Since the start of the pandemic our social media usage has increased exponentially. We see the lives of others unfolding before our eyes and those lives look amazing! We see marriages and happy children, weight loss journeys and new businesses starting up, and though we are happy for those social media acquaintances, it can make us feel ineffective. Personal empowerment is less about how we compare to others and much more about how we compare ourselves to our own goals. Personal empowerment involves taking the reins of one’s own life and exercising one’s own agency to achieve goals. But how do we conquer that nagging feeling of inadequacy and regaining autonomy over our own destinies? Here are some ideas:
- Be open – Try something new! Broaden your job search to include career options. Expand your dating profile. Take a different route home. Listen to a new album in its entirety. Sometimes we are stuck in our old habits and patterns and that rut can be difficult to escape. Force yourself to order something different from life’s menu and watch how empowering it feels!
- Focus on YOU – can you imagine trying to run a race while looking at the people beside you? Focus on your own path. This can be difficult when bombarded with images and stories about highly successful people. Remember that they are on their journey and you are on yours. You determine what success means for you. You determine and count your own wins.
- Get out there – let everyone know what you are looking for in life. If you want a new home, a new job a new relationship, get out there and meet people. Announce to the world your intentions and watch the world provide.
- Be patient with yourself. There is nothing that creates feelings of inadequacy more than punishing yourself for not being the you you believe you should be. Release yourself from that pressure! It is keeping you from actually achieving. Remind yourself that you are right where you are supposed to be…moving forward. Stop and congratulate yourself for the growth you have manifested thus far.
Dr. Kanika Bell is a licensed psychologist, specializing in clinical and forensic psychology, in the Atlanta area. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Spelman College and received her Masters and Doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Auburn University. She is co-owner of A.T.L. Psychotherapy and Consulting Services, LLC in Atlanta, GA where she provides therapy to children, adults, couples and families. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Clark Atlanta University. Dr. Bell’s passion is assisting clients and students in recognizing and maximizing their greatness. Her most recent project is a co-edited volume entitled Black Women’s Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability and is currently working on an additional volume focusing on the particular mental health needs of Women of Color.