What is the truth about control. By definition control means:
“The power to influence or direct peoples behavior or the course of events.”
“Determine the behavior or supervise the running of.”
“To exercise restraining or directing influence over.”
“The ability or power to make someone or something do what you want or make something happen in the way you want.”
Technically, all of these definitions are true. Yet, in reality, control is an illusion. You cannot control what happens to your life, other people, or anything really.
The only think you can control, is yourself. HOW you respond to what happens to you. Your daily choices. How you treat others.
We overestimate how much control we have over the outcome of uncontrollable events.
Research has shown that when desirable outcomes happen – people think they have complete control over it. When in reality, they had no actual influence at all.
Wild right? This is coming from the Queen of Control.
I used to think I had a tight grip on my life. I could control people, the direction of my career, time, the future, how others viewed me . Then so many things have happened to help me realize the actual truth about control, and that’s that I never had any control after all.
How does control show up in our lives?
- People-pleasing: trying to control others perception of you.
- Perfectionism: again trying to control your image and the direction of your life.
- Restrictive eating: underlying root cause is trying to control our lives but it comes out with food.
- Hypervigilance: controlling and making sure nothing bad happens to you.
- Rigidness: no flexibility because you want to control outcomes.
- Anxiety: lack of feeling in control.
- Criticism: controlling other people
I am still on the journey of letting go of control. What I have learned along the way, is that the more I take care of ME, and say YES to things that make me feel good, the LESS I want to control.
The more I live my life, the more I am trusting that everything happens exactly how it is supposed to happen. The more I take care of me, the less patience I have for people trying to control me. So then it puts things into perspective.
If I don’t want to be controlled, then why do I think I have the right to control others?
Another thing I have noticed is that I worry less. Things will happen because it’s life, so if the only thing I can control is how I respond, then why not just live my life?
I know it sounds easier said than done but letting go of control can happen. You just have to choose to do it. It starts in your daily interactions.
On the other side of control is:
- Inner peace. What is meant for you will always come to you.
- Energy. You spend so much energy trying to control, imagine what you can do with all of that energy once you stop controlling.
- Happiness and joy.
- Freedom and flexibility.
Here are some ways to start letting go of control:
- Accepting change – change is the only thing that is constant. Things are either changing or staying stagnant.
- Stand in your truth – you are a human being not a human doing. Your feelings and beliefs are real.
- Staying neutral – you can’t control other people or how they feel. You do not have to fix their affairs. How freeing is that?
- Living through problems – Life is a constant state of ups and downs. There will always be problems to work through. Obsessing over problems is control.
- Making the right decisions – part of the things we can control is the decisions we make. You are worthy of making your own decisions. Make decisions based on what you want, not what someone else would want.
Tell me, is there something I missed?
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See you next week. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Alejandra at Living Well Co.