By Liz Scarfe
The following is an excerpt which introduces the concepts in The Little Book of Power, written by Liz Scarfe drawing on Process Oriented Psychology (aka Processwork).
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? – Marianne Williamson
The goal of this book is to help you become more aware of your own relationship with power, and to help you build better access to it so you can be more effective, confident and relaxed, you can love your own diversities more, and you can make a more powerful contribution to the world.
What is Power?
Despite the many negative associations and memories we have about power (mostly it’s misuse), power isn’t good or bad, and it is necessary.
In very simple terms, power is about having choice and control.
Power comes from a range of characteristics and capabilities, some you earn, some you were born with.
Social Power is based on cultural preferences and how well you align with them.
Social Power is an unreliable source of power as it completely relies on external hierarchies and the judgement of others. It’s a stressful way to access a sense of power (and self-worth) because you have no control over it and it’s non-transferable (it’s not relevant in all contexts).
Personal Power is an internal power, independent of the values of the culture, mostly built from developing self knowledge and growing from difficult experiences.
Personal Power is more stable and transferable than Social Power because it doesn’t rely on the judgement of others, and it can comfort you in any context.