Truly Powerful People (228)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Enabling is one of those words with a double meaning – and the mirror meaning is the opposite of its twin. You can enable 1) to empower, or you can enable 2) to dis-empower: take actions intended to be helpful but actually perpetuate the problem. Knowing the distinction is key to understanding true power. Knowing the difference is vital if you are going to be able to reinforce cultures of creativity instead of cultures of control.

The sticky word in the dis-empowering form of enabling is “intention.” If you intend to protect someone from feeling the impact of their choices, or to mitigate or take on the responsibility for their actions, or to make things easier by constantly moving the boundary or changing the game, no matter how well intentioned, you are actually making things worse. It might feel good – it might feel like love – but you are essentially blocking them from growing and preventing them from becoming powerful. In truth, you are drinking their power from them (Ana-the-wise calls this, “vampiring”); needing weakness in others to feel power in your self.

Feeling the impact of choices leads to the capacity to make better choices. Responsibility abounds in someone who owns their actions and choices, power is easy when boundaries are clear and easily drawn and held (holding boundaries is different than controlling).

Absorbing the impact of bad choices for others will teach them that no matter what they do, you will always swoop in and save the day. You get to be powerful. They get to be free of responsibility. No learning or growth necessary. It fosters dependency (both ways) and dependency is the essential ingredient of a culture of control. Think about it: if you’ve learned to expect me or the teacher of the state or the HR department to control you then you never need control yourself or be responsible for your actions.

Empowered people empower others. Truly powerful people inspire truly powerful people.

One Response

  1. David…I LOVE this post. The thoughts swirl in my mind about holding boundaries, ‘vampiring’, (what a great description!), and absorbing the impact of what other people have chosen. Well said. Thank you for sharing. Love, Tamara

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