There’s a lot of talk these days of empowering people, particularly women and empowering kids. I completely agree that this needs to be done, especially with issues we as a society are facing today like body dysmorphia, eating disorders, bullying and equality in the workplace. But my biggest question is who’s doing the empowering?
I had a prospect question my prices recently because he said he could jump online and get the same thing for under US$20. I told him to go for it and then naturally jumped online to check out my competition and see what he was talking about. When I looked into it further, the person who’d created the online course had no credibility. Nowhere on this fancy website did it mention where he had been trained or that he was accredited by any industry standard. It’s something I continue to grapple with.
At the end of the day, is a certificate really that important? I’ve completed two Bachelor degrees, many Diplomas and I have industry experience. The importance of credentialing, from my perspective is that I know there’s a minimum standard and that that person, training, service, etc. has been trained by or is meeting that standard. It’s monitored for the greater good and along the way grows and evolves with societal change and technology.
Does this mean credentialing gets the best results? No. I don’t believe so. I believe people who implement their learnings and do the work become the best at what they do. However, the credibility of the learning and what is implemented is important. I know that personally, from a consumer perspective (instead of a practitioner’s) I’d either want credentialing or a damn good referral. So I’m still on the fence.
The rule I follow when receiving knowledge from ANYBODY is ‘who are you to tell me that?’. Yes, it’s a forthright question (and by the way I don’t actually ask the person unless I get an opportunity to – who needs to with social media these days?) but with the devaluing of formal education from 40 years ago and especially with nationally unregulated professions (like coaching), this question is an important one. [By the way – coaching is regulated, but the primary body is international with national hubs. Australia’s is in Queensland.]
Sourcing trusted, valid information is imperative when doing self-help and personal development. I’ve seen the destruction that occurs to people’s sense of self when they have believed and trusted information, institutes and people that then turns out to be dishonest, deceptive and false. We all have power in the way we view something and respond and sometimes it takes time and work to own that power and respond resourcefully.
The best way you can empower others is by being empowered yourself. Do your research. Do the work on yourself. People are attracted to others whose light shines bright. Think of a time you’ve been totally attracted to somebody. I don’t necessarily mean sexually, I’m referring to holistically. Someone who, when they walk into the room, lights it up. Someone who when they speak, you just hang on their every word. I’m sure there’s someone you’ve met along the way that you can think of, can’t you? Have you ever wondered what makes you drawn to them? What do they have that you don’t? What is it about them that makes them so special?
The answer – they’ve done the work on themselves. This work has created a strong identity and certainty of self and with that, almost complete acceptance of who they are as a human being. I find this is often accompanied with a sense of inner peace. They lack internal conflict between blending with the crowd and standing out from the crowd.
Frustratingly, as human beings we need both. We’ll do almost anything to be accepted (see Push by Derren Brown on Netflix) but we also want that sense of being special and unique. If you want to look into this further, have a listen to Tony Robbins discussing our 6 Core needs. People whose light shines the brightest have done the work on themselves to accurately flirt with the balance between social acceptance and what they have that’s unique and enables them to contribute to the world in their special way.
So have a think about your life and work. Where are you playing at 100%? What areas aren’t you giving as much of yourself as you’d like to be? What is the one thing you truly want for yourself (be selfish when answering this question)? Is it health, happiness, love, finance, spontaneity, certainty, flexibility, balance..
Once you’ve worked this out honestly for yourself, decide what can you do to get it. Can you do it alone or do you need some help? If so, get a coach. They’ll help you identify what you truly want and by doing so, let your light shine brighter. This is a ripple effect and will empower others who meet you to shine their light brighter too. Empowerment comes from inside every single one of us when we’re in true congruence with who we are and what we want. It takes work to find it and courage to be honest with ourselves. The more of us that are empowered and have a strong identity of self, and the more of us who discover and honour what we truly want, the more we give permission for others to do the same. This is how we can empower others by contributing and making a difference in the world. It starts with ‘me’. It starts internally. And its passed onto others through leading by example. Happy International Women’s Day!
Empowerment starts internally and spreads to others from there. It's a ripple effect created from knowing at our core who we are and honouring what we want. It's trusting our intuition and the voice inside our head that gives us the strength to speak up and be heard. It's a truth, a purpose and a lifestyle.