You might be surprised to learn that it is, in truth, quite easy to empower ourselves and thus consequently empower others.
By learning to appreciate and understand that everyone – no matter who they are or what they have done – is special and unique, we find that our attitude towards them changes.
It’s easy to say that the world is full of greedy, selfish and stupid people, and possibly even easier to find arguments to support that, but what should also be easy to understand is that by going through life with this view and attitude, you do yourself and others around you a great disservice.
Grimly holding on to and nurturing a negative attitude about life and people in general will do nothing for your own happiness and fulfillment, or that of others.
Grasp the Fact that Everyone Has Value
Every individual, no matter how greedy, selfish and stupid they may superficially seem, has tremendous potential hidden deep within them. For this reason – if perhaps for no other – they deserve your respect.
By learning to and urging yourself to see beyond peoples’ imperfections and failings you will begin to see that everyone – including the most seemingly unlikely people – have buried somewhere within them inner beauty, depth, wisdom and incredible potential and possibilities.
When you begin to recognize this and mentally take it on board, it becomes much easier to let go of negative thoughts and preoccupations about other people and instead to acknowledge that they are deserving of respect.
People hurt or abuse others when they themselves have been hurt or abused. You never know what someone, who seems to arouse your anger or contempt, has actually been through until you see life through their eyes.
And if the apparent greed or arrogance of some people seems to you to be too much, ask yourself honestly if these same tendencies do not exist within yourself. Ask yourself that if you’d been in the same circumstances, brought up with the same mindset or whatever, might you have held the same beliefs and acted in the same way? It can be a humbling question.
Changing Your View Of Other People Changes You
When you make a firm decision to positively change the way that you habitually interact with other people, you are taking a significant step towards personal growth, fulfillment and happiness.
Virtually everyone – whether they know it or not – needs to be able to experience and enjoy relationships with other people. We need to share our joys and sorrows, hopes, dreams and fears with at least one or two others almost as much as we need air and water.
A clear and firm acknowledgement of this will be very helpful in laying the foundation of a new, positive and beneficial approach toward building and maintaining meaningful relationships with others.
Instead of presupposing that it’s somehow appropriate or necessary to remain more or less aloof and distant from all but those closest to us, remember that by enriching others we enrich ourselves and our lives. What this means is that by making an effort to look for and see the positive reality that exists within everyone we find it much easier to naturally open up to them.
And when you open up to them you find that people will respond positively and accept you as you are. Suddenly instead of feeling vulnerable and somewhat fearful and suspicious, you – and they – naturally and almost automatically become more relaxed, more free, more alive.
And when this happens all contact, no matter how seemingly fleeting or insignificant, becomes mutually meaningful and enriching.
Begin Enriching The Lives Of Others
So how do we empower ourselves by doing the same for others? It is of course almost absurdly simple. By making the effort – initially a little difficult but thereafter progressively easier – to let go of our negative assumptions about people and allow ourselves to come out of our shells, we find that it really does cost nothing to inspire people with genuine praise.
Instead of feeling inwardly grouchy or envious about a friend’s new outfit, go out of your way to praise her for her fine judgement and dress sense.
Instead of giving a reluctant grunt of acknowledgement for service over a counter or in a restaurant or somewhere, tell them that they’re doing a great job and that their service has improved your day.
Praise your children, your lover, your friends, your husband, wife, mother or father. You could even praise your boss!
When people are treated this way, they will almost always respond positively in one way or another because you have transmitted positive thought energy to them, enlivening and inspiring them with a realization and/or a reminder of the riches they have within them and of who they really are underneath.
And of course you can’t transmit positive thought energy without becoming aware of it yourself. When you uplift and inspire others, you uplift and inspire yourself.
Love Thy Neighbor – Love Thyself
Of course it can be difficult to see the wonder, beauty and potential that lies deep within others if you don’t believe that it exists within yourself. Negative self-belief is nothing other than delusional thinking. In your own way and in reality you are just as good as anyone else.
You have your own innate talents, abilities and potential to succeed in anything that you really put your mind to, even if you don’t yet know it. You are totally unique and have within you more power and creativity than in your wildest dreams.
Give yourself a chance and learn to love yourself because you are worth it. You have to accept and respect yourself before you can really reap the benefits that come with accepting and respecting others.
About the Author
Kenneth McRae is a student of psychology and hypnosis and an author who has written many articles on self esteem and confidence building, relationship advice, dealing with and overcoming phobias and much more.