Psychological Empowerment

Psychological empowerment is perhaps one of the most important aspects of empowerment.

There have been many instances where people were empowered by others, yet they still feel powerless. This has led to the belief that if someone does not feel empowered, then they are not. In spite of your organization's efforts to empower others, if the person does feel that they have power over their life, they will continue to struggle.

Identifying psychological power:

  1. Are you able to influence the direction of your organization?
  2. Do you have control over the direction of your life?
  3. Do you have the feeling that you can accomplish anything you want to?
  4. Do you get a sense of meaningfulness from your life and your work?
  5. Are you determined that you will be a success at work and in life?

"Yes" answers are an indication of psychological power and "no" answers indicate psychological powerlessness.



People are psychologically empowered when they have a sense of meaning in their life and work, and when they develop a sense of confidence, self-efficacy, and determination and realize their impact on their families and communities.

Some people may be have all of the structures they need for success, but do not have the conficence or self-motivation to be a success. This realization led some researchers to look for psychological reasons that some felt empowered and others did not.

Psychological empowerment is also important when working with individuals that do not experience feelings of social or structural empowerment. Many people have difficulty living in society in spite of the fact that they come from advantaged social circumstances and have access to the resources needed to fulfill a person's normal pursuit of ambitions.

A definition of psychological empowerment is a process of discovering a higher meaning in life and building an individual's confidence by focusing on factors that enhance confidence and and removing factors that hinder or reduce confidence.

Psychological empowerment is a motivational process that promotes a person's activities in four ways.

  1. Promoting and facilitating the impact an individual can have on their lives and lives of others around them.
  2. Building an individuals' confidence by helping them accomplish goals, celebrating victories, and setting more goals.
  3. Helping individuals' find meaning in their life and work.
  4. Encouraging individuals' to be self motivated and self-determined so that they can initiate and regulate their own behaviors.

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