Do you feel like you're always in fight or flight mode? Perhaps you quickly get anxious or angry when things don't go the way you thought they would. Getting out of this negative mindset requires you to let go of the need to always be in control. More than likely, your control issues have been less helpful for you than you initially thought.
If there is one thing that you should know about life is that nothing is predictable. Even when you do your best to improve your circumstances and prepare for the worst, things can always turn out differently. This fact of life is why it is best to let go of being in control of everything. You must accept that life comes with its own set of uncertainties. After all, whether you acknowledge it or not, your excessive need for control only gives you unproductive stress. Perhaps it has even pushed you towards procrastination of your responsibilities.
When you have a fear of losing control, you may feel anxious or panic when things change. If you try to micromanage every situation in your life, not only will you end up going crazy when things or people let you down, but if you make a wrong choice, you'll feel locked in a situation where you may feel like you can't do anything right. Instead, you should try practicing mindfulness and mental flexibility.
Mindfulness experts believe that in order to put mindfulness into practice, you must learn to detach yourself from the things that you have no control over and living in the moment. Living in the moment is not about meeting expectations or making expectations of others. Instead, you should focus on sharing what you know, giving what you have, and letting others live the life they want to without any interference from you.
Choose to free yourself from expectations and allow yourself to live a life independent of hope and despair. Experts believe that people should instead focus on the intent of their actions. Rather than expecting a particular outcome, they should instead give people room to do what they want, whether they follow the example you have set for them or not.
Align your actions with your intentions and make sure you live your life by your own values. For example, if you believe in the value of compassion, put it into practice. Show others and yourself compassion whenever the need arises. Empathy is all about accepting each one, no matter how faulty they may be.
The desire for perfection is usually the reason why people feel frustrated with their own lives. Wanting to be in control all the time is exhausting.
Here are ways to help you work through your control issues and how to learn to let go.
The first things you need to understand about letting go are the very reasons that trigger you to feel that you need to. Are you worried about how your colleagues would feel about you? Is a friend's success making you ask yourself why you are not as successful as they are?
Once you are able to identify what is pushing you to be in control, you will realize how you can let go of all that and just live. Just remind yourself that you don't need to be in control all the time. Tell yourself that you don't always have to be in fight or flight mode. Sometimes, life gives you things to challenges, but you can make it through by just letting it ride.
Sometimes, your need for control brings about many unpleasant emotions. Feelings of hurt and disappointment may make you want to work harder, even if you're already working as hard as you can. Perhaps you're grasping for stability in your life because you don't want your negative feelings to overpower you. Instead of dealing with them, you push your emotions down.
However, these unprocessed emotions do not really help at all. It does not help you reach a sense of fulfillment. Rather, it puts you in a situation where you become more prone to feelings of anxiety, depression, not to mention irrational outbursts.
How do you help yourself process all these emotions? Do a mental dump and write out everything that you're thinking and feeling. This writing will help lessen the emotional load. It will also help kick the negativity out of your system.
Sometimes, you feel the need for control as a reaction to what other people say or do. To help yourself, give them a little space. For example, when a coworker continues to throw shady jokes at you, and you can no longer take it, step back and try to build the distance. It will be their cue to stop.
Or perhaps when you disagree with a good friend. Instead of dealing with it head-on, you might want to take a step back and allow yourself to chill. It can be frustrating to deal with people who cannot see things from your perspective.
In order to keep yourself from feeling the need to be in control, create that psychological distance. You can do this by turning your focus to something else. When you push yourself to see things from the outside, you are creating space that will make you want to see things from a different light.
When you learn to let go, you will realize the many possibilities waiting for you. Go ahead and enjoy life as it happens.
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