious decision that I was not going to allow myself the luxury of such unhelpful thoughts – they would hold me back and could even send me into a downward spiral towards depression which would be neither enjoyable nor helpful; allowing my thoughts to focus on what was happening to me would only serve to prevent me from being able to do something constructive about my situation.
Instead, I consciously chose to focus my thoughts on the opportunities this new situation was presenting me; and there were a great many of them once I started to look for them! I had a wide range of opportunities and choices opening up before me; I could seek a new position doing the same as before but for a different organisation, which would bring with it many new challenges for me to get my teeth into whilst using all the skills and knowledge I’d built up; I could look for a different position enabling me to move my career forwards in new and exciting directions, directions which had until this point not been open to me in my previous job; I could even change careers completely into new fields of interest, taking advantage of the opportunity to take time out and assess myself, my situation and my plans, and finding something new and exciting to do with this next phase of my life.
How much more empowered do you think I felt once I started looking at things that way!
I was still in the same situation, the same things had happened to me and the same opportunities were there, but by looking at what was happening for me rather than merely to me, I was much better placed to see them, and was far more positively empowered as a result.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are focused so much upon what is happening to you, that you are not able to see what is happening for you, the opportunities which are being made available to you? It’s a pretty safe bet that you have; we all do it, it’s so easy to sink into those thoughts of what is happening to us and where they will lead, as if we have absolutely no control over our lives.
But we absolutely do have control, always. We can always control some aspect of what we do, and thus control the results we get.
And the key to doing that is not to allow our thinking to drag us down, but rather to focus on what is happening for us, to actively seek out those new opportunities which have opened up as a result; they are there, we just need to chose to look for them, to turn our attention to what is happening for us rather than to us.
For when we do that, whole new worlds of opportunity are laid bare before our eyes, and we can’t help but bask in the empowerment that brings us!