How To Be OK With Not Being In Control
As you grow up, you may start to realize that you have to say goodbye to certain things. While you've probably heard of letting go of bad relationships, or your past mistakes, it's still possible that nobody has taught you how to let go of control in general. Micromanaging every aspect of your life can be exhausting. And if you're anything like me, you know exactly how tiring it can be.
I tend to be a victim of my own insecurities, which often holds me back from fully living a happy, carefree life. I worry about the what ifs instead of focusing on the present. But forcing situations to happen because you believe they should happen exactly the way you want them to is just not healthy. Let's be honest: There's no way you can control everyone and everything in your life. While being a control freak is not necessarily a bad thing in all situations, you don't want it to completely take over your thought process and relationships. There are a lot of reasons why people choose to control every aspect of their life. Whether it's from the fear of something bad happening or lack of trust in others, it's a behavior that needs to change so you can start enjoying life again — whether you're in control or not. With that being said, here are some ways you can learn how to be more flexible and easygoing.
1. Be Honest With Yourself
One of the best ways to let go of control is to figure out where exactly this emotion is coming from. According to The Huffington Post, motivational keynote speaker Mike Robbins said, "With empathy and honesty, take a look at where, how and why you hold on tight to control in whatever way you do." Try to find the core reason why you need to micromanage every aspect of your life. Is it because you have a fear of the unknown? Or do you have a lack of trust when it comes to your relationships or career? Answer these questions honestly, and hopefully they will enlighten you to a brand new life.
2. Imagine What Would Happen If You Actually Let Go
Before you start to control a situation, try to envision what would happened if you didn't. A lot of the time, wanting control comes from fear, and while being cautious of the future can be a good thing, you also want to find a healthy balance. According to Tiny Buddha, we tend to control things to prevent anything from going wrong. Question the validity of your fear when you feel like you're being controlling. If you let go of control, will the future alter in a drastic, negative way? If the answer is no, then let it go. It's time to take charge of your life rather than letting your fears take control of you.
3. Learn To Live In The Present
People tend to control things because they're afraid of what the future might hold, or perhaps they're scared to repeat a past mistake. Stop worrying about the what ifs and pay attention to the current moment at hand. According to Reader's Digest, to fully be in the moment, try to do less. When someone micromanages every aspect of their life, they tend to forget how to live because they have way too many things on their plate. Try to figure out what's most important. Do those tasks, and learn to delegate the rest, if possible.
4. Considered The Things You Do Have Control Over
While you may be making choices for yourself every single day, there are things you literally have no control over. Instead of trying to micromanage everything, be mindful of what you do have control over. According to Entrepreneur, nationally renowned performance consultant, speaker and award-winning author John Brubaker said, "Focusing on the conditions is counterproductive. There are plenty of things we can complain about, but it's a waste of emotional energy to focus on things we cannot control." Brubaker continued, "All you can control is what I call your A.P.E. — attitude, process and effort. These are the only three things we each have complete control over." Try to grasp the fact that you can truly only control yourself — there's no point in making yourself stress over things you cannot.
5. Be Flexible
Being flexible is a key aspect of learning to have less control over things, and ultimately how to enjoy life more. According to PsychCentral, Sandra Sanger, PhD, said, "A hallmark of mental health is the ability to be flexible — in behaviors and responses, and in relationship to feelings and thoughts. When you need to have control, you forgo flexibility and place a lower than necessary ceiling on your capacity for engaging in and enjoying life." Once you determine what issues you can be more flexible with, you may be able to use that energy for something more meaningful instead.
6. Learn To Trust
To let go, you have to have faith that things will work out. Don't let your fear or mistrust lead you down a spiral of worry and stress. If you feel like that moment of control is coming up in a situation, take a moment to breathe and trust that it will be OK. According to The Huffington Post, founder of SPARKLE and accountability and empowerment coach Lauren Stahl said, "Trust means belief. And belief means you honor and respect yourself. This is where your self-worth comes in and you can let go of the need to control."
It might sound ironic, but for you to take control back in your life, you should learn to let the little things go. While you may believe that you can control a lot in your life, the reality is that you really only have control over one thing: your emotions. Begin by using some of these tips to help you find the balance you need. Be patient and over time, you may learn which battles you should pick to help you achieve a healthier, carefree life.
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