Empowerment Inspiration

When exploring various inspirational materials, it’s often a surprise to me when there is a coincidence in the topics. Is the Universe telling me something I really need to focus on? Last month, this occurred with a Chopra Meditation Series on Empowerment and my reading a Rachel Hollis book (Girl, Stop Apologizing), which was also about personal empowerment.  This blog post captures my synthesizing self-empowerment thinking as it pertains to living my ideal retirement lifestyle and my focus this year.

What I love about the Chopra meditations are the new affirmations that emerge, which I will include in this blog post.

I have the power to change my life.

I am unconstrained by habits of the past or worry about the future.

Chopra indicates that Empowerment means going beyond the Ego Self to the True Self. Since part of my personal spiritual journey is trying to identify my authentic self, separate from societal expectations, this definitely resonated with me.

Most of the time our subconscious Ego Self is running the show. It’s in our reactions to situations, our unconscious habits/behaviors, and our beliefs of who we are and what we can/can’t do. The current thinking pathways, formed over time and repetition, are well-established highways. To change, we need to become conscious of our subconscious.

Neuroplasticity is the power to create new pathways in the subconscious and conscious parts of our brain – it is the key to any deep and lasting shift in our habits and thinking. The starting point for change has to involve an honest appraisal of your current thought patterns and behaviors. It takes intense honesty and deep thinking to unearth deeply held, sometimes irrational and self-limiting beliefs. Some ways to do it are:

  • Become aware of how you (unconsciously) react to triggers. The more you become aware of your beliefs and reactions, the more you can change the behaviors.
  • Identify what you think about who you are. How do you complete the “I am”, “I am not”, or “I’ve always been” sentence? You’ll hear it in other people’s words about themselves – I’m not athletic. I’m not a deep thinker. I’ve always been bad with saving money. I always get defensive when someone criticizes me. I’m stupid. I can’t dance. I’m not worthy. What are your own statements?
  • What was your “role” in the family? Were you the risk taker? The athletic one? The smart one? And more importantly, what role(s) were you not?

But, where did Ego Self come from? As children we had to quickly learn the language, social norms, how to communicate, and what was expected of us from our caregivers. Our Ego Self created a set of beliefs, patterns, and ideas so we were secure, we felt like we belonged, and we were worthy of belonging. We established internal beliefs around relationships, achievement, intelligence, preferred emotional states, other people, and our own capabilities. These beliefs and patterns are still there today to maintain a sense of security and belonging/acceptance.

But some of these beliefs and patterns are now our mental constraints. The Ego Self continues to reject any idea or behavior that conflicts with these beliefs. The Ego Self is that inner voice that says, “Who do you think you are?” when trying something new. These beliefs and patterns have become pathway barriers in our own minds that are holding us back!

Rachel Hollis speaks a bit more down to earth and directs her messaging towards women.   She insists, “You are not a little girl anymore”.   I would add, nor an impressionable tween or an overly sensitive teenager. She encourages you to stop blaming your past (I’ve never…) or living your life for other people’s approval (I’ve always…). As she says, there’s no more gold-stars being given out and now is the time to start living for your own approval. She encourages you to recognize that you have the power to control your thoughts, reactions, and behaviors; to stop believing the lies you’re telling yourself. She also encourages you to “claim your True Self”.

Beyond the Ego Self is the True Self with a self-acceptance that “I am enough and this moment is enough”. Self-acceptance prevents us from chasing acceptance from others (external validation) or trying to meet others (real or perceived) expectations so we can belong. There is an awareness to live in the moment. There is no judgment, just compassion, acceptance, appreciation, and gratitude of the moment that is, and the people in that moment.

Be in the now – fully aware with all your senses.

It is what it is.

Self-empowerment is creating new mental pathways for reactions and behaviors – beliefs and behaviors that do not constrain us. The True Self “Lives in the Now” with acceptance of the self and acceptance of the moment.

Some more practical ideas on how to LIVE IN THE NOW, where the authentic, True Self can shine through:

  • Shift internal beliefs fromI’m not enough; others are better” and/or “I need to conform to belong” to “I am enough. I can be my unique self.” Use these statements as daily affirmations.
  • Be aware your Ego reactions/habits – dwelling on the past, fearing the future, focusing on status, comparing to others, judging others, and judging yourself. Awareness is the first step to making changes. Challenge your self-limiting beliefs with some reality checking.
  • Be more accepting of others – less judgmental. Non-judgmental is opening your heart and mind to those different than us, and supporting them on their own path.
  • Have the courage to be imperfect, to try, to engage in something new (without the need to achieve mastery).
  • Spend more time in nature and appreciate beauty surrounding you.
  • Practice gratitude daily. Do not feel guilt for your blessings.
  • Do not connect with people who diminish you (make you feel smaller/weaker) to increase their own ego. Just walk away.
  • Find people who are like you want to be – one’s who are open, accepting, appreciative, confident, creative, kind-hearted, inspiring, and have a sense of humor.

