September 10: Empowering vs. Enabling

This article is about two very different topics:  Empowerment and unhelpful enabling.

Empowerment inspires others to be their best selves.  Empowerment is teaching and expecting others to do things for themselves that they can and should., rather than allowing them to depend on others to do everything for them.  When we show and teach others, especially our children and loved ones, to do the things for themselves that are THEIR responsibility, it helps them to build confidence and strength.  It inspires them to go in the direction most optimal for THEM and gives them the momentum needed to start down a pathway which will empower them to help THEMSELVES add value to their lives and the lives of everyone around them.  We empower others with encouragement, positivity, confidence, empathy, understanding, and unconditional love.  We listen.  We are there for support.  We do not take over and do that which they can do for themselves.  We show them how and let them try, then try again and again.  Doing everything for them takes away from them the opportunity for personal growth and evolution.

Enabling is when we do something for others that they can and should do for themselves.  When we do something for someone else that they can and should be doing for them self, we allow them to use us.  Sometimes others prefer this “easy” way of life and they make it a habit, eventually destroying every relationship they then create with high expectations of others, causing bitterness, resentment, and disconnection.  When we do everything for others, we take away their power.  We make them weak.  We create a situation in which they no longer have the opportunity to build confidence and strength.  They no longer see the need to work towards something they need or want to accomplish or acquire because we are GIVING it to them.  They become complacent and needy.  Soon, the dynamics of the relationship change in many ways.  Soon, all of our energy is spent taking care of someone who can and should be taking care of them self, but instead they are choosing to let us do it for them.  This doesn’t always happen, depending on the character of the people involved, the clarity of boundaries expressed and practiced, and the emotional intelligence being upgraded, but when we create situations with this lifestyle as an option, it is much more likely to happen than not.

Sometimes it is helpful to re-assess and re-evaluate how we are helping others and simply say:

Allowing others the opportunity to learn how to help themselves and take care of themselves can be more valuable than any thing or any amount of money we give.

Today I will take a good look at myself and decide if I am empowering others, or enabling them.  If I am being enabled by others, I will take back my responsibility, power and control.  I will choose to do what I can and should be doing for myself.  I will make any improvements or changes which I think are necessary.  I will stand by my decisions to help and empower others to care of themselves, regardless of any manipulation or control tactics they may use to get me to continue doing for them that what they are capable of doing.  I will protect my energy, conserve it, and use it to create a better life for myself and those I love.

One of the most helpful books I have come across concerning the topic of empowerment vs. enabling is Melody Beattie’s book, THE LANGUAGE OF LETTING GO.  I highly recommend buying it, or searching for today’s content on google.

Above is an example of what to put into the search line, then which one to click on for the daily read.  It is broken up into daily sections, and the section only takes a few minutes to complete each day.

goodinthehead is also on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.  Follow me there, as well, for daily messages, inspiration, motivation, and reminders.  Please pay it forward, and share any message which may empower someone you love or may care about.  It is through adding value to others by sharing and spreading wisdom, that we become more valuable as individuals, and collectively, as a whole, we all become wiser.

Remember:  Mindset matters.  Character counts.  That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives.  WE CREATE our realities.

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