How To Empower Ourselves (And Those Around Us) We often lift and support others, but how many times do we extend the same kindness and thoughtfulness to ourselves?

By Aakanksha Tangri

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When was the last time you took a moment between the never-ending Zoom calls and the chaos of working from home to stop and appreciate how far you have come in the past year? For many of us, we are so focused on the next thing on our to-do list or our list of goals that we often don't stop to appreciate what we have accomplished till now. These accomplishments don't even have to be something mammoth, even a simple goal of working out when you thought you couldn't, or getting through your unread emails is worthy of appreciation. We often lift and support others, but how many times do we extend the same kindness and thoughtfulness to ourselves? Here are a few ways you can go about empowering yourselves, and those around you:

1. Find a mentor

Nobody is self-made in this world. Everyone has had to reach out for help, support, and collaborations in their careers and their entrepreneurial journeys. It is important to find a mentor who can guide you through the rough days, serve as a sounding board when you're overwhelmed, and who you can turn to for wisdom when you need to. Knowing you have a support system you can turn to and rely on will give you that boost of confidence during the tough moments, particularly when you are making key decisions. Reach out to people you admire and want to learn from- ask them if they have the time and space to mentor you, or to meet for virtual coffee dates, or in person, if they're comfortable.

2. Mentor someone

You have to give back- that's how we all grow. When you empower others, you also empower yourself. If you're an executive, look at tying up with a school or your alma mater to regularly mentor young kids, or initiate a mentoring program in your organization for those who are just kickstarting their careers. Remember how many times you wished you had someone with more experience you could turn to even for the most mundane of things? Now is your chance to ensure those following in your footsteps have the support they need to progress in their careers. Some of the benefits of mentoring someone: you improve your leadership skills and confidence, reiterate your own knowledge, and delve deeper into your own thinking during the process, all of which play a key role in empowering yourself. You may also learn something new or get insight into the thinking of the younger generation, which can help with your own growth and skill development.

Related: How Entrepreneurs Can Foster An Inclusive Culture In Their Startups (From Day One)

3. Find something you love, but it doesn't have to be your work

We know the old adage "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life." Well, it's really not as easy as that. We often get into careers because of family circumstances, financial responsibilities, a poor economy, or for the practicality of it. And sometimes, even if you're doing what you love, it won't necessarily be rainbows and unicorns. You're going to face a lot of challenges during your professional life, and that's only natural. This is why it's important to have an identity that's separate from what you do for a living. Usually one of the first questions we ask someone when we meet them is: "So, what do you do?" We instantly equate their worth with their work. Think about who you are outside of your professional life. What do you care about? What makes you unique? What makes you proud of yourself that isn't related to work? This will help ensure that when you have a bad day or are having a tough time at work, you know you are more than your job title.

4. Reflect and reset

Set aside time during the week or the month -whatever works best for you- to look back, and reflect on the highs and lows. What were the challenges you faced? What were the positive aspects? Were you able to meet the goals you set for yourself, or do you need to revisit them? Have an honest conversation with yourself. This will allow you to focus on your strengths and areas for growth, as well as where you need additional support or need to change how you approach a particular task. Objectively evaluating yourself will aid you in your journey to grow and uplift yourself.

Related: Four Ways Businesses Can Support Employees' Mental Health Amid COVID-19

Aakanksha Tangri

Founder, Re:Set

Aakanksha Tangri is founder of Re:Set, which helps organizations boost employee retention, productivity and motivation with end-to-end employee well-being programs. Re:Set offers workplace wellness programs that cater to individuals across all professional levels, from executives to gig-economy workers in your organization. 

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