EMPOWERMENT with JiMin Kwon
Women empowerment has been a hot topic lately. What is it? It’s about helping women to adopt a can-do mindset. This article covers 5 things we can do to empower ourselves. Do you believe that you can do anything you set your mind to? If you answered ‘yes,’ excellent! Let me know in the comment section if you'd add anything else to the list below. If you answered ’no,’ then this article is for you. What’s getting in the way of your ‘can-do’ mindset? Some of the most common obstacles to feeling empowered include lack of confidence, fear of uncertainty, and self-limiting thoughts. Here are five things you can do to eliminate these obstacles and empower yourself:
Shift from a fixed to growth mindset. In today’s society, there’s a constant pressure to find our identity, to define who we are. Let go of the need to label yourself. For example: ‘I’m an introvert; I’m not good at networking.’ ‘I’m not a math person; I’ll let someone else take care of my finances.’ Identifying with specific traits leads to limiting beliefs. Refusing to be defined by certain traits will help you stay more adaptable to this ever-changing world. Remember: you are neither defined by your failures nor your successes. It’s possible to finally succeed at doing something you’ve tried and failed a while ago, and there is always something new to learn even after a series of successes. If you are struggling to get away from a fixed mindset, I highly recommend reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dwek.
Find women mentors and ask for their advice. If you are part of an organization where you want to stay and be promoted, seek mentorship from the women leaders of your organization. If your organization lacks women leaders, seek mentors outside of your own institution. If you don’t belong to any organization or you are currently not part of the field you want to be in, interviewing women who are at a place you want to be is a great way to find mentorship/friendship.
Remember that you are unique. Sometimes you’ll find that nobody has done what you want to do, and so you have to pave your own way. Before I started modeling as a professional philosopher, for example, I'd never heard of scholars pursuing modeling, which made me doubt whether it was feasible at all. Eventually, however, I was lucky enough to find women in both academia and modeling who could guide me in each respective field. You, too, are capable of creating your own path.
Don’t compare, support one another. We are interdependent and cannot succeed without the support of others. Other women (or men) are not your competition. For no one else can do what you are capable of doing exactly the way you do. Remembering this will help you stay grounded in creating your own path instead of feeling competitive and insecure. Additionally, remembering that each person is unique helps prevent feeling disappointed when you don’t find any mentors whose work aligns with your vision.
Create an empowering environment for yourself. This one is easier said than done, because we often don’t get to choose our environment, such as family or friends. However, it is possible to pioneer a new environment in case your current environment is not conducive to your success. It’s important to set boundaries and create a distance even with your loved ones, if they are the ones who are constantly doubting you and bringing you down with negativity. Surround yourself with those who believe in you. The ultimate aim is to believe in yourself, but having at least one other person who believes in you can catalyze the process of getting there. (Thanks to my sister Valeria and my boyfriend Adal for believing in me before I was able to believe in myself. ♥)