This article is part of a series on key practices that, if utilized, will empower you to express your best self in any circumstance. Even in the face of apparent mistakes and failures, when you apply these practices, you will be empowered to return to your sense of personal agency and equilibrium as quickly as possible.
Links to all the articles in this series appear at the bottom of the page.
Commit to Cultivating Your Authentic Self
The generally accepted meaning of self-advocacy is the ability to communicate your needs and make requests for having them met. It is about being assertive in speaking up for yourself and letting others know what you are thinking and feeling.
Although this is an accurate definition, there is a deeper meaning of self-advocacy that is used in this material, one that gives you greater access to your personal power and agency.
This type of self-advocacy means being a firm proponent of your authentic self. It is a commitment to being centered in your heart and your awareness of who you are as a conscious being. It is a commitment to showing up in your best self.
How you can achieve this is by being in observer mode and adopting beliefs, attitudes, and practices that are empowering. It can be helpful to think of self-advocacy as a muscle that needs to be strengthened through use: we get better at it the more we do it.
Being self-empowered requires being a firm advocate for your conscious self and for your personal growth and evolution. Self-empowerment starts with a commitment to reach for the most magnanimous version of yourself possible in a situation. It’s about striving for excellence.
Self-advocacy is not about trying to be perfect or better than others: it’s about being committed to authentically expressing your inner being. It is about choosing to show up above the line in the present moment.
Refuse to be Self-Abandoning
Self-abandonment is the opposite of self-advocacy. Self-abandonment happens when you slide below the line into thinking that your needs don’t matter and that ultimately you are unworthy and don’t matter. You stop being in observer mode and abandon your conscious self.
When you abandon your conscious self, it leads to jumping onto the drama triangle and playing losing games, such as trying to please or rescue others or have them approve of you. You might even become a persecutor toward yourself, which leads to self-punishment and self-sabotage and will cause you to feel like a victim, albeit a self-inflicted one.
When you abandon yourself, both you and everyone you interact with start losing. You cannot get off the drama triangle from within it, attempting to win by playing at it harder or better than everyone else. You must use self-advocacy to transcend it, waking up to who you are as a conscious self and to your innate self-worth. There is now where to go; there is only waking up.
There is a growing body of literature on empowerment, the definition of which can vary, depending on the context in which it is used and whether the focus is on an individual or a group.
Empowerment is a concept that in recent years has often been co-opted for commercial use. For example, companies might make the claim that their merchandise will be empowering to women if they purchase it. Despite this appropriation, empowerment is an important concept and worth reclaiming.
To empower a person is to give power or authority to them and to facilitate or give them the means to achieve something. In this material, the focus is on self-empowerment, as opposed to collective empowerment, and on the process of gaining skillful means for self-initiated growth and personal development.
The purpose of self-empowerment is internal emancipation. This means having your hands firmly on the levers and dials of your personal evolution, with your conscious self at the controls. This allows for greater autonomy and self-determination.
Become Internally Emancipated
When equipped with the necessary tools, you can become more and more liberated from internal oppression in your daily life. By understanding internal oppression, it is possible to gain greater insight into what is driving collective oppression and structural violence.
Internal oppression occurs primarily when your present experience is being overshadowed and driven by your past. This is when the unconscious and fear-based thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, feelings, and behaviors you adopted as defense strategies earlier in life are playing out in current time.
This internal oppression includes unconscious beliefs and attitudes that are part of your enculturation. These unconscious dynamics are usually not in your best interests and do not reflect your most authentic self.
The Mastery of Integral Emotional Intelligence Program offers tools and techniques to empower you to become more and more fully emancipated from your past, from internal oppression, self-limitation, and self-sabotage.
When you are self-empowered, you consciously align your internal and external life with the values, principles, and intentions of your best self. These principles are always consistent with mutual respect and benefit for all.