Today I’m starting something new: This post is a complete transcription of the video. (A few of you have written in that sometimes listening to videos is hard.)

Good day, babes! Today’s AWAP* Wednesday question comes from a fellow ChronicBabe. She writes:

“I have a question about self empowerment: How do you cultivate a sense of empowerment while dealing with a chronic illness? What helps you to do that? What things do you do to cultivate it? For example, since struggling to deal with a chronic condition, my own sense of self worth as someone who is worth employing has really taken a nosedive (despite the fact that my chronic condition was acquired through poor workplace ergonomics!).

“I was struck by the strong sense of self empowerment you radiated when you answered an earlier AWAP question about disclosing a chronic condition when trying to get employment and I would love to cultivate this quality (of self empowerment) more in myself—how do we value ourselves when employers and workplace culture views disability negatively as a condition that limits people’s ability to be worth employing?”

Great question, babe! Self-empowerment is CRUCIAL to being a ChronicBabe—you can’t get ahead in life if you don’t believe in yourself and your power to succeed.

Self-empowerment is all about deriving strength and stick-tuitiveness from the inner belief that you know what’s best for you—and that you’ve got what it takes to be amazeballs.

I understand what it’s like to doubt yourself, especially when you may have people in your life who don’t understand how hard things are for you and aren’t as supportive as you might like them to be. I have deep moments of self-doubt, and I’ve made wrong turns because I ignored my inner voice in favor of what others thought was best for me. But in recent years, I’ve learned to listen to Mama Jenni waaaay more often, and it has paid off big-time.

Check out today’s AWAP Wednesday video for tons of self-empowerment tips:

My favorite tools for self-empowerment:

Let’s run through a few methods you can experiment with to get you all super-empowered…

1. Meditation. I meditate every day—it’s a chance to clear my mind of the clutter and start to hear my own inner voice. Guided meditations are fantastic, but I also like to meditate silently—and that’s most often when I’m struck by strong emotions or thoughts that point me in the right direction. If you’re a beginner, here are some excellent tips from Zen Habits for getting started.

2. I’ve learned to trust my gut. Literally. When I’m working on an idea and I start to get all grumbly in my tummy, or I, urm…feel a sudden urge to run to the toilet, or I feel a little wobbly—that is a BIG SIGN from my body that I’m not making the best decision for myself. How did I get good at identifying those signs? Two ways: The first is, I check in with my body as I’m evaluating a choice and just become aware of the sensations I’m feeling. I notice how my head feels, my gut, my back, my neck and shoulders. Second, I’ve looked back at bad decisions I’ve made and thought about how I felt then—and usually the bad decisions came packaged with feeling like crud, but I ignored that feeling. Tracking your body signals for patterns can help you learn to get in touch with important signals.

3. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. This one’s simple: The doubters, the naysayers, the folks who think I’m gonna fail? (I know—shocking that any of them exist right?!) I banish them from my life. Or I at least minimize their presence. And the folks who DO believe in me, who support my decisions? I pull them in close.

4. Create talismans. I wear a locket that contains secret messages to myself about how awesome I am. I hang inspirational quotes throughout my house. I tattoo things on my body I need to remember to keep me strong. Think about what would be meaningful for you, something (or some things) that you’ll see every single day that remind you that you kick ass. Make them, buy them, frame them—make it so.

5. Learn from others. One of my favorite online teachers, Marie Forleo, says “learners are earners.” I make it a daily habit to learn something new. I study up on inspirational people and the things that drive them. I subscribe to email newsletters from awesome folks. I send fan mail to people I adore. (And sometimes they write back! And we get to be friends!). Just like you’re watching this video today, I make a point of checking out people who are living the kind of life I want—physically, spiritually, professionally—and I learn what makes them tick.

Your turn: Join the conversation!

These are my top five self-empowerment tools. Now I want to know: What do YOU do to empower yourself to kick ass in spite of chronic illness?

If you’re watching this video on YouTube, head on over to ChronicBabe.com (if you’re already here: yay!) and share your story in the comments below this video’s post. We have AWESOME conversations every day at the site and I would LOVE for you to be part of the community!

Did you like this video? Please “like” it on YouTube or Facebook and share it with your friends through social media. Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has nearly three hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers.

Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email.

Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches!

*AWAP = As Well As Possible