The Price of Power

by Scott Noelle

Authentic power is yours for the taking.

In fact you already have all the power you need to enjoy your life and bring joy to others, too.

Your power is in your free will, especially your freedom to choose how you interpret and RESPOND to circumstances and events — your RESPONSE-ability.

So power is free, but there is a price you must pay to FEEL authentically powerful: You have to give up the perceived “benefits” of powerlessness, such as eliciting sympathy and avoiding blame.

For example, when you tell everyone that your spouse or your child is “driving you crazy,” you’re saying s/he has power over you. That’s giving your power away. Your friends will commiserate with you, and you get to be “right,” but it reinforces your sense of powerlessness.

To get your power back, you have to give up those ego perks and take responsibility for your experience.

Read that again: take responsibility for YOUR EXPERIENCE. You are NOT responsible for others’ behavior, but how you respond to it IS your choice. (Also, true responsibility has nothing to do with blame and shame.)

From the powerful position of authentic responsibility, no one drives you crazy but yourself! To admit that is both humbling and empowering. And it clears the way for the obvious next step, which is to find a new perspective — one that doesn’t feel crazy — and choose a response that makes sense in light of your newfound clarity.

Originally published on 2013-01-07
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