Every day is full of choices – some conscious, some habitual – choices that create your current reality and your path forward. Awareness to make changes in that path is the first step towards heading where you want to go. Persistence is second. By raising awareness again and again, we recognize the pathway barriers that are holding us back in our own minds and forge a path toward positive change. Persistence comes from doing this again and again, to create new mental pathways that at some point become the primary pathway.

Look back forgivingly. Look forward prayerfully. Be present gratefully.

I open my awareness to the Universe’s creative power and allow my life to unfold. 

The elements on empowerment from these two sources sync well with my focus on RELEASE this year. Releasing self-limiting beliefs. Releasing ego-driven behaviors of judgment, approval seeking, & comparison. Releasing the need for perfection & meeting perceived expectations.

RELEASE so I can be the true me – active, connected, creative, contemplative.

I’m not there yet, but as I’ve learned, awareness is the first step!

Are you aware of your own self-limiting beliefs or ego-driven behaviors?

27 thoughts on “Empowerment Inspiration

  1. Hi! This is some great stuff! I love how this post was so clear and conscientious! I love your work and how thought evoking it is. You’ve tackled big ideas and concepts with writing! I was wondering if you could check out my new piece on the road to self-discovery and growth! I would really appreciate it if you could comment some feedback to improve the writing style. Looking forward to hearing from you. – Kiran


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Pat, A great post! I find I also have many coincidences in my life and I know I need to pay attention. Another coincidence: in past years I have taken Chopra meditation series and I did read Rachel Hollis book last year. We must be on a similar wavelength. Great points you highlighted on the honest appraisal. For me, this is digging deep.

    A pivotal phrase for me in your post “every day is full of choices.” Release is a wonderful word on many levels. Thank you for a thought-provoking post. I learned a great deal! #MLSTL and sharing SM

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica, I really enjoy the Chopra meditation series, and just signed up for the next one (next month). I always get something out of them. Right now, I am definitely focusing on self-limiting beliefs and digging deep (as you say) to really figure them out. Maybe this next series will give me something to help with that.

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  3. Dear Pat, What a powerful personal essay! Thanks for providing such helpful info about how to look at our beliefs, programming, and outmoded ways of dealing with ourselves. As you wrote… “By raising awareness again and again, we recognize the pathway barriers that are holding us back in our own minds and forge a path toward positive change.” This year for me, mindfulness and self-compassion are a wonderful ways I intend to be present for daily living

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy, thanks for joining the conversation. I do believe that just the awareness can help make changes in how we think, react and behave. I’m hoping to do more to move beyond some of my own outmoded ways (as you call them). I am sure more will be forthcoming as posts about this quest of mine!

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  4. Hi Pat, we are on the same wavelength as this week I’ve written about overcoming limiting beliefs and the ‘mean girl’ in our head that takes centre stage far too often. You’ve given me much to think about in your post and I will be sharing it in my facebook group as another resource for my Make It Happen 2020 Challenge. Thank you for being part of the #MLSTL link up group, you are valued. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, thanks for sharing! I was pleasantly surprised to see you also talking about self-limiting beliefs. it always amazes me how we can be on similar wavelengths, on the other side of the world! I’m definitely working on shifting self-limiting beliefs into self-empowering beliefs this year. All the support and insight I can get to help me do that is appreciated.


  5. Pat,
    What a wonderful way you explain things.
    I always had to wait until things were “perfect” to do something. I needed to be thinner, more agile, have more money, be smarter, you get the picture to venture out to do the things I wanted to do. How vain was I that I thought I could achieve perfection? That self-limiting belief has kept me from doing so many things I’ve always wanted to do.
    I’ve mostly left that ideology behind, it still creeps in here and there but I figuratively slap myself and say just freaking go for it.
    Thank you for the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the “figuratively slap myself” phrase! I find that I do that quite often now as I am more aware of these self-limiting beliefs. I am hoping over time that they won’t even creep in anymore.


  6. Hi Pat, the idea of releasing is so powerful. It is currently the word I repeat as I meditate. I have been working on becoming of aware of my own mindset limitations and they are very much part of the ego that you describe. I think I have done a good job of recognizing my barriers- now I just need to work on the moving beyond them part. Awareness is the first step though. I understand neuroplasticity and have successfully changed some thought and patterns. it is always a work in progress though! Happy new year!

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    1. Michele, I believe I have changed some of my thought processes as well. But more to do, for sure. I recognize now (sometimes) when I’m starting the old thinking patterns. I like how you say “moving beyond them”. Some are such a part of my personal identity! That’s the work I’m planning on focusing on this year.

