When reacting to problems people choose from two mental paths, each an identifiable pattern. One path we call The Control Cycle. The other is The Power Cycle.
The more common reaction to problems is the need to feel in control, but The Control Cycle addresses only the anxiety caused by a problem, not the problem itself. The Power Cycle is the choice to be and act above the line and confront the real problem.
But what is The Power Cycle?
The Power Cycle is an intentional pattern choice and pattern of behavior that comes from choosing Power and confronting the real problem. As you can see above, The Power Cycle is a self-reinforcing system dynamic. It enables positive change, growth, and Power for everyone who taps into this pattern in their mind.
We enter The Power Cycle when we notice that we are upset and, instead of immediately seeking control as a knee-jerk response, we choose power and seek to confront the real problem. The difficulty with choosing power is that it doesn’t immediately relieve anxiety the way The Control Cycle does, so it doesn’t feel better at first.
Which leads to step 2: Looking
In the Looking step one assumes that one’s current sense of reality is insufficient – indeed it led to the upset! We have to examine our assumptions and Look for the real problem. Again this is hard because it doesn’t immediately address the symptoms of a problem, like anxiety, the way The Control Cycle does. The Power Cycle is not about merely treating symptoms. The Power Cycle is about finding, understanding, and dealing with the real problem.
In Looking we examine our own assumptions, evaluations, beliefs, and expectations until — Aha! — we discover one that is false and holding the problem in place. Immediately…
This leads to step 3: Clarity
When the real problem is identified we gain newfound clarity. This means we are in a mental place of knowing something new and insightful that we can do to resolve the real problem, a clarity we did not have a few moments ago…
Which leads to step 4: Trust
We now trust ourselves to take massive intelligent action. The fear, uncertainty, and inaction — or ineffective action — has been replaced with clarity, trust, and effective action.
Which leads to step 1: Power
Power accrues from growth in awareness, perspective and newfound truths that eliminate upset by addressing the real problem.
The Power Cycle is not an easy choice at first, however it is a self-reinforcing dynamic that we can rapidly learn to trust. Leaders who learn to use this mental tool often speak of consciously “opening The Power Cycle” in response to an ongoing upsetting problem. they do this because they have come to trust that it is the only way they can grow to truly overcome the ongoing problem and associated upset.
Living above the line is not easy, but it leads the greatest results. When we let go of the need to control, comply, and make others comply we enable trust, freedom, and Power.
Get Started With This 5-Minute Practice Tip
This week, when you to start to notice anxiety about a problem, instead of seeking control, acknowledge the anxiety as normal then actively choose to seek the real problem. This is the most important step in learning to enter The Power Cycle and live in Power.