We have had times where we want to control everything in our life. We want to control our finances, the amount of schoolwork we get, how we want to spend every minute of our time, what we want to happen to us everyday, events in our life, and even the people in our lives, etc. Anything we think we can control, we can have a tendency to want to have complete control over it. It sounds nice to have all the things in our life under our full control so that we don’t have to worry about anything right? Well unfortunately that isn’t how life works.
We have heard of someone being a control freak, hey we may have been called that by someone at some point in our life. Trying to plan out exactly how a day, week, event, should play out minute by minute, hour by hour, isn’t realistic. Yes it’s good to plan things out so that there is structure, but life can step in and can throw curve balls in our direction which can throw things off and catch us off guard.
The unknown factor as I mentioned in a previous post can throw a wrench in our plans. The things we can’t ever plan for can happen at the wrong place and wrong time and we can’t do anything about them. Breaking up with someone, getting stuck in traffic, getting an extra homework assignment, going to the store and the thing you want is out of stock, your plans get cancelled by bad weather, your car breaks down, the bus runs late, getting fired from your job, something breaks, are only a small handful of things that happen in our lives and we can’t control when they happen.
Trying to control everything in our lives can take a huge toll on us. We can become bitter if the slightest thing is off in terms of time and how we wanted things to play out. We can push people away, demean and criticize our friends, family, and the people around us who we don’t know. Things don’t always go the way we plan which isn’t always our fault; life happens. The unknown factor comes in whenever it wants. It needs no permission from anyone and it can happen at anytime.
People can’t be controlled even though there are those who try to. People who dictate when, where, and who one should hangout with can result in an argument or worse. People have free will, they are free to say and do what they want. You will be met with resistance if you try to control everything about the other person. Feelings can be hurt, couples can break up and trust and reliability can be lost between parents, family, and friends. However, parents have to have some kind of control over their children. They have to learn good morals and values so that they can grow up and function in a healthy way. Teachers are another example; they have to keep their students in line so things don’t get out of hand.
So here are some tips to help relinquish the need to control everything and relax:
1. Learn to Trust Others
There will be things that you can’t control and they may be put another person’s hands. You have to rely on that person to follow through with whatever it is. It could be a school project, a presentation for your job, delivering something, driving you somewhere for example. Gaining trust is a process, hopefully the person you put your trust into is reliable. In the end, when you can put your trust in someone, you feel a sense of relief which helps to decrease the need to control everything. Like trust, this is a process that takes time.
At some point in our lives we have talked to ourselves about various things in our lives. We talk ourselves into doing and trying something and not doing and trying something. By stopping and interrupting our thought process, we can better analyze and understand the way we act and what we say. After getting to this point, we can begin to figure out why we feel the need to control this situation. We can begin to talk ourselves out of feeling the need to be in control. We can then realize if the benefits for controlling the situation or whatever it is will be good for us or not. The idea is trying to see if the benefits will outweigh the consequences.
3. Challenge Your Need to Control
You may feel like if I don’t control everything in my life, things will be stressful and bad things will happen to me. Ok, if you think that this is the case, then challenge your need to control. Say you need to have something fixed, but you don’t trust anyone to help you or to do it for you. Yet, you don’t know what to do. Yes you could look up on the internet or read a book for information, but what if you can’t find the information you need? Well then you have two choices, try to fix it anyway and risk things not working out or getting worse or ask for help. Challenging yourself with scenarios that you can’t control because they are our of your hands can help you realize what you can and can’t do. It’s all a matter of being realistic and decreasing the need to control things.
4. Stay in the Present and Ground Yourself
Trying to control everything can cause us to develop tunnel vision and focus too much on the future. Thinking ahead is fine, so long as we don’t get carried away. Relax and enjoy life, no need to rush it. Take some deep breaths, look up at the sky, talk to someone, work with your wands, exercise, play a game, anything that will help you stay in the present and get you out of your mind. Practicing this takes time and can be a stress reliever.
5. Get Rid of the Fear
One thing about the need to control everything is that the core of it can be rooted in fear. As I said before, people feel the need to control everything because they are afraid bad things will happen if they don’t. That fear may not be real fear; it could be something made up from high levels of anxiety. However, if the fear is real, then you have to go back and figure out how that fear came to be. Once you figure that out, you will be more equipped to tackle that fear. Overtime that fear can go away when you realize that things weren’t as bad as you thought or they never got bad at all.
If your reading this and are someone who is religious or spiritual, you could give God or the universe your need to control everything. If your not, hopefully what I have mentioned can help you get rid of your inner control freak. Breathe, relax, let go, and live in the moment.