Overview of the PRTL Power Scale and Spectrum
It may seem hard to believe, but this simple assessment, what we call the scale, will allow you to have a much deeper understanding of your inner world and how this inner world impacts your outer world. It will show you how you can be much more empowered and successful reaching your goals and navigating the challenges life often presents. It will support you feeling more confident, peaceful and proud of your life and your choices.
Let’s share a bit about the PRTL Power Scale assessment and the PRTL Power Spectrum it illuminates.
The Eight Levels of Power
Your power of personal wellbeing, creativity, understanding and leadership is constantly in flow. This flow sometimes lifts us up into states that seem superhuman, we feel amazing and are getting amazing results, and other times we may find ourselves crashing and burning.
Understanding this flow of personal power, understanding this process at work, gives us an expanded capacity to control it. What if we were able to understand what was happening in the moment, navigate it with more grace, ease and power, and get better results in all areas of our life?
Your personal power is your “state of being” and it creates your reality. Depending on which level you are at, you will experience the exact same circumstance in wildly different ways, having specific thoughts and feelings based on our level of power instead of on the external circumstance itself. We’ve all experienced this. As an example, you are walking down the street and someone bumps into you — depending on the day and “how you are feeling” that day and that moment (which isn’t just about emotional feeling, our deeper state of personal power or being is what drives our feelings), we may just smile at the person and somehow turn that bump into a silly, nice moment of meeting someone new… or, we might set off a cascade of negative emotions and thoughts about how people just suck and we may snap at the person to be more careful.
There are a million examples like this, and the hope is by becoming more aware of these levels of power and realizing that they are actually always in our control, whether it feels that way or not, we have the opportunity to make our lives a much more beautiful, successful reality… beyond anything that you could imagine.
The Diamond of Power below is a visual expression of the eight levels of power and this measurement helps us understand the more abstract nature of our Communal Pillar of Fitness and Wellness: our state of being and flow of power as we move through our life.
The 4 lower levels living on the bottom triangle are catabolic and are associated with fear, scarcity & self-imposed limitation.
Operating in the catabolic levels keeps us safer, but limits our positive contributions to our world and limits our capacity to thrive.
The 4 higher levels on the top triangle are anabolic and are connected to love, freedom, responsibility, wisdom and creativity.
Operating in the anabolic levels allows us to make a positive impact on our world personally and professionally and as we reach the higher states, thrive beyond our wildest dreams.
Interpreting The Results
We are all dynamic beings that have all Levels of Power in our system. Each level has its advantages and drawbacks. Any given moment of taking this assessment, your results will shift. This scale is much like our weight — any given daily metric or reading is of little significance, it is the overall trends that matter, letting us know if we are making decisions daily and weekly that are moving in the direction of our goals. Being more aware of how our choices and responses are leading to our results and that we always have the power to choose, even when we don’t feel like it. Using this scale as a tool in leveling up, increasing our self awareness and our awareness of our power, is the point of this assessment. The point of this assessment is not our results on any given day.
One of the ways that this assessment is a powerful tool is that we now have a map and a snapshot of a position in a moment of time. As we already said above, this one moment of time is less significant than the trends over time, so we will want to repeat this assessment periodically, every 12 weeks or so, to gain insights into whether our day to day choices are moving us into higher states of power. Being aware that this is even happening within us is a huge opportunity for more self awareness and greater responsibility. The fact that you are even reading this right now and moving through this process is a huge win.
Secondly, as we speak about self awareness, this brings us to the second way the PRTL Power Scale is a life changing tool. Depending on the moment and the situation, we tap into our different levels of Power, consciously or subconsciously. If we have this “happen to us”, as opposed to choosing consciously, we are being triggered and leaking our power. Being aware of this dynamic, practicing the LAVA skill of Listening to our inner state, Acknowledging what it is in any given moment, Validating that it is understandable for us to be feeling that way and being that way, and then choosing to Ask an empowering question such as those listed above in each level, will literally give us a ladder and directions on how to use it when we find ourselves “Being” and then Thinking, Feeling and possibly Acting in ways that are not desirable, not how we want to be and not moving us in the direction of our goals.
