How to Get to Win-Win When You Feel Powerless

right and wrong

We can fight forever over who is right and who is wrong; but it’s moving to win-win that ends the battle.

By Cathy Eck

 

Feeling Powerless

People often believe that they can’t get to win-win because they seem powerless in a situation.  This is common for people who let go.  Authority figures often have a smaller perspective than we do.  It’s painful to live or work in their shadow.

Most humans believe that the goal of life and relationships is to prove that their perspective is right or good even when it’s harmful or limiting to others.  While everyone wins with a win-win perspective, if we make win-win the right perspective, battles erupt.  Usually the winner is the one with the most powerful role (the authority playing the masculine role) or the most battle toys.

The one in authority rarely gives up their competitive advantage.  We all must learn how to get to win-win from the seemingly powerless feminine role. This is the true essence and biggest challenge of initiation.  It creates invisible leaders who make everything right without guns, protests, or even charitable contributions.

 

An Example

Jane works as a server in an upscale restaurant known for fine customer service.  Her boss is a real jerk, and no one would deny that.  Jane is a top-notch employee.  Her customers always ask for her.  She receives excellent tips, and her reviews are stellar.  Jane’s boss doesn’t value the customers or employees.  He’s completely disorganized and unfair.  Jane would quit, but she loves her job and her loyal customers.

Most people in Jane’s situation would feel like a victim.  They would feel powerless to change the situation and probably spend a lot of time whining and complaining about their boss to friends and family. This is clearly the normal response, but it isn’t effective.  This response doesn’t change anything.  In fact, it makes it worse.  Every time Jane complains about her boss, she’s giving him more power.  She’s unconsciously admitting that his beliefs have power over her.

She could fight with him and try to prove him wrong.  But again she’s giving his beliefs power.  Since he’s the authority, he’s likely to win.

The truth is that anything that’s false has no power at all except that which we give it.  If we truly see the other person’s beliefs as false, then why argue.  They don’t have any power.  We argue because we believe their perspective or position has power.  If they agree with us, they believe they’ve lost even if the outcome is win-win; false selves hate to lose.

If Jane lets go of every belief that gives power to her boss’s perspective, she’ll gain all of her power back.  If she truly reaches this place of clarity; she’ll connect to her boss’s True Self.  They will reach a win-win settlement possibly without even speaking a word.  Often the other person suddenly does things your way, and they are happy to do so; letting go bypasses their win-lose false self.  Obviously wielding such power demands complete integrity.

 

Jane’s Possible Beliefs:

My boss is a jerk.

I’m powerless to change this situation.

This isn’t fair.

I do a good job but get no reward.

No one appreciates my hard work.

I should be treated better.

My boss doesn’t like me.

I don’t know what to do.

I can’t win no matter what I do.

 

Moving Out of Right and Wrong

When our mind is thinking this way, we’re powerless even if everyone agrees that we’re right.  Being right has no more power than being wrong in the illusion.  What has power in the illusion is the mask of authority.  All of the above beliefs generate emotion, proving they’re just beliefs.  None of them are true (even though they are the current reality).  Our current reality is always generated by our past beliefs.  To change reality, we need to let go of the causal beliefs even if we got them from the person we’re fighting.

Right and wrong live at the bottom of the triangle; win-win lives at the top  — the realm of the True Self.  Even if we are on the side of right, we lose in right and wrong because the bottom of the triangle is actually lose-lose.  At its best, living from the false self is an upscale prison.

If Jane lets go of these beliefs and stands in the truth, knowing that she loves her job, always does her best, and is loved by her customers, she’ll be more powerful than her boss’s position or beliefs.  He’ll have to move into win-win.  If he can’t or won’t, he’ll leave the situation because he’ll be stuck with his own emotions.  The discomfort will push him out of the situation naturally.  Authority wins in the illusion because the authority’s facade of power gives them the right to project their emotions, which are caused by them holding false beliefs in their mind, on to those below them (in feminine roles).  This makes them look more powerful and right than they are; feeling their emotions causes us to be unable to discriminate clearly.

The initiate understood that opponents exist to expose beliefs.  If an authority can pull us into their web, they are exposing beliefs that we can let go.  Since the initiate’s goal was a free mind with no beliefs, they welcomed opponents as tests that proved they were masters of letting go.

 

In Summary:  

If we stand completely in our True Self, holding no anger, resentment, or beliefs about the other or ourselves, we’ll win and the other person(s) will win too.  We’ll become invisible leaders and change the world.   This process is completely harmless, totally organic, and absolutely fair.

We won’t change the world by changing the minds of the false leaders, protesting, raising money, or winning wars.  We’ll change the world by letting go of the beliefs the leaders and authorities use to control us.  Truth, fairness, and love will ultimately win.

 

 

2 thoughts on “How to Get to Win-Win When You Feel Powerless

  1. Tony says:

    Hi Cathy,

    This is a brilliant article, I’ve been in this position a few times and would have loved to know this upfront. It would have certainly saved me from the constant worry, complaining and over thinking I did during these times.
    A similar situation that comes to mind, but more difficult to resolve in my opinion is working in a corporate environment where not only is your boss a jerk, but so are some of your colleagues who’ve decided to reflect back (imitate?) the boss. So now you find yourself surrounded by more than one jerk. Some of them on your team, others in different teams you’ve got to collaborate with. They may not have their own authority but they use the authority of the boss because they’ve aligned with and accepted their boss’s beliefs. I’ve been in meetings where everyone appears to be reflecting the madness of the authority figure and I’ve held back from speaking because I’ve thought I’m out numbered and the other side has much more support. I’ve never lasted long in environments like this, I’ve always chosen to leave than to stick it out and try and change things for the better. Is there another way to handle things when you find yourself in that situation?

    • Cathy says:

      Good comment Tony. I think this is a very common situation. It happens when the mind of the boss is more restricted than the mind of most of the employees. So everyone is either reflecting the bosses baggage, which s/he doesn’t see. Or they are running their coping mechanisms that keep them from reflecting close-minded people. Either way, nothing changes.

      To a certain extent is it probably wise to leave. Most of us have much better things to work on. However, if you really do want to change things, you can. You always have the power. The boss is clearly the problem/cause. So you ignore everyone else and do what I suggested in the article with the boss. It is hard to ignore the others, but they really aren’t the cause of the problem. So you just work on the cause. In this way, you can change the situation.

      But I’ll tell you a secret. Most people can’t or won’t fix the situation if there is any false self in their way. Sometimes we are in these situations to learn this about ourselves. First, if you do as I suggested you’ll improve life for everyone, even the boss, so he won’t get punished for his bad behavior. False selves love revenge and punishment. He’s been making a complete mess and now he’s going to get off free. Second you won’t get the credit for fixing it. If you hold a pow wow and fix the effect, you’ll get rewarded. If you let go, things just improve all around. So the key to making this happen is wanting life on earth to be great and people to be themselves more than you want false self rewards. It is a very rare person that can do that.

      Thank you for writing, Cathy

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