Empowerment: This is Your Life… Your JourneyStacey Blanton
This topic was created due to many conversations with our tattoo removal clients. Clients that hesitated for months even years before they finally were ready to “pull the trigger” and get their tattoo removed. WHY? Because many felt that getting their tattoo removed would mean admitting to the world they made a mistake! That simply is not the case. Tattoos and tattoo removal are part of our stories.. And by worrying what others will say and think- well.. We are giving our power away…read on for more insight.
In the previous post (link to blog entry entitled “Are you Grateful for this year?”), we’ve discussed effective ways on how to unfold the year that’s about to come to an end and outline the most important steps you’ve taken in your journey of 2016. Where you are now-and how to step into the 2017 with the best, the most empowered version of your Self. This will be the topic of this post.
Gratitude, as your powerful weapon of choice, will help you attract those things that are important to you, into your life for 2017. As we’ve mentioned, adopting an attitude of thankfulness is the first stage in your journey and it’s not always easy to take this step. You may not be grateful for having been sick in a hospital bed for a few weeks – but you can be grateful that you have had time when you could be quiet, away from the rush of life and focused on what’s important again or you had the chance to learn something new, such as: what is the purpose of being here, why did this happen to me, what is the message in all this for me? You may not be grateful for getting a divorce, but be grateful that new opportunities await you and that you have learnt enough to reach this new stage in your life.
Whatever the difficult circumstances you’ve encountered, that came by accident or as a direct result of your own choices and decisions, be aware that they CAN be left behind and they don’t need to have the impact on your future life.
This is your journey.
Your personal strengths, such as the ability to reflect on the goodness in your life through gratitude, will help you understand your own capabilities – by empowering yourself and increasing your self-confidence.
Self-empowerment is the key term – this is a personal process that comes from the inside. Ever felt like you’re not given enough support?
Guess what! Support is good, it’s handy, it testifies that the people around us care about us. But it is not essential in our struggle to make a change! If you allow another individual to empower you – such as your partner, your coworker, and your friends – you also give them the ability to remove that power and leave you vulnerable. Just like you don’t really need others to tell you “You can do this”, you can’t allow to be affected by anyone’s lack of faith in you. You are the only one who can empower yourself and who can pull the strings of your own actions.
The unwanted events from the past are not the permanent marks throughout your journey, and you don’t have to continue the ride alongside them. With the inner strength and determination, you can make them leave the train, as you continue on your own.
The same is with physical marks of your past. Your style, appearance, bodily shape, tattoos – all that testify of sentiments of the past, that were once ruled every aspect of your conscious life – you have the power to alter those images of your body, with enough determination and proper resources.
Self-empowerment in a nutshell
The keys to self-empowerment include:
No one likes the feeling they’ve failed or worse – for others to recognize their failure. When setting our goals, we often create a “fall-back card”, we can play when we are not successful so that that we can blame someone or something else for the situation we ended up in. How about asking yourself – “How did I contribute to this? What did I do to lead me to where I am?” The more individual responsibility we take – the more control; and the more control we have over things, the more likely we will obtain our goals. Taking responsibility for our actions also makes us feel good about ourselves and frees us of negative behavior such as anger, fear, bitterness, resentment and uncertainty.
Ability to vocalize your ownership over certain actions means you’ve mastered the control of the situation. Being accountable not only means being responsible for something but also ultimately being answerable for your actions.
By being self-empowered you are not self-centered or focused on making yourself the star of the team. Instead, you are well-rounded, a team-player, confident in your abilities, in tune with your capabilities, and most certainly an inspiration to those around you.
The capacity within your ability to deal with change and continue to develop, no matter how difficult it may seem – it doesn’t mean you’re becoming insensitive; it’s developing your primeval urge for survival, because when the times get tough – the tough get going.
As mentioned in (link to blog entry entitled “Are you Grateful for this year?”), focusing on the good bits does attract positive vibes and allows you to analyze where you stand from a more objective point of view, freed from guilt or stress. Keeping a journal might help in this process. Effective journal writing will aid in your self-discovery process allowing you to reflect on your likes, dis-likes, interests, emotions, processes, thoughts, and attitude.
