Getting Over Learnt Powerlessness
Once again I'm in France. Once again I focus on raising my energy, my mindset and my expertise as a Méta® coach by attending relevant events. And over the week-end, the main concept I took is "learnt powerlessness".
A more familiar way to talk about "learnt powerlessness" is "victimhood". We all know the kind of people who keep on complaining about their issues without really wanting to change.
You might be honest enough to see that behavior in yourself.
And if you're more "advanced", you might even know about Karpman's drama triangle, when a "victim" lives in symbiosis with a "rescuer" and a "persecutor".
People tend to have a favorite role but in practice, you can easily switch between one role and another.
For example, I call you: "I don't have a babysitter and everything in my life is falling apart!". I'm a victim and you're a listener, who might choose to respond as a rescuer: "Send your kids along!". But then, if I do this every week, who is the victim now?
The problem with victimhood as a word, or even with the drama triangle, is that it's relatively easy to spot but it's hard to do anything about it. Even alternative versions of the triangle, created to address this very issue, are for me problematic.
First of all, although everybody agrees with the three roles of the drama triangle, there are several versions of the opposite triangle, such as "creator - coach - challenger" or "caring - assertive - vulnerable".
Then, looking at these words, they might sound good but they don't intuitively tell me what to do today.
Third, they don't intuitively give perspective about why there should be 2 triangles, and therefore, why should I make peace with the first one and put effort into the second one.
2) Learnt Powerlessness
Now we come to "learnt powerlessness". And to Alma's picture. No need to see her face to know she's not ok with the laughing gas mask.
The dentist thought that if we look regularly at a picture with Alma and the laughing gas mask, she might get used to the idea. However, Alma did not let me take one "good" picture, even for one second. So the end result is I had to pay a fortune for 5 minutes of fighting with the mask, but I also need to come back again, hoping this time Alma will agree to wear the mask.
Where is the lack of love here? Where is the bad intention here? We all have to agree that it's better for the dentist to clean and to fix Alma's teeth rather than the teeth deteriorating at lighting speed.
But from Alma's perspective, you can also see that what we're asking her to do is to "learn powerlessness". Stop fuzing around. Settle down. By shear physical force.
And even if this was done for an emotional reason - e.g. to keep being loved, a basic need of all human beings - this process of quietly fitting in is no less tragic, if the child grows into an adult, and still behaves under "rules" no longer necessary.
So what's the solution?
Obviously, "learnt powerfulness"...
But should this answer seem to easy, you're right. The systems we've put in place to survive are so strong that nothing but shear determination and focus will allow us to flip from one state into another.
3) The Link to LeanInStyle
Now, even if you are alone in your appartement with nobody to impress, and you wear clothes in your Méta® profile, you will benefit. You'd be harvesting the love you invested into finding clothes that fit you just right, just as you plug in a salt lamp to continuously improve the quality of the air you breath. It's subtle, it's not necessarily immediate or grandiose, but over the long run, you'd feel the difference (at least, that's the idea!).
4) What was this again? Méta® coaching?
PPS: You felt the tone of this newsletter was a bit too strong, unsettling? Or maybe you want more? Here is one last go at it, my new motto:
Dare to Shine
On that note, enjoy the summer 🙂