Modern society imposes many limitations on the holistic development of a person, at times instilling into people that their lives are dependent on the other’s will. Individuals who consume too much of media’s content often start perceiving themselves as powerless and unable to change the unfavorable situation they find themselves in. The feeling of helplessness gives rise to the lack of responsibility for one’s actions and behavior and ultimately hampers any person’s positive outcomes in life. Thus, learning how to counter such perceptions and emotions becomes a matter of personal well-being and, especially, mental health. The book The Empowerment Mindset: Success Through Self-Knowledge by Calvin Helin is a great source of information and practical advice on the topic of mastering self-reliance and gaining control over one’s life. The aim of this paper is to assist myself in establishing an empowerment mindset by reflecting on the ten laws outlined in the aforementioned book and discussing how such a mindset affects personal growth.
Before moving onto exploring the main topics outlined earlier, it is important to define the basic concepts which will be crucial for understanding the ideas examined in this paper. The primary term which will be extensively used here is empowerment, and it has numerous definitions accumulated over the years of research. Yet, the one which is most relevant for the current paper is the view that empowerment constitutes inner energy and the sense of maintaining personal vitality (Seaward, 2019). In other words, it entails being able to utilize one’s mental and physical resources to achieve continuous success. While another significant term, empowerment mindset, can be described as a particular way of living which enables a person to recognize and maximize their potential on a daily basis (Helin, 2014). Thus, empowerment and empowerment mindset become essential for all people who wish to be excellent performers in any activity and sphere.
An individual striving for improvements can derive a lot of value from the laws described by Helin in his book. The first law implies claiming full responsibility for one’s actions and being able to adapt to any circumstance in order to effect positive changes in one’s life (Helin, 2014). This law is directly linked to building an empowerment mindset since responsibility plays a major role in a person’s conviction that they are capable of transforming the world around them. When an individual does not want to be accountable for their conduct, they expect others to step in and essentially raise them out of their predicament. Yet, in reality, such scenarios are rare, and everyone has to recognize that the agency to achieve better outcomes from the ability to own one’s mistakes and missteps.
Many people often struggle to overcome their negative mindset, which affects their perception of the world and prevents them from achieving new heights. The second law teaches that responsibility for one’s life can assist individuals in combating toxic feelings and emotions sabotaging their mental health (Helin, 2014). This law is particularly relevant for me since whenever I face challenges, I remind myself that solving these problems will benefit me more than trying to escape them, which reinforces my empowerment mindset. Covey’s (2013) advice of creating the ultimate goal and envisioning the outcome of overcoming a challenge can help a person to follow the aforementioned law. Personally, claiming responsibility for my life always contributes to my sense of self-reliance, and visualizing a positive end-situation allows me to deal with problems.
Another barrier many people encounter on their path to excellence is extreme self-assuredness. The third law in Helin’s book states that improving one’s life takes recognizing the constraints of the ego and engaging in humility (Helin, 2014). Essentially, when people put themselves above others, they cannot move forward since advancements in life are always a matter of collaboration. Covey (2013) expands on this idea by claiming that a successful person must think in terms of synergy and seek win-win solutions when interacting with other people. It means that self-reliance must not interfere with a person’s ability to establish relations which can benefit them and their partners. This law is important for building my empowerment-mindset because it teaches me not to stay overly-focused on myself alone and listen to and learn from others.
People also often experience difficulty moving forward when they spend too much time reflecting on their current state. The fourth law outlined by Helin postulates that to attain the coveted future, one has to accept their circumstances as a given and focus on the matters which they can control (Helin, 2014). This rule is extremely beneficial for ensuring an empowerment mindset since it makes it clear that a person should not waste their time and effort on the factors which lie beyond their purview. Instead, they invest their resources into changing the circumstances they are capable of transforming. This principle can be applied with the help of time management matrix which will enable an individual to range their activities according to their urgency (Covey, 2013). By integrating the notion of pursuing matters of greater urgency and focusing on factors under control, any person will achieve extremely positive results.
When speaking of forming an empowerment mindset, one should not underestimate the significance of subliminal factors. The fifth law states that the unconscious mind of a person experiences the impact of the conscious one, which validates techniques such as visualization and actualization (Helin, 2014). This law is once again crucial for the empowerment mindset because it adjusts a person’s expectations from their life and increases their self-reliance. The principle correlates with Covey’s (2013) view that an individual must be proactive, ready to take the initiative, to succeed. I noticed that whenever I choose responsibility over dependence and proactiveness over reactiveness, I no longer experience self-doubt and fear and instead demonstrate excellent performance in any field.
