Since Choice Theory is often about reducing your use of external control, we tend to shy away from admitting we may have a high power need. The power need is frequently misunderstood; it does not have to mean you are a bully and a control freak. Of course, some people with a high need for power are bullies and control freaks, but that isn’t the only way to manifest this need.
Toddlers naturally excel at powering over other people. Have you ever seen a toddler holding a toy another toddler wants? The child has many behaviors in her repertoire; she can hit, kick, bite, pinch, scratch, pull hair, and scream. Typically, these methods are effective and she ends up with the toy. However, there are two other types of power: power with others and power within. Through growing, learning, and experiencing, we can understand how they feel better than powering over others. If we never learn those behaviors, we may live our lives as bullies and control freaks!
Power with others is what happens when a group of people work together to accomplish a common goal. It might be a winning sports team, a group coworkers assigned to one task, neighbors participating in a community project, or a family working towards a goal. This type of power is a wonderful way to meet our power need, often with the bonus of meeting other needs as well, like the need for love & belonging or fun. But what do we do when our group is not around?
That brings us to developing power within ourselves. Doing things we are good at and are proud of will meet our need for power. We want to matter, make a difference, and feel important, and when we do, our power need is met. Instead of power, I like to think of this need as significance—everyone has a need to be significant. We all want our lives to matter. Some of us want to do big things, while others are satisfied making a difference on a small scale, but I’ve never had anyone deny their need for significance the way they deny their need for power.
My need for significance is quite high—I want to make a difference. It’s why I travel the world talking with people about the powerful information in Choice Theory psychology. I know what a difference it has made in my life and I want to help people put the information to use in theirs. How about you? What are you doing to meet your need for significance?
Want to find out more about how to find the your power? Join my Choosing Me Now Retreat and re-discover yourself!