As an example, let’s look at possible results:
The Everyday Power graph shows the normal, un-stressed scale of Power. You can see the percentages of distribution across all 8 Levels. Whichever is/are the dominant percentage(s) are the Power Levels that you are most likely to experience in your normal day to day state, however you will resonate with aspects of all 8 Levels because all are present.
In this case, the dominant Power Level is 5, which is Courage and Acts of Service. This is someone who cares for others and bravely faces life, wishing to make a positive difference in the world.
As you/they listen to your inner thoughts and feelings, acknowledge what is present, validate how understandable it is to be thinking and feeling what you are and then ask your self empowering questions to move up into higher states of Power. An example would be this Empowering Question to move from Level 5 to Level 6: How can I find more win-win opportunities?
It is imperative that we understand that there is no good or bad, right or wrong with this scale, but rather we are using it to expand our self awareness and take responsibility for our power and our growth over time. We are going to LAVA (Listen, Acknowledge, Validate and Ask Empowering Questions) through all of this.
The Stressed Power graph shows the Power levels in stressful situations. When we are stressed, we naturally are in lower power states as we hold the weight of the moment. If one is surprised by their Stressed score, that is normal. We are naturally less self aware when we are stressed and more likely to go into our subconscious coping strategies. We often don’t realize that we are doing this! If we realized it, we wouldn’t do it! 🙂 This is a tool to help us be more aware of our blind spots, and it is normal for this to be a bit uncomfortable.
The dominant stressed state is Power Level 1. It is likely one would relate to feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, stuck in moments of stress, perhaps having thoughts like, “I just can’t”. Being aware of these feelings and thoughts and realizing that they are signalling they are in Level 1 Power before they act is key. Using tools to get yourself in higher states of Power where you can access more wisdom, creativity, understanding and finding Anabolic responses to the stress before acting will allow you to experience significant upleveling both in your day to day success and how you feel about your life.
Self awareness is the first step to reclaiming our Power and responding to life’s challenges as creative opportunities instead of exhausting and overwhelming set backs. If we are reactive and unaware of our choices and responses, we are much more likely to be stuck in lower levels of power, feeling disempowered and frustrated and unhappy with our results.
In this case, the Average Power Score is 3.71. This represents the average of both the Everyday and the Stressed Power scales and gives us one north star metric to track over time. It is natural for this number to be in the catabolic range, however over time to aim for this to be over 5 is a fabulous long term goal.
As a high 3, they are a high Power level very often able to contribute Anabolically to make your life and world a better place, but in moments of stress there is more of a tendency to be Catabolic. Continuing the cultivation of self awareness with listening, acknowledging and self validation whenever you notice any constrictions or negative thoughts or feelings and intentionally asking yourself the empowering questions specifically tailored to get you into your higher levels of Power, will, over time, with radical responsibility and radical transparency, naturally raise your overall Power into an average of 4 and higher.
Read more about each Power level, including more Empowering Questions to ask yourself in the moment to raise your Power level.
Power Level 1
Level 1, Shame and Helplessness, is expressed in the assumption of no power. When you are experiencing apathy, feel victimized by your situation, have the feeling or belief that your life is bad, you just want it to be over, these are signs of Level 1 Power. When someone is operating at this level, they feel complete despair because they believe that they are powerless. They don’t see any opportunity to do anything better or get anything better from life. They do not feel any empowerment whatsoever to change anything about their life. They will often be in a “Poor Me” control drama which can gain them help through sympathy, especially if they are, despite their beliefs/awareness in that moment, quite powerful energetically. The experience of Level 1 is exhausting, overwhelming, heavy, depressing and stuck, and if someone spends much time here they can find themselves in an intense downward spiral and uninterested in living. This is because, at this level, it is unlikely one would see the good in the world or the good in themselves. Their ability to be creative, committed, or decisive is extremely difficult and self sabotage, whether conscious or subconscious, is a common behavior. It is impossible to feel joy.
