Growth Strategy #66: Power verse Force

Growth Strategy #66: Power verse Force

During my training to become a master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming (2006), we explored a map of consciousness developed by David Hawkins (1995).  It is a comprehensive framework for understanding human consciousness and the levels of awareness that we can experience.

Since then, I used the model to increase my self-awareness and when coaching, as the diagram is very useful for identifying different levels of consciousness,  and the associated emotions, thoughts, and behaviours that relate to each level.

Good For: Better understanding of emotions, associated levels of consciousness and the impact on our lives.
Best used by: You

Personal growth is a journey that requires us to constantly examine our thoughts, feelings, and actions. It is a process of becoming self-aware, learning from our experiences, and making intentional changes that lead to a more fulfilling life.

In this post, we will explore the principles of power versus force and how they can be applied as a personal growth strategy.

At its core, the power versus force concept is about understanding the different levels of consciousness that we operate from and the impact that they have on our lives.

Hawkins identifies two main levels of consciousness: force and power. Force is associated with lower levels of consciousness, characterized by fear, anger, and a sense of victimhood. Power, on the other hand, is associated with higher levels of consciousness, characterized by love, joy, and a sense of empowerment.

The key to understanding the concept is to recognize that our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all interconnected and that there are two different ways of achieving results or influencing others.

When we operate from a place of force, we are driven by negative emotions and beliefs that limit our potential. For example, if we believe that we are not capable of achieving our goals, we may feel angry and frustrated, which can lead us to give up before we even try.

In contrast, when we operate from a place of power, we are driven by positive emotions and beliefs that expand our potential. For example, if we believe that we are capable of achieving our goals, we may feel confident and optimistic, which can motivate us to take action and pursue our dreams.

The model can be helpful in improving emotional intelligence because it emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, positive emotions, and conscious choice.

There was a time in my life when I wanted to understand the impact of my emotions better and desired to act from a place of power, rather than force. I placed a printed copy of the chart on my office wall and it assisted me with reflecting on my emotions to identify any negative patterns that had an impact on myself and others.

Hawkins (1995) suggests the main difference between power and force are

  1. Power is an energy that is generated from within, while force is something that is imposed from outside.
  2. Power is based on personal choice, while force is based on the belief that others must be controlled in order to achieve a desired outcome.
  3. Power is empowering and creates positive change, while force creates resistance and negative outcomes.
  4. Power brings people together and encourages cooperation, while force creates division and conflict.
  5. Power is sustainable and long-lasting, while force is temporary and requires constant reinforcement.
  6. Power builds trust and respect, while force destroys trust and respect.

Therefore, I believe power is a positive and sustainable energy that comes from within, while force is a negative and temporary energy that is imposed from outside. By focusing on power rather than force, we can achieve positive change and build strong, sustainable relationships with others.

You can use it as a growth strategy by:  

  • Become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Take time each day to reflect on your experiences and identify any negative patterns that may be holding you back.
  • Once you have identified negative beliefs that are limiting you, replace them with positive ones. For example, if you believe that you are not capable of achieving your goals, reframe that belief as "I am capable of achieving my goals with hard work and determination."
  • To operate from a place of power, it is important to cultivate positive emotions like love, joy, and gratitude. One way to do this is by practicing gratitude each day by listing things that you are thankful for, and focus on activities that bring you joy.
  • Finally, to truly embody the power versus force concept, you must take action towards your goals. Use your positive beliefs and emotions as motivation to pursue your dreams and make intentional changes in your life.

The model suggests that we have a choice in how we respond to situations. By making conscious choices about how we react to our emotions, we can learn to manage them in a more constructive way. This can help us to build emotional resilience and improve our ability to navigate challenging situations.


-By focusing on positive beliefs and emotions, we can feel more empowered to pursue our goals and make positive changes in our lives.

-Cultivating positive emotions like joy and gratitude can improve our overall mental and emotional well-being.


-Changing our thoughts, feelings, and actions can be challenging, and it may take time to see tangible results from practicing the power versus force concept.

-Focusing solely on positive emotions like joy and love may overlook the importance of other emotions like sadness and anger, which are also a natural part of the human experience.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of the power versus force concept as a personal growth strategy will depend on the individual and their unique circumstances. It can be a useful tool for increasing self-awareness, cultivating positive emotions, and pursuing personal growth, but it should be approached with an open mind and a willingness to adapt as needed.

Thank you for reading

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