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  7. Great, thought provoking post! I am in the process of doing a lot of self evaluation ~ looking at the positives and negatives. My roles have changed so much over the years from young wife, to mother, to teacher and balancing all of these roles has been challenging at times. Now I am facing retirement at the end of May. Lots of things going through my head and I really just want to get to know ME better, take better care of ME and be the best ME I can!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of the things I love about retirement is having the time to think about these types of things… figuring out who I am and who I want to be, spending time thinking about how I react/behave and how I want to react/behave. I hope you find that time coming to you enjoyable and insightful.

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  8. Hi Pat – I was reading the comments and there are so many of us on similar journeys aren’t there? I laughed at Deb’s “not my circus” reference – I actually have a bangle with the whole quote engraved on it to remind me to stop trying to fix everyone I come in contact with. The whole oldest child thing comes into play for me, along with perfectionism, self-doubt, etc etc.
    I’ve done a lot of work on self acceptance and self worth, but I know I still have a long way to go – I love that we’re all figuring it out together.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, Yes,I find it really helpful to link with others on a similar journey of working on self-acceptance. It helps to know I’m not alone, and to learn from each other. I appreciate you continuing #MLSTL…. I look forward to that link up each week!


  9. Hi Pat! I too am doing my best to be my most authentic self these days. I am a big fan of Deepak and have read much of his work. I also read the book by Rachel Hollis–and while it was encouraging in many ways I wasn’t a fan. My current focus is a guy names James Hollis which I just wrote about on my blog. I think you might find his work VERY helpful too. All about discovering those unconscious patterns that we have within us that keep us stuck doing the same behaviors over and over again. I’d love to hear what you think of him (I put a link to a podcast interview on my latest post too.) ~Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy, I’m going to head over and link into that podcast. Is there a specific book of his you would recommend, especially on discovering those unconscious patterns? I’m still more of a reader than a podcast listener… although I have tried to add that genre into my repertoire. Thanks.


  10. Hi Pat,
    This was very thought-provoking and a good read – one I had to read twice!
    I’m one a parallel road as you are, defining my authentic self. Not being the “fixer” (is that an oldest child thing?) or the “strong and competent” one all the time. I like what Deb said, “Not my circus, not my monkeys”…I’ve said similar things to myself over and over, especially with regards to children and family members. They need to figure our their own path and I can’t always be there to “fix” it.
    And, I’m really trying to examine how I react to certain situations and why I hold back in others. What limiting beliefs about myself do I need to let go of?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy, One of the things I love about this stage of life is the time I have to think about these things – to figure out my self-limiting beliefs and unconscious responses. I’m not an oldest child, so maybe that is why I don’t relate to being the “fixer”. But as I told Deb, I am the accommodator – making sure everyone is “happy”. I’ve got a whole list of self-limiting beliefs that I’ve started to create…I’m not sure how much will end up in the blog, but some will I am sure!


  11. Great article and so timely for many of us on this journey of self discovery. Self talk is such a big one huh? We’d never say to another things we say to ourselves over and over again. I’m definitely working on guarding my own self talk to ensure I’m becoming who I’m meant to be and who I want to be and not someone limited by untrue beliefs about myself.
    Thanks for a good morning reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rachel, You’re welcome for the reminder…. I think we need to be continually reminded about this topic since those voices in our heads are well-established! I’m trying to intentionally work on mine this year. Like you, I want to become the who I am meant to be!

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  12. What I am working on is to not try to solve other people’s problems for them. For many years, my role was the “fixer” – in my family, in my relationships, and in my job.
    Now I have to tell myself “not my circus; not my monkeys”. I’ve even thought of getting it tattooed on my arm, to remind me – HAH!
    Good work, Pat! We should all be aware of what our inner voices are whispering to us, and if we’re ok with that or it needs to be changed.


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    1. Deb, I’ve called myself the “accommodator”. I accommodate for other’s interests/needs/desires. Not quite fixing everyone’s problems, but making sure everyone else is “happy”. I still do it, especially with my hubby… now I’m just more aware of it. I’m starting to think “am I happy with what I’m accommodating” at least!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I hear that! I have had to watch for that, and ask myself what am I losing by being so accommodating for someone else. Especially when the favour was almost never returned or returned grudgingly.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for brightening my day on a cold, dark morning. I need to challenge my self- limiting beliefs and find a better path forward. It’s nice to know others struggle with this, too. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Faye, Yes, we all struggle with self-limiting beliefs. Becoming aware of them is key! It’s my focus this year — to change self-limiting beliefs into self-empowering beliefs. More to come on the topic I am sure.


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