It is normal, and even beneficial in the sense of self defense, to find yourself in Level 1 at times, especially after a shocking loss or an expected turn of events. As with all of these levels of power, especially when experiencing the higher 4, we have the freedom to choose. So, with greater perception comes greater powers to choose, even in the most uncomfortable circumstances. With the support of PRTL, you can find a greater baseline in all scenarios.
Empowering Question to move from Level 1 to Level 2: How can things be better next time?
Power Level 2
Level 2, Guilt, Fear and Grief, is one step up from Shame and Helplessness, because there is a shift from feeling complete despair to feeling that there is an opportunity, however hard to fathom, to do better next time. As Brene Brown explains, guilt is “I made a mistake”. Shame is, “I am a mistake.”
In Level 2, there is still an immense feeling of powerlessness, with overwhelming feelings of fear and sadness and stories of blame. Anxiety, people pleasing, mental loops replaying mistakes, and the FOG of emotional extortion are all signs of Level 2 energy. FOG, the acronym for Fear, Obligation and Guilt, often obscures clear thinking and wise judgment, so Level 2 energy often feels very confusing. Adding in the heaviness of grief, depression is a common symptom of people living with a lot of Level 2 energy.
With Level 2 Power, there is an awareness of the impact of our choices on our life, but more often than not that impact is seen as negative, not a positive. When someone is caught in a Level 2 reality, they do not trust themselves, do not trust life and struggle loving themselves and loving life.
Those who live at level 2 do their best to conform to the expectations of those around them but rarely consider what they themselves truly want to be. They may get by playing a supportive role to someone else’s dream but not their own.
The benefit of Level 2 Power is that it humbles us and shows us what we value. The pain of guilt makes us learn the importance of growth, and fear shows us where we can ask for help. Grief shows us what we love, and a sign that our mind thinks that there is no where to put that love. Knowing what we love and value and staying humble, being motivated to learn and grow, and being propelled to ask for help are all invaluable opportunities as human beings.
Empowering Question to move from Level 2 to Level 3: How can I take some control of this situation?
Power Level 3
Level 3, Anger and Longing, is one step up from Guilt, Fear and Grief as people begin to choose themselves, fighting for their position and wanting better, but at the detriment of others and not understanding the big picture. There is still a strong win/lose mentality, and at level 3, the person desires to improve but ultimately feels they can’t because of some greater power bringing them down. They also are feeling dissatisfaction and insufficiency in their life, disconnected from a peaceful state of manifesting what they truly want, because they are believing in the story that it isn’t already theirs.
Through a Level 3 Power lens, one feels righteous about their perspective on what the world is and how it should be, and anyone who doesn’t align with that is the enemy or suppressor. When you are feeling anger, defiance, frustration, a need for conflict, and being right, you are fighting the uphill battle of Level 3.
The benefit of Level 3 Power is that there is energy for change and growth, and those at Level 3 can become inspired to create their vision but often aren’t able to sustain their efforts due to their explosive emotions and tiring discontent dropping them back down to Level 2. It is difficult for them to stop repeating destructive cycles because they often see their shortcomings as the fault of another as they see them as the enemy.
Empowering Question to move from Level 3 to Level 4: How can I be the one to make this situation better?
Power Level 4
Level 4 Power, Egoic Pride, is the highest catabolic level of Power, bringing a strong sense of who you are, and strong self confidence. It is still catabolic and fragile, however, because it is limited by being fixed or a half-truth. In Level 4, we feel very separate and superior and believe that we are in control and we need to be in control. Level 4 is demanding, often comparing yourself to others, seeking external validation, and cutting people off who don’t meet your expectations.
As a person in level 4, you’re the king of the smallest castle, usually made up of only yourself or those who fear you. At level 4, the only way to get ahead is usually through force, manipulation and hustle, and doesn’t consider the greater good. Level 4 accepts that someone has to lose, and has no problem getting ahead at the expense of others.
