August 16th, 2009 2:55 PM by Lehel Szucs
Empower or Enable - By Sharmen Lane
Do you enable or empower the people around you?
Imagine for a moment that you're having a bad day. Not too hard to do, right, as we've all had them. Imagine now calling someone close to you, who you need to talk to, to help you through it. You tell them all the thoughts and feelings you're having -- the tough time at work, or the difficulties with your teenager, or the argument you had with your spouse. Everything just doesn't seem to be going the way you want it to. Money's tight, work is slow, and home life just downright sucks. Your friend says, "Suck it up and quit your complaining. It could be worse. What about the poverty in Africa or the war in Russia? You don't have it so bad." Does this make you feel better or worse?
Have you ever heard the saying, "I was complaining of my shoes, until I saw the man with no feet"? Now, I agree, things could always be worse. Somewhere, someone has it worse. However, does that change our reality? After all, we are living our life, not someone else's. Whatever is happening to us, at that moment, is real and doesn't feel so great. Does denying that or focusing on another's reality change yours? NO! Right now, in this place, in this moment, this reality sucks. Does someone telling you that you don't have it so bad empower you or enable you? Think about the opposite. If someone was to communicate on an understanding level, where they empathize and understand, would that make you feel better or worse?
I ask you this so you will think before you speak when someone is sharing their moment of despair, sadness, disappointment, or whatever with you. Doesn't it feel like a slap in the face when someone basically tells you that what you are feeling isn't important or real? I'm sure your answer is yes. Are you thinking, "Yes, but if I indulge them in their sadness, aren't I just enabling them to wallow in their pessimism?"? I personally don't think so. I think when I am given the forum and the safe place to share my real true feelings and have a sympathetic or understanding ear, I feel better and am able to move through it faster. Many times, just having a shoulder to lean on is enough to help you see through the darkness and reach the light. It allows me to focus on the solution, instead of the problem. I think that is empowering, not enabling.
Which do you prefer? Do you prefer to have the cold, swift kick in the rear, or do you prefer an understanding lending ear?
I ask you to think about this question, "Do I empower or enable?" Don't you want to be the one who helps someone see the light at the end of the tunnel, instead of being the one who says that your thoughts and feelings, and quite frankly your reality, aren't important because someone else's is worse? I believe if you empower others, then you can change the world.
For more information, visit http://www.sharspeaks.com
About the Author: Sharmen Lane -- motivational speaker, author, and radio host -- INSPIRES you to find your passion, MOTIVATES you to take action, and EMPOWERS you to go from now to wow. Shar gives you the tools and strategies to overcome life's everyday challenges. Are you procrastinating, setting goals and not achieving them, feeling down in the dumps, unproductive, or stuck in a rut?
Shar helps you by identifying the problem areas and delivering strategies that are customized to create the desired results. She provides proven techniques to help you overcome obstacles and roadblocks to achieve success. She delivers tools that provide step-by-step details and instructions to get you from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow.
Sharmen Lane has personally gone from manicurist to millionaire and has trained, managed, and coached thousands of individuals and corporations on what it takes to get what they want for their business and personal lives.