The emotional factors deserve to be discussed separately since they have a crucial role in ensuring a strong empowerment mindset. According to the sixth law, the ability to take positive action and adapt to challenging circumstances comes from utilizing personal spiritual, and emotional resources (Helin, 2014). The value of this principle for empowerment mindset lies in the necessity to approach every activity with gratefulness and respect. Covey (2013) explains this notion by introducing the concept of emotional bank account, which serves as a metaphor for relationships which grow stronger if both parties are committed to trust each other. In my view, an empowerment mindset is impossible to achieve without empathy, kindness, and honesty shown towards other people. A person who losses connection with others soon fails to succeed in their actions since they no longer see any meaning in them since they do not have anyone to share their achievements with.
Visualization of positive outcomes must be performed with the complete shift in the thinking processes. As the seventh law states, the changes in life cannot occur without radical changes in thoughts since the latter determine the way people act in this world (Helin, 2014). Empowerment mindset is based on thoughts which have to be oriented towards continuous improvement and desire to achieve excellence despite any unfavorable circumstances. Thoughts are also interconnected with habits which influence life and predict certain positive and negative patterns in the future (Covey, 2013). Embracing an empowerment mindset means both discarding useless thoughts and habits and replacing them with beneficial ones. Personally, positive thinking always helps me focus on the task at hand and perform it at a good level.
Apart from emotions, a person striving to gain an empowerment mindset must align their views with a set of reliable values and morals. According to the eighth law, to achieve greater success, one has to utilize their values and attitudes, which will function as the foundation for one’s actions (Helin, 2014). An individual who truly has an empowerment mindset will always act ethically and morally without harming others. Moreover, they will seek to bring benefit to other people with their actions and not just themselves. According to Covey (2013, p. 195), “Peace of mind comes when your life is in harmony with true principles and values.” Having beliefs and values to rely on provides me with the sense of absolute empowerment and the desire to be helpful to others.
The last two laws are equally important for ensuring an empowerment mindset since they concern crucial elements such as hard work and life purpose, as well as a strategic plan. Namely, the eleventh law postulates that dedication to tireless work ultimately brings success (Helin, 2014). Based on my personal experiences, this principle is absolutely correct, but moreover, the hard work contributes to the sense of empowerment and helps achieve goals. Finally, the twelfth law highlights the necessity of having life goals and a strategic plan o attaining them to gain control over one’s destiny (Helin, 2014). Once again, this principle is extremely valuable for people to know since to function fully, individuals have to maintain certain objectives because otherwise, they may lose hope and any meaning of existence.
An empowerment mindset possesses a capacity to influence people’s both professional and personal growth, allowing them to succeed. Shephard et al. (2016) conducted a study where they measured how students at a university would respond to academic empowerment when given the freedom to set their own goals and achieve them. The results showed that the students demonstrated leadership and were truly empowered when working on their own project. Empowerment mindset becomes a way of life when a person commits themselves to avoid negativity and taking full responsibility for their actions. It helps me understand that I have full control over my life by teaching me to see opportunities around me rather than barriers.
Calvin Helin, in his book, The Empowerment Mindset: Success Through Self-Knowledge, outlines the concept of an empowerment mindset and ten laws which form its basis. After reflecting on the principles presented by Helin, it becomes clear that an empowerment mindset is a tool which allows people to achieve success by focusing on their inner potential and maximizing it. For me, an empowerment mindset represents a way of living which I am trying to embrace to be a better person and a professional. Thus, an empowerment mindset can be view as a crucial element in the life of an individual who is willing to be in full control of their actions and is seeking to progress and develop.
Covey, S. R. (2013). The 7 habits of highly effective people. Simon & Schuster.
Helin, C. (2014). The empowerment mindset: Success through self-knowledge. Open Road Media.
Seaward, B. L. (2019). Essentials of managing stress. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Shephard, K., Brown, K., Connelly, S., Hall, M., Harraway, J., Martin, J., Mirosa, M., Payne-Harker, H., Payne-Harker, N., Rock, J., Simmons, E., & Stoddard, I. (2014). Empowering students in higher-education to teach and learn. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 52, 41–55. Web.