The benefit of Level 4 Power is that it can experience a lot of success in the material world. A lot of money can be made, countries can be conquered, people can be dominated. It is easy for Level 4 Power to have control over mental situations that come easy to you or people that are “less-capable” than you. But, Level 4 Power limits expansion by self-sabotaging relationships with people that criticize or threaten you in any way, and it is very easy for Level 4 Power to get knocked back down to Level 3. It is a fragile state of Power. The life view at Level 4 is “I control life.”
Empowering Question to move from Level 4 to Level 5: How can I be a hero right now?
Power Level 5
Level 5, Courage and Acts of Service, is the first level of Anabolic Power, where we can contribute to lasting improvement in our life and our world. In Level 5 Power, we now recognize that we can alchemize our personal power towards the wrong in the world, turning the darkness into fuel for doing good. At this first anabolic level of power, however, our insights are limited. We still feel very separate from and against forces of life. We often sacrifice the greater good for a limited win, without realizing our blind spots..
If you are a committed overachiever, stoic, and carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, you are hanging out at level 5. Here at the first anabolic level, people usually feel strong in their ability to create what they want but live from the assumption that the only way to get there is through grit and long nights.
Players at this level are the hero in their story “fighting the good fight” and will often burn out in pursuit of service. Although those in level 5 can feel clear in who they are and what they stand for, they can often lose themselves, pleasing those around them… or slip back into “over efforting” because failure generally is not an acceptable option. The life view at Level 5 is “I bravely show up for life.”
Empowering Question to move from Level 5 to Level 6: How can I find more win-win opportunities?
Power Level 6
One anabolic step up from Courage and Acts of Service, Level 6 Power, Acceptance and Forgiveness, is marked by a willingness to see other perspectives, make mistakes and fail, and a true sense of hope and trust. Here at Level 6 the warrior within begins to take on a new perspective. The patience and grace available at this level allows the person to move through life with greater clarity, self awareness, responsibility and compassion. They have more readiness to handle the challenges aka opportunities life is presenting, with more ease and intentionality.
In the eyes of someone at this level, there is still rightness and wrongness in the world, but “it is what it is.” If you are someone who goes with the flow, believe everything happens for a reason, and choose being kind over being right – you are grooving with Level 6.
Those at this level are comfortable with failure and see it as a natural part of their process towards mastery. They take radical responsibility over their lives and know they can’t control what happens in their life but they can control how they respond. They can still find themselves experiencing a depth of sadness in the parts of the world that they believe are not good, but don’t judge themselves for feeling those emotions. There is more tolerance and peace in both the inner and outer world.
The benefits of Level 6 Power are a high level of resilience, a high capacity of problem solving and high synergy in relationships, but the drawback of Level 6 Power is that you can be frustrating to people who are in lower levels of power and susceptible to confusion and frustration when dealing with those who are in lower levels of Power. You may miss opportunities to be validating and empathetic.
Empowering Question to move from Level 6 to Level 7: How can I be more loving and understanding of what is?
Power Level 7
The next highest anabolic level up, Power Level 7, Passion and Inspiration, brings a wellspring of creativity, joy and deep understanding. When you find yourself at level 7 you are in the depths of love, compassion and deep unconditional gratitude for all that is. You find it easy to enter flow states and drop into the present moment wherever you are due to your deep reverence for this life experience.
At this level, one expresses their power through grace rather than force. Here it’s easy for someone to find themselves being playful, offering generosity, having radical transparency, integrity and self awareness.
Those at this stage are able to create with a deeper knowing found in their intuition rather than linear thinking. Yes, they are still capable of offering practical solutions but without the limitations of external knowledge.
The benefits of Level 7 Power are extremely high level of resilience, a high capacity of problem solving and high synergy in relationships, high sense of joy, but the drawback of Level 7 Power is that it can be extremely triggering to people who are in lower levels of power, and people may feel impulsively called to attack to try to bring you back down to their level. Spending time in Level 7 requires the building of a very strong backbone, developing a great deal of patience and grace under fire.
