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Understanding Personal Empowerment and Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is an important element of success. It’s also an integral component of self-empowerment. Without a belief in yourself, it’s difficult to accomplish your goals. In this article we’ll explore definitions of personal empowerment and self-esteem and then talk about how they overlap.

What Is Self-Esteem?

Many people feel like they intuitively know what self-esteem is. They know when they have it and when they don’t. However, it’s a bit more difficult for most people to actually define self-esteem. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines self-esteem as a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities.

That’s a surface definition. If you look a little deeper, self-esteem describes your sense of self-worth and value. It’s considered to be a personality trait that can involve your experiences and beliefs about your appearance, behaviors, emotions, and skills.

Your self-esteem runs deep into the thoughts you have about yourself daily. For example, there’s a difference between thinking, “I’ll never get this right” and “I can do this”. Self-esteem doesn’t necessarily lead to self-empowerment, but it sure does help.

What Is Self-Empowerment?

To be self-empowered means that you have the strength to do something that that you believe to be in your best interests. For example, if someone asks you to join a club and you don’t want to, you are able to say no. Conversely, if you want to achieve a goal that others perhaps don’t support, you’re able to stick to your thoughts and beliefs and follow your own path.

Self-empowerment means having knowledge about your own skills and abilities and confidence in them, so that you’re able to set appropriate goals and reach your potential.

Here’s the Self-Esteem Overlap

If you don’t believe that you can follow through on your goals, or you don’t believe in your skills and abilities, then you may struggle to be empowered. How can you have the strength to follow through on your goals if you don’t believe that you can?

So where do you focus your attention first? Do you focus on building your self-esteem or your self-empowerment?

The great thing is that by taking steps to improve your self-empowerment you will also improve your self-esteem. As you start to set goals and take small steps to achieve them, each small success will help increase your self-esteem. You’ll begin to see that you can in fact make positive change in your life and that you’re capable of more than you initially believed. While self-esteem and self-empowerment are separate characteristics, the overlap can be powerful and life changing.