27. The Ultimate Solution to Managing Your Fears: Develop an “Empowered” Personality

When you start making progress on your procrastination problem, your personality will change. That sounds scary, but it is actually a good thing, because it means that you will be becoming more effective and successful. In fact, you’ll be developing what I call an “empowered personality.”

An empowered person is someone who has made great strides in conquering her obstacles and, as a result, is actually achieving what she wants to achieve. There are empowered people in every field, and you should seek them out and enlist them as role models and mentors.

Below, I describe the empowered mindset and compare it with its opposite, the unempowered mindset.

Empowered People versus Unempowered People

Empowered people tend to be . . .

• Positive

• Action-oriented

• Planning-oriented

• Solution-oriented

• Optimistic

They tend to . . .

• Feel empowered and in control

• Take responsibility

• Not take difficult situations personally

• Help others

Unempowered people, in contrast, tend to be . . .

• Negative

• Passive (not action-oriented)

• Planning-averse

• Blame-oriented (not solution-oriented)

• Pessimistic

They tend to . . .

• Feel powerless and out of control

• Evade responsibility

• Take difficulties personally

• Not help others

Empowered people tend to be self-actualized and, like all self-actualized people, tend to have an expansive world view. They are at home in the universe and in their own skins, and their power, passion, wisdom and tenderness makes them highly attractive to others.

Some empowered people may even strike you as too happy and high-energy, if you yourself are low-energy or haven’t met that many empowered people. (A sure sign, by the way, that you’re hanging around with the wrong crowd. . . .) But hang in there and get used to the energetic new vibe.

You shouldn’t hesitate to approach empowered people because most of them understand the importance of networking and mentoring. Of course, you always want to time your introduction carefully and be well prepared for the encounter. Remember: every introduction is an audition, and empowered people, because they value their time highly, tend to be highly selective about whom they choose to work with or mentor.

Note that while many empowered people are successful in the conventional sense, not all successful people are empowered. There are plenty of successful people who run large organizations, command great salaries or have developed awesome intellectual frameworks, and yet have not conquered their internal demons. They remain subject to a fear-based, zero-sum, deprivational mentality that causes them to shut out—or, worse, exploit—younger, less-experienced or less-powerful activists. People like this are not empowered and should be avoided in your search for mentors.