As we enter another year, I’m struck by the recurring themes in the letters I receive from Drum readers.
Underpinning all the issues I feel there are some key empowering self awareness steps that will support you in carving your path through life.
This is not an exhaustive list. You will see they are all essentially intertwined and that a combination of all of these steps will give you a platform from which to create your best life by making empowered choices.
Here are 10 steps to an empowered life:
- Responsibility – if you are not mature enough to negotiate protected or safer sex, you shouldn’t be having sex. The same applies to everything else in your life. Take responsibility for everything you’re prepared to accept and fight for.
- Choices – if you choose to be coerced into unsafe or unprotected sex – you are making a choice to live with the consequences - be they STIs or pregnancy.
- Trust yourself – by the time you have written to Sis Dolly, you most probably know the answer to your issue. Trust your gut and go with it. Be safe and make empowered choices and decisions.
- Courage – you cannot be a passenger in your own life. You are in the driving seat. If you hope someone else’s actions or choices will direct your life or your relationships, you’re giving your life, the power to choose your path and create into your greatness over to someone else. Have the courage to sit in the driver’s seat and make powerful, courageous choices.
- Exit your Comfort Zone – Understand that if you are choosing to stay within a context that’s uncomfortable you are in a comfort zone. Simply put, if you find yourself in a position where the thought of change is more frightening than the current situation and the thought of change presents greater discomfort for you than the discomfort you are currently experiencing, you are in a comfort zone. Reward doesn’t come without some risk. Risk looks like stepping out of your comfort zone. Choose to test your own boundaries you will be surprised at your strength and resilience.
- Listen – You are responsible for your part, the other person is responsible for their part. Listen twice as much as you speak. We are all right and we are all wrong. Find a place to express your authenticity, where your voice can be heard. And remember the other person also needs the same.
- Forgiveness – if you have been cheated on more than once and you have forgiven more than once, be prepared to find more forgiveness in your heart. And if you choose to leave, you will still have to find forgiveness. Always remember to start by forgiving yourself first.
- Health and Fitness – I hear teenage girls are placing pressure on their mothers to look like teenagers. You will only feel the pressure if you’re not making healthy choices. And young women need to chill. Choose physical and mental health and fitness. Do things that are healthy for your mind body and spirit. Find your place of peace.
- Know yourself – know your triggers. These triggers are the things that make you respond to instances in your life in the same way. By knowing these you can identify a behaviour pattern that can be halted and changed by simply acknowledging why you respond in this way and if this is beneficial to your life. If you are responding in the same way and you are consistently getting the same results and you’re not happy with these results, identify the triggers and then choose a different way of being. A question to support you in this is to ask yourself: “what if I am wrong?”
10. Love yourself – I always say we teach people how to treat us. If you love yourself, you are clear that love is what you should be receiving from another or all other people. I’m not talking about romantic love. More about respectful love. If you love yourself you won’t accept anything but respect and love from other people.
I wish for you a blessed and fulfilling 2014 filled with all that you wish for and magnificent dreams come true!