Accepting Powerlessness makes you Powerful
This was an article I wrote for the Prison service during COVID-19. This went out to all residents across the Prison estate
How many times do you hear yourself say “Why does this always happen to me”? In truth the reason it always happens is because we make it happen.
I remember when I first heard this, I thought they were chatting rubbish.
The reason for this was that I looked out and not in. I blamed everyone else for my life. It was her fault, his fault, their fault, the systems fault. It was everybody’s fault but my own.
Blaming everyone justified my life, a life that was on a self-destruct. When I blamed everyone else it meant I only had to focus on them and not me. The real truth was this ‘I was the problem it was me, not them’. I was the one in the police cells, the court, the prison cell, taking the drugs, it was always me. There had to come a time that I started to take personal responsibility for my life and my actions.
I am not going to say taking personal responsibility is easy to do. It is hard at the best of times. It is even harder when we have to admit that you have been wrong and that your actions have impacted and hurt people you care about. I am hoping that you have got an idea of what I am talking about.
Within this article I am not just going to just show you the problem. I will also share a solution. How many of you have the F**k it button? I can imagine many of you reading this do, don’t worry you are not alone many people in life have one too. I always say that the F**k it actually means F**k me. Why? Because it is always me or in this case YOU that suffers.
F**k it usually happens when someone annoys us. They say or do something we do not like. Someone may say something in a tone we don’t like, or they ignore what you have said. It could be that a visit never showed up, or our private cash never turned up. It maybe that a staff member never did what they said they were going to do.
When I was in my early stages of change someone said
Gethin you are powerless over everything and everyone.
Gethin you have no control over what someone says, thinks or does.
Gethin People will always do or say stuff that you don’t like
Gethin you have no control over your car breaking down, a bus not turning up, your roof leaking, your washing machine breaking, a letter getting lost.
I then said, ‘So what you saying I have no power?’ They then said ‘Gethin you have power and that power is how you choose to respond’. This hit home, I realised there and then that I always responded to something negative with a negative (F**k it). I then started to learn to let things go and try to pause rather than just respond. It was not easy to do but by keep practicing it became easier and today I have zero conflict and my life is simpler than its ever been. This can be the same for you too.
I used the STOP guide below; this may help you. If you feel angry or let down use the word STOP
S – is for stop – Take a moment to pause take a breath a moment to think clearly
T – is for think – If I kick off what will happen? What is the consequence?
O – is for observe – What else can I do, write down frustrations do some exercises
P – is for proceed – Respond positively, give yourself a well done for doing something different
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