By making your decisions to alter things in your life path, you visualize yourself better and happier. Having faith that you will succeed in achieving your goals will keep you going throughout. How to maintain it, you wonder. You promote the process of strengthening your faith when you do what is right—knowing that your actions are true to your personality and your aspirations for the future, you will see that increased faith always follows.
Choose your labels.
We all identify ourselves with the labels used to describe us, and unfortunately so many of us hold on to those that reflect something negative about us. They really are like stickers right on our face, preventing us from overcoming the past and embracing our opportunities in the future. If we continue to go back to that elementary school where we were bullied for our choice of dressing style or to the locker room where we were body shamed, or to that office where we were told we’re just not good enough for promotion, we risk of staying locked in there forever.
And even the good things that have happened – when we were once rebellious or wanted to look different and had some more or less permanent change in our appearance – a tattoo, a piercing or an aesthetic procedure – when they are no longer part of us, the look of them keeps us locked in a persona that we once were, preventing us from moving on and sticking unwanted labels on us.
We can decide what to do next and which label will be our mantra.
So instead of describing yourself as “the guy with the smudgy tattoo of ex ‘s name on his biceps” or “the girl that let her bff practice her tattooing skills on her”, you can choose to leave all that behind and again be “the handsome guy in a smart suit”, “the quirky girl with a lovely smile” or just you, your plain name and a mystery behind it, with no labels on your skin whose meaning you’re so annoyingly explaining to everyone.
Your past is not your destiny.
It didn’t “stain” you nor marked you for good. Whatever you’ve gone through, it was worth the experience, because it made you who you are today, and today you do have a choice of how do you wish to look like in future.
The past has many tricks it can play on you – and one of them is the sensation of failure if you admit you regret your past decisions and actions. You might be able to visualize your parents when you tell them you’re getting rid of your tattoo – “So why’d you had it in the first place?” “We told you so!” or your friends – “You’ll have an ugly scar!” “It still looks great, why do that?” “But it’s who you are!” – these are people who care about you – but, and a million times – but – this is your own journey. You and your skin stay together on your own when the lights go off. And you know that getting a tattoo was something meaningful to you at the time you did it – it was not a mistake and it really was a part of you. That is – a part of who you once were. Leaving your tattoo behind is not betraying the feelings you once had, but it does mean creating a clear path to the new things to come. And all that’s gone through your mind lead you to here, so you must continue regardless of judgements of doubts expressed by your environment.
It is scary – because it should be.
Laying off your old self will make you wonder if this is what you truly want. Re-shaping and re-inventing your persona can be scary, and in terms of tattoo removal – it can be even scarier than actually getting a tattoo done. Molding your future is not meant to be easy – all those who have made big changes in their lives know this, as well as of the pitfalls in this process.
As you’re stepping out and announcing to everyone that this is who you are now, you will be tempted to crawl back into your cave of dissatisfaction and stay comforted with who you are now, making excuses and telling yourself that the current state – it’s not… actually… so bad… I guess?
Every journey, especially the one where you are struggling with your past self, will have doubts. They will be empowered by your fear if the tattoo removal will work, if you’ll be able to afford it throughout, if it’s going to hurt – etc. etc.
But just like you can congratulate yourself now for having gotten so far whilst feeling unhappy with the appearance of your own skin, you will have to encourage yourself and be reminded that there’s a big prize at the end of this journey. It is called – your future. It will be clear, open and ready to be shaped into whatever you decide. Do you want to start a new career? To meet someone new? To go back to school? Or simply to change the way you look and communicate to people around you? You can do everything you set your mind to.
And for all the obstacles from your past – they are here temporarily, just to remind you how far you’ve gone through and how much you’ve grown already.
Take your power back.. think of your goals for 2017!
If you are reading this blog and have landed on our website you are definitely pondering change..change that includes changing your story and your tattoo. Call us to schedule your complimentary consultation and take the first step to Empowering the new you!
Cheers to 2017!