Let’s talk about power. Power to be who we are. Power to change who we are. Power to influence others. Power to get stuff done. Where does it come from?
In Western culture, when we’re talking about power, we’re usually talking about inauthentic power.
This is the kind of power that is bestowed upon us by external sources, usually in the form of title, rank or position.
You can be the director of this, or the VP of that. You can be the number one salesperson in your division, or the highest ranked tennis player at your club. Or the owner of an important company. Or you can be the child or spouse of someone important.
People without title, rank or position may seek inauthentic power in the form of possessions – think cars, designer clothes and accessories, houses, etc. Some may seek it in the form of money – be it real or credit. Some seek it through manipulating or bullying others.
Inauthentic power is something we hold OVER other people. It’s me over you. Or you over me. There’s the powerful and the powerless.
This kind of power seeking is of course, deeply contractive in nature.
An inauthentically powerful person may seem big. They may seem highly visible and unignorable. But in fact, they are invisible. They are hiding behind their power, their bluster and their designer handbags. We can’t see them. We can’t see their true nature. And because of this, they will feel unseen and invalidated. And unfortunately, they will seek to be seen by seeking even more inauthentic power. It’s never, ever, enough.
Authentically powerful people on the other hand, are a whole other thing. Rather than seeking external sources of power, their power arises up naturally from within them. Their power comes from alignment with their values and purpose. It comes from integrity.
An authentically powerful person is deeply empathetic. They seek to find the truth in others, to see them for who they really are. And from this place, they influence rather than coerce. They are drawn to gratitude rather than accumulation.
They are expansive in nature.
Their power comes from ideas, cooperation, creating wins and helping others.
And this makes them highly compelling.
People want to be around them. People want to support them. People want to follow their lead.
Authentic power is the only power that matters.
And it is always enough.