How to Reverse the Ways We Women Disempower Ourselves

“When do you feel disempowered?” This was the question I put on my Facebook wall. I was genuinely curious if others feel disempowered in the same situations that I do.

As my connections started commenting, I had others comment on what others have put in indicating they experience the same.

It was interesting to discover the different ways we feel disempowered, while also realising how much a lot of it is when we consciously or unconsciously allow our power to be taken from us.

Here are some of the answers I received:

  • When I feel low in energy
  • When I am around overpowering & dominant aggressive people
  • When I feel stuck and overwhelmed in life
  • When I fail a task
  • When I am ignored
  • When I am lied to
  • When someone is being judgy or condescending
  • When I’m overworked
  • When I feel I don’t get the support to lessen by burdens
  • When my own subconscious beliefs about (not)enoughness take over
  • When I’m confronted by my partner’s anxieties
  • When I put things off or procrastinate
  • When I avoid things, it makes me feel less empowered
  • When I compare myself to others, the not good enough, imposter syndrome
  • When I adjust myself for what I believe may make others more comfortable

I can categorise these answers into these…

3 ways we disempower ourselves:

1. Lack of Self-Care

2. Societal Expectations

3. Subconscious Beliefs

Feeling disempowered, helpless, and stuck are the worst feelings for me. (I can handle feeling hurt a lot more than this because hurt I can soothe.) The energy isn’t moving and the future feels hopeless. When left unattended, it slowly manifests as depression.

So, I’d like to share a couple of ways to address these challenges.

Establish a Self-Care Routine

Having low energy is something I struggle with from time to time as well.

There have been various ways that I’ve addressed this (and still do), through seeing both Western doctors and complementary therapists, to check if I’m eating right and if there’s something that’s not right physically.

Barring that and taking back control where I can, I’ve come to understand my feminine body a lot deeper than what I learned about it growing up. And the new information has been life-changing.

As women, there’s about a week in a month when our hormone levels drop and our bodies are shedding and releasing through our monthly bleed.

It’s important to honour this phase and view it as literally your body’s way of helping you renew. This is your personal Dark Moon to New Moon phase! (You can read more about it here.)

I know that our monthly bleed has been largely seen (and we’ve been conditioned as so) as inconvenient. And that’s because we live in a world that largely honours the masculine way of achieving and always going for it.

But we women are NOT built the same way that they are.

So in order for our lives to flow, we have to flow with the cycle of our own bodies, too.

Because your body is where you start whenever you want to expand. You can only “go” as far as your body will take you.

If this is you, I invite you to notice what happens during your day that starts to withdraw from your energy. Is it physical, mental or emotional?

Are you asking a lot from yourself?
Are you internally beating yourself up?
Where is that coming from?

So having understood this, I invite you to not be afraid to change up your routine from week-to-week to flow with the phase you’re at.

Societal Expectations

We live in a society that asks so much from us. And a society that loves perfect, instead of messy.

As women, society expects us to be prim and proper. And then have a perfect home once we have a family.

Consciously or unconsciously from thriving, we are driven to always measure up to some unattainable and impossible state of perfection.

This doesn’t just show up in our “projects”… like having the perfect blog or post or program, or in our homes in having the most beautiful and clean and tidy house, or having the perfect set of clothes and make-up.

This can sneak up on you in motherhood… in wanting to perfect in the way you parent and wanting your children to be perfect… have awesome grades, do well in sports, etc.

This can sneak up on you in your relationships in wishing your partner fits this idealised version that you see in movies, TV or even posts by other people.

The truth is, perfectionism was your response during an experience or you were made to feel overtime that you’re not enough. So you coped the only way you knew how, or how you see others have coped.

See perfectionism for the distraction that it is. Distracting you from what really needs to be healed.

When did you start wanting everything to be perfect? Who told you to?
Wouldn’t you rather be free and enjoy who you truly are, instead of striving for perfection all the time?

Naturally, if we want to be perfect, then we can’t help but compare ourselves to others.

We subconsciously do this because we’re social beings. We can’t help it because we’re hardwired to connect. We compare ourselves to make sure some part of us will not disassociate us from the social circle we’re part of.

Even if you identify as an introvert, there’s still a part of you who needs to be with people in certain amounts.

A 75-yo Harvard Study showed that the happiest people are the ones with flourishing relationships. (Of course, there’s plenty of things to qualify regarding that which I can’t go into here.)

And there’s this one movie based on a true story of a boy who went to the wilderness in Canada on his own in search of something and his biggest a-ha moment was that “HAPPINESS IS REAL ONLY WHEN ITS SHARED.”

I’m sharing these so you know this is a part of you.

Part of your soul’s evolution is stepping into your uniqueness that serves the whole.

And you can’t do that if you make or strive to become the same as others.

Comparison stops you from appreciating yourself and your uniqueness. It leaks your energy outside of yourself, instead of being committed to your own personal growth. It also stops you from truly connecting with others because you’ll always feel like you’re either less than or more than someone else.

Comparison stops women from reaching out to each other and receive the support that only women can bring to each other when together.

We have similarities but its our individual contributions that make the whole cohesive.

Subconscious Beliefs

We weren’t originally like this. Whatever we were taught growing up, whatever we gained from our experiences (either helpful or not), how we learned to handle life have etched themselves into our subconscious and eventually formed these beliefs.

Sometimes, we feel disempowered because we don’t realise we’re being run by our subconscious beliefs and it feels like we’re stuck where we’re at.

For example, do you suffer from wanting to achieve so much? Like getting that next degree. Or going to that course. Or climbing the corporate ladder. And when you’ve achieved all that, it doesn’t seem to feel like how you’d hoped it would. So you go on again to the next big thing which is “meant” to fulfil your desires.

But when will it ever be enough? It can feel disempowering if whatever we achieve doesn’t fill us up because we subconsciously want to keep on reaching for the next big thing.

I don’t have anything against success or continuous learning but you know when its getting too much that you’re tiring yourself out and you’re driven by it so much that everything else seems inconsequential.

This also shows up in other ways as going for training after training but never launching your business and offering your services or products.

Or not giving yourself the chance to apply what you learned where most likely you’ll actually learn more.

Wisdom is gained from knowledge plus experience. And what’s great about this is that this wisdom you gain is actually the unveiling of your particular soul blueprint.

You become truer and truer to you. And you learn to navigate this lifetime according to you, and not other’s expectation or requirement of you.

When people talk about “finding themselves”, this is a big part of it.

Gratitude and appreciation make you see you are already ENOUGH.

In summary, if you’d like to reverse the feeling of being disempowered, establish a self-care routine, become clear on who you truly are, and align your values to what you desire to happen in your life.

If you need support, I invite you to work with me.