Want more control over your life? It is much easier than you think! We spend so much of our time feeling anxious and out of control and we expend so much energy ruminating and depressed about the things going on around us, but most of us have the wrong idea how to turn things around and actually gain control over our lives!
The first and biggest thing you have to do in order to gain control over your life is to let go. I know that sounds so cliché, but please read on. Think about the amount of time we spend trying to control things we have no control over! We have little to no power over stupid drivers, unreasonable ex-spouses, demanding bosses, lazy co-workers, entitled people, unruly teenagers (to an extent), judgmental strangers, noisy neighbors, etc. Are you feeling uncomfortable yet? That explains why you haven’t let go. Letting go makes us feel like we are just going to be victims of everyone around us and that is not what I’m suggesting at all.
What I’m suggesting that you do is to accept that these things are all part of life and move around them instead of waiting for them to move around you. I know this is contradictory to the way most of us have been living our lives, but think about it . . . accepting that things around you aren’t going to change actually gives you more options! You can choose to let something affect your day – or not. You can choose to stay where you are – or move and go somewhere else. You can let someone keep hurting you – or move to where they can’t. You can let someone else’s erroneous and critical opinion of you matter – or you can let your opinion of you matter more. You can let a loss has occurred in your life cripple you – or you can choose to keep living and enjoy life. You can ruminate over all the things in your life that have gone wrong – or you can focus your attention on the things in your life that are good.
One of the reasons that letting go is so hard is because we don’t like change and we do like control. If you are living your life in a lot of angst, however, my guess is that you are still trying to control the things around you and expecting everyone and everything around you to change instead of changing yourself. Going the route I’m suggesting hits us in both uncomfortable areas . . . when we experience the pain of change, we also feel a loss of control. Think about Chinese Handcuffs . . . those woven little buggers that you put an index finger in each end and then when you go to pull them out, the weaves pull tight and you are stuck. You can pull with all of your might, but you can’t get out, can you? When you are stuck like that, our human nature wants to just pull harder – keep doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result. Eventually we figure out that the direction that feels most unnatural is the very thing that finally releases us.
I know it is hard and uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t encourage you to try it if I didn’t know from experience that the result is so worth it! The payout is freedom! If it’s too uncomfortable, you can always go back to your way, but I encourage you to try letting go of something today and see how much more powerful you feel knowing that you get to decide what you do next!