What’s The Biggest Tell That You Have Lost Power Over A Situation Or Person?
The evidence is all around you
What is the biggest tell that you have lost power over a situation or person? Force. When you need to force an action, individually or as a whole, you have not only lost your power but you are outwardly admitting that you have lost your power.
Now this does not mean that you won’t ultimately get your way, but what it does mean is that “your way” will be temporary. It will also give rise to oppositional power, the very thing that will slow you down or stop you dead in in your tracks.
True power begets an agreement between all parties. It inspires a willingness to “accept” because it makes sense to everyone involved. Force arises when “sense” is called into question and remains that way. Force will always result in a ripple effect that will be quite damaging.
For instance, if a parent forces his or her child through the use of fear or punishment to become an A student when the child really doesn’t want to or doesn’t understand why her or she has to, the child may do so (or strive to do so) but will severely suffer for it (mentally, emotionally and even physically) while resenting the parent. The ramifications on their relationship will be toxic and enduring. However, if the parent encourages the child to be an A student, explaining the benefits of doing so in a way the child can make sense of and is agreeable to, the child will readily work towards that goal while appreciating the parent more (power). Trust between parent and child will also increase so that the parent’s next suggestion will reap those rewards.
Force will never transform into power. And power will never desire to become force. The minute the latter does, it is an admission of “lost control.” And that alone will open the door to a ‘turning of the tide’.
We all see examples of power and force on a broader scale today. But have we stopped for a moment to think about what each of these examples mean? And how we can do better to interpret what is going on given the way as well as the ‘point in time’ each is being used?
What about in your own life? Are you forcing something where power should be used? Do you find yourself constantly working towards bringing something about rather than inviting it to ‘be’ through a combination of action then rest, giving whatever that thing is space to appear on its own? That is true power.
The only element that can eliminate power altogether is fear. Fear is the nemesis of power. I have a friend who is coping with a situation with his son resulting from fear extinguishing power. The son has become unruly, emboldened and disrespectful towards his father. Because of the father’s fear of what may happen to the son given the father addresses this situation with the power he holds, my friend has lost all power over his son. As a result, the child has assumed the parental role, and the parent, the child’s role. It was only when the father no longer feared the consequences of his action (power) did the situation right itself, placing the son on a more positive, healthy path into his future.
A great man by the name of Nelson Mandela was forced to remain in a prison. It was that force that kept him there for as long as it did. The day he found his power, he wielded it against that force and rose to lead a nation. This man and his life are one of the greatest examples of the defeating nature of the use of force ultimately and the liberating nature of the use of power.
I encourage you to think deeply when considering these two stories. Force surely will produce short term gains but always contracts over time. Power, on the other hand, offers long term gains and continues to expand so long as the impetus is pure, beneficial and wholly sensible.