5 Myths About Empowerment

Originally posted March 19, 2012, this article followed conversations with thousands of riders at motorcycle shows in Canada and the US. Show season is here again. I wonder if  understanding has changed.

Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with many women and men on the topic of women, motorcycles and empowerment. Everyone has a story, whether they realize it consciously or not and it’s energizing and enlightening to hear them. The concept of empowerment is not always clear.

empowermentThe Oxford Dictionary defines empowerment as something that makes someone “stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.”

Here are five myths which have surfaced and must be dispelled.

 

  1. Riding a motorcycle means someone is empowered.The act of riding a motorcycle in itself is not what puts you in control of your life. Motorcycles are like mirrors. They reflect your strengths and shadows. It’s being open to learning about your capabilities through riding, then using those in other parts of your life that strengthens your sense of Self.

 

  1. I’m a rider. I’m already empowered.Similar to the first, these comments come from riders. Even if we have discovered strengths and over come challenges through riding, empowerment isn’t something you arrive at and then stop. It’s a life-long learning and as long as we’re here on this earth, and receptive, that personal growth will continue.

 

  1. (S)he doesn’t need any more empowering. The irony is glaring!  And it’s sad. Allowing someone else to shut you down and speak for you diminishes your power. You lose your voice and it’s hard to get it back.

 

  1. Being a passenger means you’re not empowered.Empowerment is all about choice. If you choose to be a co-rider, well then that’s your choice. There are many reasons why one chooses that role and no one else can judge another.

 

  1. Someone or something external to you can empower you. Like a motorcycle, or a person.Personal power comes from within; our Self; our spirit. Our connection to the Universe. It can go dormant, be underutilized or be hidden behind layers of self-protection. But it always there. We don’t get more through another person or thing and more importantly, no one can take it away.

 

Motorcycling feeds our soul.  It appeals to our basic nature and nourishes us with adventure, freedom, confidence, joy and independence.  Ingredients we can never have enough of!

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