Quote: “Anything you can’t control is teaching you how to let go.”
In fact most things that happen in life, actually happen outside of our control. Of course we can make changes to our environments, say or do certain things to reduce the chance of certain things happening.
Why we should learn to let go of control
We cannot control everything in life. There are certain situations, certain areas in your life that you simply cannot control. Try to think back of a time when you tried to control the flow of events around you. If you tried this, you might have learned this the hard way. There are certain things that you cannot push in a specific direction. Even if you really want to. Even if you try hard.
Now, try to think back and focus on a moment in life where you knew you were not in control. How did that make you feel? Describe that feeling. Deep down, we know very well that we cannot control everything, but our ego sometimes wants to secure the outcome of events. In fact, the more we attempt to control things, the more we realise that we actually have no control over everything. It’s appealing to believe that taking control will bring us security and happiness, yet it causes disappointment, anxiety, and sadness when things end up not going our way. Control is rooted in fear, the fear of a negative outcome.
When you’re anxious about an outcome it’s normal to want to control your next move or just about every next move. When your brain is in that state, it’s so desperate to create certainty about the outcome. Which is a normal feeling. But, controlling every moving thing in life is not realistic. The key is to bring balance; to surrender to all the things we cannot control and take control of the things we are able to control. If you’ve tried to control everything at some point in your life, you will know by now that it was a very good lesson.
How to let go of control
- Identify the reasons why you feel like you need to control the present and the future, make a list if necessary
- Associate every item with a feeling and make sure you describe your feelings for every item
- Leave your list alone for at least 1 day before you get back to it
- Now that you have taken some distance, take a second look at your list
- Identify the items that have the most uncertainty and accept them as part of life. Say the words “we will see” and take them off the list. (SAY THE WORDS OUT LOUD)
- Focus on what you actually can control
- Be mindful about the items that you took off your list and the ones that are left
What we just did here is actually taking control of the worries, not of the situations. This means that on one part we surrendered to the reality of certain uncertainties, and on the other we choose to only look at the things we do have some sort of grip. That’s the key.