Month: September 2014

Feeling Powerless

There are so many different instances where any of us find ourselves with a lack of control over our circumstances. These happen at work, at home, at school,powerless-underwater1 in public, in traffic, in our health, the list goes on. I would imagine that any of us could look at a given week and find over a dozen instances where we didn’t have the control, didn’t have the power to alter or influence our circumstances.

Lack of control doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have any power. Lack of control can be making a conscious decision to defer to another person/entity/ group, the control you still have is whether or not to maintain your deferred status or to trust the “other” with your decision making. When something is out of our control we can still be at peace with that and find a new point of control within the circumstance.

A mild example is that lunch is being catered for an event and you have a strong dislike of what is being served. The choice of caterer or menu was out of your control, your point of control is to find an item here or there you can tolerate, to suffer through a lunch you dislike, or you can seek an alternative food source. Jimmy John’s delivers almost anywhere!

Lack of control in one area means there is control in another area, once you find that you open up new options for yourself, more on how to manage when life happens here. When you can find your point of control it’s like getting your feet underneath yourself – you gain stability and security.

Powerlessness is a deeper problem. There is no choice there, and powerlessness is where anxiety and fear live. Powerlessness is a space where there is absolutely no choice, no opportunity for impact, input, or control. This is others making your decisions for you or the situation being so out of hand that there is nothing you can do to change the course of movement. Powerlessness is often accompanied by a feeling of hopelessness and defeat.

Did you know there is a silver lining there? For most of us, day-to-day life will include loss of control masquerading as powerlessness, but there are very few times when we genuinely experience total loss of power within our own lives. When that happens, when those feelings of hopelessness and defeat are all that come to the surface, we need an advocate. We need someone to come to our aid and help us see, reclaim, and wield our power, to show us how to regain control over our lives and how to use our power as strength.

Advocates come in all kinds of packages, sometimes it is a parent, a friend, a child, a sibling, a stranadvocateger, even a part of ourselves that still maintains the fortitude to push through. And their firm, gentle encouragement can often be subtle, as simple as a hand on the shoulder or a genuine smile. The real silver lining is that when you experience powerlessness you don’t have to stay there. Let me say that again – you don’t have to stay there and chances are that you won’t stay there for long! Your advocates will find you, maybe even you will find you, and will help you to fight to regain control over your circumstances.


Have you experienced powerlessness? How did you find your way out of that situation? 1


  1. Google + Author,