Grab a pen and paper, get comfy and try these five empowerment exercises to boost self-belief

Last week on the podcast we spoke to confidence coach and counsellor Aaron McCarthy and diversity and inclusion campaigner Laura Mathias about all things empowerment. This week, for our exhale episode, we’re sharing five exercises to help you feel more empowered.

From creating your own mantra to moving past comparison, there’s an exercise here for everyone. Make sure you have a pen and paper handy, and enjoy these ideas. Watch below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.


Kat: Hello everyone, and welcome to the final episode of season two of Happiful: Finding What Works. Thank you so much for joining us this season. We've had some truly wonderful conversations. 

Today we're going to be following up from last week's conversation all about empowerment. So if you haven't listened to that yet, I definitely suggest going back in your podcast app and giving that a listen. With what we learned in that conversation in mind, we're going to be going through five exercises to help you feel more empowered. I would suggest grabbing a pen and some paper and making a note of any of the exercises that particularly resonate with you so that you can try them in your own time. 

And the first exercise is to create your own empowerment mantra. So in the conversation last week, we talked a lot about this kind inside voice and how this can help us when we encounter more negative and difficult outside voices. There are lots of things that can help with this, but a really quick win is to have a mantra that you can turn back to any time you need to, when you need to feel that sense of empowerment. To give you an example, mine is, I am capable. This is something I just find myself needing to return to again and again. 

Try to find a phrase that resonates with you and make sure you're using it in the present tense. So not 'I will be capable', but 'I am capable'. Something like that. A bonus tip here is to pop your hands on your solar plexus when you say this mantra. So this is just underneath your chest bone. Before you get to your tummy, put your hands there and feel what that feels like to really be holding yourself in that position. This is a really central point of the body, and it's also thought to be where our solar plexus chakra is, which is believed to be where our confidence lives. So holding yourself there as you say this mantra might just give it a little bit of extra juice. 

The second exercise we have is to visualise your empowered self. Sometimes just taking a moment to imagine what we would be like as our most empowered selves can help us bridge the gap from where we are to where we want to be. So for this exercise, close your eyes and take a few minutes to imagine what your empowered and confident self looks like. What are you wearing? How are you holding yourself? What are you doing as your most empowered self? 

After your visualisation, think about what steps you can take to become that person that you saw. Because remember, that person is you. Again, this is a really simple, quick idea to try and it may not make any huge changes in your life, but even if it just prompts you to walk a little bit taller, like that visualised person you saw, that's an amazing step. 

Next on our list is an exercise to help you understand the people in your orbit. Both Aaron and Laura really highlighted the importance of having a positive support network around you and how this can really help to empower you. So this exercise is all about really understanding who is currently in your orbit. 

To do this exercise, you'll need a pen and some paper and just draw in the center of the paper, a small little circle to represent you. Then you can start drawing circles to represent the people in your orbit, starting with the closest first. So think about who in your life is really close to you. Who do you see day to day? Maybe it's family, maybe it's a partner. If you're a parent, maybe it's your children. And just draw these little circles close to your circle in the middle as these are the closest people in your orbit. Then you might want to draw people a little bit further out, so maybe really good friends, maybe work colleagues, things like that. Keep going until you fill up your whole page with all the different people who are currently in your orbit. From close people that you see day to day, to that really friendly barista who you see every other week. 

Now, step back and take a look at what you've drawn and consider, who you want to draw closer to your orbit. So who, out of all those little planets you've just drawn, makes you feel really good and empowered? And do you want any of them to be in your life more? And on the flip side to this, you might also see some people that you think, actually, I don't want them that close in my orbit. They don't make me feel good. They're bringing me down. They do the opposite of empowering me. How can you maybe see if you can distance yourself from these people a little bit more in your orbit? 

The aim of this exercise is really to help you recognise the different connections you currently have, which ones you want to strengthen, and where you might want to set some boundaries. 

The next empowerment exercise we're going to be looking at is setting challenges. Now, this is something Laura mentioned really helped her build up her confidence muscle. And a key thing to remember here is that it is okay to start with small steps and build up bigger challenges. So a good way to start with this, setting challenges, is to think about anything you want to do, but that you feel you are holding yourself back from. 

An example of this from last week's podcast conversation was Laura saying that she set herself a challenge to go to a theme park without her wig, something she was really struggling with before. Now make a big list of all of the different things you want to do, all of the challenges you want to set yourself and try and put them in order of scariness. So the least scary one first, and then building up to the most scary. Just start by looking at that first challenge, the least scary one on the list, and ask yourself, what steps could you take to make that slightly less scary and more manageable? 

Next, think about when you're going to try to do this challenge you've set for yourself and when by. Give yourself a little bit of accountability here. And then finally, consider who can support you here. Remember, you don't have to do any of this on your own. You might want to tell a friend that you're setting yourself this challenge, a family member or even working with a professional coach to really get that accountability going. 

Every time we complete a challenge like this, it bolsters our confidence and reminds us of our inner strength. And over time, that is what empowers us. 

And finally, here we have a comparison exercise. This is something Laura mentioned in our conversation last week saying that comparison can really hinder empowerment and make it more difficult for us to do that. So this exercise is all about focusing on your own strengths so that you can remind yourself of that every time comparison strikes. 

And the aim of this exercise is to write a list of all of your strengths, which I know can be really tough, but it's such a powerful thing to do and it's a great way to have this reminder when you're feeling that comparison hit and just look back on that and remind yourself of all these incredible strengths that you have. And I will say as well, if this is something you're struggling with, consider asking a friend, family member, partner, or anything like that to write a list of strengths that they see in you. Sometimes we need to see ourselves through somebody else's eyes to recognise the strengths we have. 

Now, once you have this list, keep it somewhere safe that you can come back to again and again. I personally keep mine on my notes app on my phone because I know I'm always likely to have it on hand and can come back to it any time I need to. And just make sure you do exactly that. Any time you feel comparison bubbling up for you, ask yourself, you know, why. Get curious about the comparison, why are you feeling this way? And then come back to your strengths list and remind yourself of all of these amazing things that you are. 

I really hope these were helpful. I'd really love to know which one you're going to be trying, or if you're going to give them all a go, definitely let us know. Make sure you connect with us over on social media. We are @happiful_magazine on Instagram and TikTok. And as a reminder, if you think working with a professional will help, then make sure you head over to to be connected with a range of different wellness practitioners. 

Thank you again for tuning into another season of Finding What Works. We're going to be taking a short break, but then we'll be back with season three. So make sure you are subscribed wherever you get your podcast so you can keep up to date. And until then, take care.