That is a pretty big word.
It has a lot of connotations, but even letting the word roll off your tongue can create a strong feeling that wraps around you.
But would you ever describe yourself as empowered?
And how can you become empowered?
Big questions to go with a big word.
But yesterday I had them answered.
I was invited by Bigger, Brighter, Bolder to attend their annual Empowerment and Firewalk day. BBB is an outstanding company who look to improve business performance and individual performance through a success mindset.
My interest was immediately captured as I thrive on challenging myself and am also acutely aware that I have been feeling less than empowered of late and craved some support to boost both my own well being and my business focus.
For anyone not aware, two years ago my eldest daughter was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, my youngest daughter has had a variety of health complaints and suddenly spending five days in an office in my roles as a Recruitment Manager became impossible. Psychologically I was all over the place, exhausted with hospital runs, and scared for my children. Time wise I spent more time with the NHS than my team.
So I made a decision to change my career from the one that had sustained me for over a decade and became my own boss, working my own hours at a time to suit. I took this little space I own on the Internet to a more professional level. Using it as a platform to promote myself as a copywriter and blogger, I started networking with brands in order to secure new opportunities.
What started as a hobby became a means to sustain part of the family income. While freelancing isn’t a typical 9-to-5 job, I still need to figure out the proper withholding amount for my new income. All in due time though, right?
This September my youngest started school and I thought it would give me an opportunity to grow more and take my business in new directions. But is has been more challenging than imagined, I have been scared to push through some barriers, fear has literally kept me standing still.
The firewalk as an empowerment activity appealed because a quick Google search told me this could be what I needed to help me conquer the fear I have in taking the work I do to the next level. They help confront fear, inspire creativity and challenge boundaries.
If it worked I could already envision the benefits in my personal and business life.
The day was led by a chap called George Swift, an instantly captivating speaker who has his audience on side immediately through a mix of humour and plain speaking.
Five hours listening to George talk and joining in the activities left me feeling energised and brimming with creative ideas and ambition for how to move forward past my own perceived limitations. And that was before I attempted the firewalk.
George shows how you need to understand your own brain in order to move forward, and using his audience he explains how the human race has evolved and how the main factor that holds us all back is fear.
As an entrepreneur I am very conscious that it is fear of failure that often stops me achieving my goals as it often wins over my drive to succeed.
I wanted to challenge this, and learn a new way of telling my mind that I can succeed and fear of failure won’t hold me back.
For me, attending yesterdays seminar was all about starting the process of learning a new mindset for success.
During the day I found myself energised, challenged to a point of real uncomfortableness and daring to dream dreams that have not surfaced for a long time.
The firewalk was at the close of the session, and it was dark and cold as we all gathered outside, the only heat coming from the 1000 degree coals that were awaiting my feet.
I found myself eager to walk across the burning embers, knowing from all I had learnt about myself, my mindset, my brain during the day, that I had the confidence and belief to walk across the coals without feeling pain.
The fear was merely a dull memory at the time, I had earlier written down my worse inhibitions that hold me back and then literally thrown them into the fire, and now I was going to walk over their remains, stomping them into ash.
George asked if I was ready and I said yes and stepped out onto the heat that I could feel wrapping around my body.
I felt no pain, none of the heat that surrounded me made any impact on my feet. It felt like crunching paper underfoot, I thought I could have danced on the red hot coals and have never felt a thing.
I finished the walk and felt like an achieved, like I had let go of the fear that has been holding me back professionally and personally. achieving a firewalk made me believe I can do anything if I approach it with the right mindset.
To say the day was a success is an understatement.
To find out more about Bigger, Brighter, Bolder, please visit their website. As well as an annual firewalk event they also offer Success Groups, Success briefings, and performance coaching. George is exceptional at what he does.
I have been on many personal development courses, and have not been as immediately engaged as how I was when George started to speak. What he says makes absolute sense and gives you the confidence to believe in yourself and your business ambitions.
And I think everyone should do a Firewalk!