You can’t change people, but you can help empower them to change.

Nov 18, 2023 | Blog

One of the most valuable lessons we learn in life is that we cannot change other people, no matter how hard we try. This might be frustrating, especially when we see a loved one trapped in harmful habits, making poor choices, or stuck in a toxic environment. But the reality is, change is an internal process and something that one must want for themselves before it can truly happen. What we can do, however, is empower them to change.

Empowerment is about providing people with the tools, resources, encouragement, and opportunities they need to make changes in their own lives. Rather than dictating or imposing, it’s about creating an environment in which they feel able and motivated to evolve. The empowering approach values personal choice, self-efficacy, and self-determination. It is recognising the potential in others and aiding them in realising it for themselves.

There are a number of ways to empower someone towards positive change. Firstly, you can help them build their self-awareness. This involves understanding their emotions, recognising their strengths and weaknesses, identifying their values, and realising the impact of their actions. Providing constructive feedback can aid this process.

Encourage them to set their own goals and plans for change. Instead of trying to enforce your vision for their life, respect their autonomy. Supporting someone in setting realistic goals and making plans can be very empowering.

Building their confidence is another important step in empowering people. Believing in their capabilities and helping them to recognise their accomplishments and potentials can strengthen their belief in their own ability to effect change. This belief is a powerful driver of behaviour.

Create a safe space for them to express themselves, share their feelings and concerns without judgment. It’s vital for people to know that their thoughts and feelings are validated and that they’re not alone.

In addition, helping them access the resources and support they need can be crucial. Whether that’s knowledge, skills, professional support, or community connections – the right resources can be powerful tools in making a change.

Last but not least, demonstrate through your own actions that change is possible. Be a positive role model by embodying resilience, patience, self-improvement, and growth.

Ultimately, each individual is responsible for their own journey and growth. By providing a helping hand and an empowering environment, we can inspire others to take that first step on their path to change. Instead of trying to change people, focus on empowering them to initiate and carry forward their own transformation.

It can be a daunting prospect when you’re feeling low, anxious, or depressed, but taking the first step towards help and healing can be the most significant one. There are many support services and organisations in Australia, all working collaboratively under the model of care, offering awareness, counselling, information, and coaching/mentoring to those in need. Some well-known examples are Beyond Blue, Lifeline, and RU Okay day, all offering free support services nationally.

The challenge often lies in finding your purpose and your reason to make a change. Sometimes we get stuck in our negative thought patterns, excuses, or circumstances, which can hinder our ability to seek help and start our journey towards healing. But remember, change is possible, and it starts with taking responsibility for your own well-being.

If you’re struggling with your mental health, there are steps you can take to get to the help and healing stages. Firstly, recognise the importance of self-care and self-love. This means making a conscious effort to prioritise your physical and emotional health. Simple practices such as regular exercise, eating nutritious food, practicing mindfulness, and getting adequate sleep can go a long way in helping you feel better.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Support is essential when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and it’s essential to remember that it’s okay not to be okay. The support services and organizations available are equipped with professionals and trained volunteers who are ready to help you through your struggles.

Lastly, set achievable goals and focus on what you can control. You may not be able to control external factors such as the pandemic or financial stresses, but you can control how you react to these situations. Small steps towards change can lead to significant outcomes in your overall well-being.

Remember, healing is a journey, and it takes time and effort. It may not be easy, but taking the first step towards change is the most significant one. With the help of support services and organizations in Australia, you can take control of your mental health and start your journey towards a healthier, happier you.