Why is it that we rule with fear? Is it really the best form of control?
It seems throughout the ages we have passed on this entrenched strategy that to make someone fearful is the best and easiest way to teach them a lesson and to get them to do what we think they should do. Parents do it, employers do it, partners do it, governments do it.
Why? Why do we deliberately go out of our way to take away someone's right to choose or to be different or to think differently or worse - to have an opposing opinion to our own? What is the need in us that we cannot meet that ignites and fuels our desire to control others by fear?
The need for power is a basic human need. It's important and valuable. Power gets a bad wrap these days. To be clear, there are two types of power, power within and power over. Power-within is the one I refer to in terms of basic needs.
Power within includes feeling appreciated, acknowledged, valued, worthy, a sense of accomplishment, success and so on. Power-over is where we think we can assert control and dominance to make us feel important and righteous.
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When we power-over people to meet our needs, we often use fear to do so. "If you don't come here and put this away right now I will take away your iPad," "I will walk out this door and never come back if you don't stop asking me what's wrong," are ways of using power-over and fear to get what you want.
When we are living and working from the power-within space, we are not only meeting our own needs, but we are doing so while supporting the needs and values of others.
We are not taking power from anyone else to make us feel in control. The control is shared and positive.