Trying to control what is out of your control just doesn’t work. I’m beginning to see a familiar pattern emerging in my behavior (6 Ways to Change Your Thoughts). My constant list-making (and checking off list items), my impatience, and my wanting other people to do things the way I want them done seem to be constant. These all stem from my desire to control various aspects of my life. In effect, I’m trying to control what is out of my control.
Trying to Control Is an Attempt to Feel Secure
Being in control helps us feel secure. When we know when and how and what is going to happen, we are guaranteed of the outcome. Without that, things feel uncertain, unpredictable, and unstable.
But, that’s exactly the nature of life, isn’t it? At times, it can be uncertain, unpredictable, and unstable (How to Experience Peace in Uncertainty). Trying to control it is an exercise in futility. It simply can’t be done.
Trying to Control What’s Out of Control Can Lead to Frustration
Not only is trying to control what’s out of your control futile, it is counterproductive to living a blissful life. You get frustrated when things don’t go as you expect them to go. You get annoyed when people don’t act the way you want them to act.
These feelings can create a negative cycle. The more things don’t go according to your plan or time schedule or expectations, the more anxious and upset you become. And you can’t develop bliss if you’re busy being frustrated with everything (Get Control of Your Emotions and Respond Wisely).
What Happens When You Stop Trying to Control
When you stop trying to control things that are out of your control, it can be uncomfortable. Yet, as you cede control, you will become more accepting of uncertainty. You will realize that life will continue, and it continues in spite of your letting go. You will live more in the present moment because you won’t be always focused on planning the future. Your relationships will improve because you won’t always be cajoling and demanding others to get your way.
In reality, the only thing you can control is yourself – your actions and reactions. None of us manages the world, so it’s time to stop wasting our energy attempting to do that and spend our energy where it matters, being better versions of ourselves.
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