I’ve decided to give you a present – It’s an ‘Empowering Myself’ toolbox.

Over time, we will fill the toolbox with EMPOWERING ideas and techniques you can use to strengthen your outlook and your decision-making.  The first tool to add is:


Let’s face it, unlike when taking standardized tests where we are told that the first answer we choose is usually right, in life our first response is not always the right solution or the only possibility.  Sometimes we need to look at things from a variety of perspectives – before we decide on an action.

Brainstorming is a versatile tool that is not hard to use and will really help you make informed and well-thought-out choices.  You can brainstorm alone, or you can ask others (with appropriate insight) to help.

The BRAINSTORMING technique is simple and can be broken down into two easy steps.

Step One: Let Your Ideas Flow There are no wrong answers!

  • Take a large sheet of paper and a marker
  • Present the challenge
  • List every possible strategy or solution that comes to mind. Do not critique or comment on the suggestions.

This opens up all possibilities and frees your thinking

Step Two: Evaluate/Eliminate/Prioritize

In Step Two you (and others) can discuss each possible solution and either keep it on the list or eliminate it.   What’s left is a good selection of viable options,plus you’ve had the chance to think outside the box.

And that is how BRAINSTORMING is done.  Easy, right?

Here’s an example.

Challenge: You want to ask for a raise.

Step One – Let Your Ideas Flow

List all the possible strategies (remember, anything goes). You could:

  • Email the request
  • Call the boss and just ask
  • Make an appointment and ask in person
  • Find out the boss’s favorite restaurant and buy him/her a gift card
  • Make a file of your successes and drop it by his office
  • Prepare a salary chart for comparable jobs to show boss
  • Ingratiate yourself – offer your connections and lifestyle and knowledge to the boss hoping he will find you invaluable
  • Go over your boss’s head to talk to the CEO
  • Come up with new ideas and directions for the company to impress your boss so he will offer a raise
  • Skip the raise and opt for a promotion
  • And so forth.


Step Two: Evaluate/Eliminate/Prioritize

Here is your chance to praise or criticize and even laugh at what is on the list.  Obviously, some ideas are good and others just won’t work.  The point is that you have become empowered by broadening the possibilities and can now decide how you want to move forward.

BRAINSTORMING has an added bonus.  While empowering you to feel confident in your strategy, it also builds resilience.  If what you try does not work, you will bounce back quicker knowing you have considered a variety options.  You may even reevaluate the entire challenge.

BRAINSTORMING is just the first of your empowerment tools. Stay tuned for more ….


Oh, and you may need to go buy a bigger toolbox.

– Loretta

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