If we focus on the individual, we might notice that each of us is characterized by a set of resources, that is our own talents and skills, the knowledge we possess and the abilities we master as well as the networks of relationships we are embedded in. In this perspective, each individual is “rich in resources”. At the same time, we are all characterized by faults, shortcomings, and limitations. If, from a broader perspective, such set of resources and faults might outline a certain scenario, things change dramatically if the same set of talents and faults is applied to a specific role or challenge.
Moreover, we need to take into account that, while an objective assessment of our talents and skills throughout a competency mapping or potential analysis is possible, it is the subjective feeling we have of our resources that really matters. We might tend to under- or overestimate ourselves.
When undertaking a self-empowerment process and exploring new possibilities, being capable of drawing upon one’s existing resources is empowering. This also means acknowledging one’s strengths and relying on them. In this perspective, at first, one faces the world showing his/her abilities and – while obviously being far from perfection – he/she will feel entitled to and capable of doing something. Actually, the self-empowerment approach stems from this very intuition: the more I will be in touch with my resources, the stronger and more capable of facing new challenges I will be, the more I will be keen to raise my standards.
Such an approach has originally been used in contexts where individual limitations were extremely strong, such as rehabilitation centers in which people were confronted with disabilities, addictions, poverty or shortages of various kinds.