Empowering Question to move from Level 7 to Level 8: How can I let go of all that is?
Power Level 8
The highest state of Power is Level 8, Unconditional Peace and Compassion. This Power Level is one that we may visit from time to time but maintaining this Power level truly is super human. Here, at the top of the power diamond, we experience knowing and being one with all that is. There is an ISNESS, connected with the I AM, ALL IS statements from our non-personal energetic core. There is immense power in this state, however it is the most difficult state to integrate, embody and simultaneously have authentic relatability with any parts of yourself and others who are not at this level. It can be intensely lonely as one spends more time in the upper power levels, which then makes us do our own inner work to discover where we are not truly practicing self care and meeting our own needs from the inside out.
When we are experiencing Level 8 Power, we are tapping into the collective power and being that is found in all that exists on this planet, in the cosmos and beyond. If you find yourself experiencing harmony, absolute freedom and non-duality – you are experiencing, knowing and being Level 8. At Level 8 there is an effortless and unconditional expression of deep peace and comfort with the unknown because they do not recognize themselves as a separate individual that can be threatened but rather in absolute union with all of creation.
At Level 8 you penetrate every moment with the complete power of who you are and feel your existence in the most miniscule of life forms. Your identity is completely malleable. You are in absolute allowance of anything and everything you are and offer that same allowance to everything else. Magic and spontaneous creation comes easy to you. All of life at level 8 is simply an enrapturing, beautiful point of view.
Empowering Questions to remain at peace and the highest power levels possible: How can I be more self aware? How can I take more responsibility? How can I be more transparent? How can I be more brave, loving and wise? How can I surrender more to life itself, being more open to all of life’s possibilities? How can I do less, and BE more? Know it, See it and BE it.
Footnote on the PRTL Power Scale:
The PRTL Power Spectrum, illustrated by the below diamond rainbow, gives us a map of our levels of personal power. This model is based on the work of David R. Hawkins.
In 1995, David R. Hawkins, a psychiatrist who ran a large psychiatric practice in NY for most of his life, published Levels of Consciousness, a book that shared a map of 16 levels of consciousness. This book, along with his subsequent books which included Power vs. Force and Letting Go, have been hugely influential in the development of the PRTL program. The PRTL Power Spectrum is based on David Hawkins’ Levels of Consciousness and simplifies his 16 levels into 8 levels of power for easier application and use in our understanding of and continued development of our personal power. Our “level of consciousness” equates to our “state of being” or our “level of personal power” – as David Hawkins explains particularly clearly and simply is Letting Go, the level of consciousness that we are being in any given moment creates our experience and perception, our feelings and thoughts and choices in response to any given situation. This is a hugely transformative epiphany and is the bedrock of the mental and energetic fitness program PRTL offers.
Additionally, the PRTL Power Scale assessment was inspired by the work of Bruce Schneider in his Energy Leadership Index assessment. His book, Energy Leadership: Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Core, explains much like the work of David Hawkins, how the different levels of our energy determines our results in life. The ELI, available through IPEC Coaching, is a fabulous assessment tool particularly in the realm of corporate coaching.
There are marked similarities between Schneider’s and Hawkins work, however for the overall fitness and wellness work of PRTL, the synthesis of the 8 Levels of Power shared in the PRTL Power Spectrum gives us a clarified, actionable understanding beyond the 16 levels of consciousness of Hawkins and the 7 levels of energy of Schneider.
Crafting a similar assessment inspired by the ELI to support the Eight Levels of Power based on Hawkins’ work, we are able to bring you the PRTL Power Scale assessment. It is our firm belief that having greater understanding of and insight into the levels of power we are bringing to our daily lives greatly enhances our ability to make the most of each moment of our lives, bringing us to higher and higher levels of success in each desired area of our lives. We are deeply grateful for Bruce Schneider’s inspiration and feel that this next synthesis adds more clarity for our inner personal development.