The word power can hold lots of different meanings and associations for us. Some of these are positive: empowering and inspirational, whereas others are less so: controlling and forceful. Most know what it feels like to be powerless, and it can be overwhelming and a lonely place to be.
Feeling powerlessness is threatening and often we might have a strong urge to behave in ways that stop us from feeling that way to regain a sense of control. If control isn’t restored this can harm our mental and physical health and wellbeing. Power in itself is not an issue; it’s how we use it that makes it dangerous to ourselves and others. Often at the centre of people exerting power over others is fear. It might be that you’re navigating a world that is less accepting of you or how you behave sometimes is less helpful because it might come from a place of fear. These are some questions to help you think about your power, how you might use it and what happens when you experience powerlessness.
- What words come to mind when you think of the word power?
- How might you know you’re using your power over others?
- What do you put in place to actively ensure power with another is balanced, even when you are in a more senior position to them?
- What factors impact on you to feel powerless?
- What can you do to feel safe and connected to people who value you at these times?