As a recovering control freak in my own life, I have had some very powerful, and sometimes painful lessons that I have had to learn along the way in order to break free from the stress that comes from needing to control things. Learning the art of surrendering was key for me!
There are many people in the world who live with an overriding fear that causes them to attempt to try to control the world around them. They look for control in their relationships, to control the outcome of specific events to fit their liking and control their home and business surroundings. These people deal with a discomfort level that is fairly high on a consistent basis…to the point that they feel anxiety daily. This prompts them to attempt to control things as a way to soothe themselves and bring about a certain level of comfort.
There are certain things that can be controlled, to an extent. You have a certain level of control over how your house is on the inside and out. You can decorate it a specific way, keep it at a certain temperature and live is a specific town or neighborhood. And you can control how you dress and groom yourself, how you talk, how you behave and even how you think.
But problems arise when you bring other people into the equation. You can never control the behavior, beliefs, feelings or thoughts of others. Each person that you encounter have their own thoughts, beliefs and feelings and because of free will, will behave in a manner that is comfortable to them. If the actions or behaviors of one individual are uncomfortable to another, then a toxic pattern then occurs as the person experiencing discomfort begins to try to control the behavior of the other to bring their behavior to a level that is not so uncomfortable to them. The person who is the subject of the attempt to control may actually conform…for awhile. But eventually, the behavior will occur again and will create conflict between the two. The result is a relationship that is strained and unhealthy for both individuals.
Trying to control specific events
We often try to control the outcome of specific events. For example, a woman may try to control the outcome after a first date by calling, texting or emailing her date in hopes of gaining a second date. Another person may try to control the outcome of a job interview or business meeting by offering too much information. Parents often attempt to control the actions of their children.
The need to control situations or people arises out of a fear of what might happen if we don’t. A mother may try to control their child because they believe that if they don’t, then something bad may happen. A woman on a date may try to control the outcome because she is afraid that if she doesn’t, then she will never find her soulmate and it will validate that she is not worthy of love. Someone else may attempt to control the outcome of a job interview because they are afraid that if they don’t get the job that they may lose their house. We become attached to a specific outcome because that is what we believe is the absolute best for ourselves.
And yet, the stress that comes with the need to control is overwhelming. The truth is, we can let go of the stress and let go of the need to control situations, outcomes and people. We can stand up to the fear of the unknown and the need to try to guide outcomes and learn how to surrender and allow what is.
How can you accomplish this?
Look at what it is you are afraid of
Often we carry around fear and yet are not completely present and fully aware of that fear. So acknowledging what it is that we are afraid of is the first step at allowing you to surrender and let go of control.
Ask yourself if this is a real and legitimate fear
It is not uncommon for people to catastrophize things and get bogged down with the “what ifs”. What if this happens or what if that doesn’t happen. Admit it, we’ve all done it before. And while there are many legitimate concerns that action can be taken for, it is easy to get carried away with worried about what “could” happen in the future. None of us has a crystal ball with which to see the future, so use common sense to keep yourself grounded and not stay in a place of worrying about fears about things that “could” or “might” happen.
What would it feel like if you weren’t carrying around the weight of the negative energy of fear?
We try to control things because of fear. The energy of fear is heavy and oppressive and doesn’t feel very good. So what if you allowed yourself to let go of that fear and trust that things will work out, no matter what happens. This was a huge lesson that I had to learn in my own life. In 2014, when I faced losing my mother to cancer, losing my voice and losing my marriage, I faced three of the biggest fears of my life. And although I tried to control things initially, it was once I finally surrendered and let go of the fear that I was brought to a place of peace. And although what I faced was difficult, I am better for having gone through it, and the blessings that have occurred have been amazing.
Use energy clearing tools such as EFT
Energy clearing tools can be a great way to help release some on the negative energy that you are holding onto. Energy releasing tools are a powerful way to let go of fear and negativity.
Daily meditation is a powerful way to connect deeply with yourself and help you let go. Meditation is great for relieving stress and can help to bring you clarity as well. Meditation also brings your focus out of the future and the “what ifs” and allows you to be in the present moment.
Moving your body each day helps to release endorphins which make you feel good. It can also help you to release physical tension that is being held in your body.
Worrying doesn’t solve anything. It keeps you stuck in creating scenarios about the future that don’t exist and keeps you from being present in the moment. Allowing yourself to surrender, release and let go of that worry will benefit your physical, mental and emotional health!