Letting Go of Control

Letting go of control is often easier said than done. As human beings, we all have a natural desire to control the things we encounter in our life. This often leads to attempts to control outcomes, situations, others’ reactions, or the environment. However, the need to be in control can become excessive and unhealthy, leading to issues in our relationships, work, and personal life. When we finally let go of control, it can be a liberating and transformative experience that brings peace and freedom.

Why are some people attached to control?

Control issues or attachment to control can develop due to:

  • Fear. The more uncertain the situation, the more people cling to a sense of control because they associate it with safety and security. It is because of this fear of the unknown that leads you to believe that by controlling every aspect of your life, you can prevent bad things from happening.
  • Unworthiness. Sometimes one might feel as though we don’t deserve support, or for things to go our way. This results in the need to control everything to feel a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
  • Perfectionism and lack of trust. Sometimes people are scared to let go of control because they can’t count on others or don’t believe things will work out naturally. This leads to people believing that they are the only ones capable of making things perfect and controlling everything in order to do so.

Why is letting go of control so important?

An unhealthy need for control can lead to detriments in mental and physical heath, as well as an overall general sense of dissatisfaction in life. Just simply feeling out of control for those who excessively need to have it can be a source of stress and anxiety. By letting go of the need for control, we can reduce negative feelings, which can lead to better decision-making, improved relationships, and a happier, more fulfilling life.

Furthermore, letting go of control can shift your mindset to focus on self-efficacy rather than external factors such as one’s environment, an outcome or other’s reactions. This allows you to build a sense of agency over your own life that is based on your confidence to do what needs to be done no matter what is in front of us. This demonstrates belief in our own abilities to persevere through challenges.

How to let go of control

Letting go of control is not easy, but it is possible with these steps:

  • Identify what triggers your need for control. This information helps you to become aware of when you start to become controlling and could signal you to implement interventions to take the necessary steps to disrupt your thought processes and shift your mindset.
  • Focus on what you can control and delegate responsibilities. Consider those around you and try getting support from them. This can be difficult and potentially make you feel vulnerable, however letting go of control can be extremely challenging without the support of others. Look to your friends and family or helplines as there are people willing to provide support to you and take on some of your burdens as long as you are willing to ask for the help.
  • Practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness can help you to focus on the present moment instead of living in the past or getting caught up in the worries of the future. It encourages you to be aware of your thoughts and feelings, without trying to fight and struggle against them. Using meditation and positive affirmations can help with practicing mindfulness.
  • Accept imperfection and let go of fear. It doesn’t hurt to make plans but, at the same time, we must accept that things can change randomly and nothing is ever perfect. Thus, aim to be flexible and adapting instead of resisting. And sometimes things do not seem okay even after doing everything we can. At times like this, let go of fear by trusting that the things that are out of your control will happen as they do but will eventually work out. For some, religious faith helps relinquish control while others may put their trust in the universe or fate. Regardless of this, believe that things will get better and put trust in yourself.

It can be easy to want to take control of everything, however life is unpredictable and ever changing. Letting go of control can be difficult but by reading these words today, you can take the first steps towards relinquishing that control. This can be a life-changing experience that allows you to live a more fulfilling and stress-free life. Remember to be patient and have trust in yourself, continue to practice letting go of control and see where that takes you.

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