Empowerment is about being in control of your life, the process of becoming stronger and more confident. For many women being empowered affects their self esteem and their mood and confidence. This then has flow on effects for their overall wellbeing.
As a professional, a human services specialist, I see many women who do this well – and I also work with women who miss this from their life. Women who are not engaged in a daily focus, who lack the social connectedness and meaning/purpose in life. These women end up presenting with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and social isolation. To assist them in getting back on track, and having improvements in their life, we often focus on the Internationally recognised Wellbeing Model. That is…. the PERMA model (Dr Seligman) – the five pillars of psychological wellbeing and happiness – Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment. ( I will share more about this in detail next time!)
I consider it important – for women to be empowered and this often involves being able to connect with other women, feel supported, engaging on a mutual topic, having some good role models, being inspired and sharing challenges together. I connect with other women professionally, socially, and emotionally. Having 1on1 personal relationships is beneficial, as is being part of a group or a wider community. I belong to a specialist professional group, as well as a community based group and also a Business Women’s Group. If I did not work fulltime then I would be more involved with either a Mother’s group or a Creative/Arts Group. (That’s my goal in focussing on getting to part-time work, is to be able to connect in more with other women thru creativity and to build and improve on my social and emotional supports.
It is beneficial to have a more meaningful life and to accomplish our goals – to achieve better and to be more motivated and focussed. We also then feel better and engage better in our relationships.
Lets consider it in the following areas:
– The boardroom – women in Business or higher management roles can find it challenging as at times the office culture is not supportive. So women may find it more empowering to connect with other professional women or to see a mentor to assist in their presentation and confidence at work.
– The gym – being part of a women only group can be supportive and facilitate greater comfort and confidence. It can reduce anxiety and increase self esteem. I was once part of a women’s only outdoor fitness/circuit group and it was amazing. Women understanding women and all working together to achieve fitness goals.
– Relationships – women often recognise the need for supporting the different “roles” in their life – and can be more attentive to getting their needs met. Ie the need for individual time, couple time and parent-child time. Being part of a womens group, mothers group or special interest group can all assist with gaining empowerment and the benefits then flow into other roles as well.
– Life Approach – For many women being empowered and supporting other women is a process that helps them feel better – happier, more confident and more supported at the times when they are not going so well. Having a different approach to life will have a positive impact on other relationships = friendships, couple/intimacy and connections with children and extended family.
I will give a local example. In the south west of WA where I reside, there is an organisation called SWWHIC – the Southwest Womens Health and Information Centre. They often have events for women, morning tea/lunch with a speaker, or more participatory events like yoga, walking, making things………activities allowing women to connect and engage with other women, or to hear other women’s stories and be inspired or to receive information and be supported. There is a workshop a month on improving self esteem or learning relaxation skills. Within this group is a collective of creative women who set up Womanmade and there is empowerment for women who are creating things. Our local Chamber of Commerce may present specific events aimed at empowering women, as does our local Government Funded small business provider (Business South West) who arrange a monthly “women in business breakfast” which aims to empower women. Another local Professional group is BWA – “Business Women Australia”. Where Women in Business connect and meet regularly in learning skills needed for their business operation, networking, sharing, being motivated and inspired and supporting other women. Many women connect and gain empowerment thru Facebook groups or face-to-face groups.
So being aware of your own needs is important – having plans and strategies to feel more empowered and to improve your wellbeing….
GUEST BLOGGER OF THE DAY:
Jay Anderson is a Registered Psychologist and Counsellor. She is also a small business owner and manager as the SW Wellbeing Centre.
Find Jay at: