At one time or another we all feel the need to control something within our life, whether we’re afraid of what the future holds, or push against a difficult situation. To keep ourselves under control we have routines, goals, tools, and a whole lot of structure. As much as these systems and resources help us, life is chaotic.
The basic nature of life is it is ever-changing. And just when we think we have stability in life something reminds us that no, we don’t. Plan, as you will, for all the potential events and you will still eventually find yourself out of control at times.
Because we can’t control others, we get frustrated and even angry at times, so we turn to coping mechanisms to bring a sense of semblance, such as: planning and more planning; researching an important topic to help us better understand a situation and feel more in control of it; create new systems; clean and organize our homes and office spaces; work harder and longer hours; gain control over our health, diet and weight, or the opposite, eat for comfort, and countless other ways we strive for control.
As much as these coping strategies may have upside benefits, out of love for yourself, it’s time to let go. Let go of the past. Let go of the future. Ground yourself in the present. Create a sense of mindfulness and self-awareness. And as you sit with the awareness of wanting to run and control something, instead act as an observer. Recognize how you feel. Be Okay with it.
Stop searching for external fixes. Don’t be overly attached to an outcome. When we attach ourselves to an outcome, we’re limiting ourselves and may miss something potentially greater. No need to play small.
Don’t be obsessed with winning. We think losing is just the most awful thing in the world and thus, this creates fear. Stop being afraid of losing and start taking risks. The journey is what counts.
Don’t waste precious time being like others. Stop comparing yourself. Remember, you’re an individual.
Stop being afraid to fail. Some of life’s greatest inventions came out of countless failures.
Be willing to surrender. It’s during these times of letting go that some pretty miraculous things can happen. You know what I’m talking about. We look so hard for that missing such and such, to only find that when we let go, it’s right there. We come back to a problem we’re working on, and the answer is right there. We step back and listen to others instead of taking control, and instead learn something valuable.
And then there comes a day when we suddenly realize the control we seek will forever remain just outside our grasp. For some, it’s a terrifying discovery. For others, it’s strangely liberating. The only person I can control is me, that means I’m off the hook for the other 12 billion souls making their way in this crazy world.