A big question each and every one of us needs to ask ourselves these days is: Am i really helping this person or am i enabling a negative pattern?


What does this exactly mean though? Empowering someone means you are there for support, you are there to listen but you don’t necessarily jump in to save or rescue the person all the time, empowering means sometimes standing back and trusting an individual to find their own way in managing their life.


This is where enabling comes in, I hear this day after day after day, how certain people just do not have their boundaries in place to say NO, I know its is so so hard to say no to friends, family members or even ex-spouse’s when a situation arises where they need rescuing, help or manipulation is in play. You need to know you are NOT helping a person if you constantly have to tell them what to do, you constantly have to give money that never gets paid back, or you do not consider your own time and space and energy in helping them. A good example is grandmothers looking after their grandchildren. In all those situations the person who is asking you for the favor is not taking responsibility for their actions, lives or situation, and by always helping, saying YES or rescuing they become dependant on your help which enables this bad pattern of not taking responsibility.


Rather Empower, start saying NO, stop giving advice and listen more, stop giving money and stand back, stop always helping and listen to your own needs, you won’t only start helping yourself but you will empower that person to take control, in the long term Empowering someone and standing back helps them much more than enabling and always jumping in, in the short term.


These boundaries that need to be set are not easy and you may not always feel good about it in the moment, people will be angry with you and sometimes you will be tested over and over again, but the more you realize that you have the power to help someone by just standing back, you may find it easier to do the more you practise. 🙂


For coaching or past, present or future advice please see my website juliatheunissen.co.za to make your bookings.


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Julia Theunissen.


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