4 Ways To Relinquish The Need For Control
Control vs. Guidance
Humans tend to be control freaks, largely because controlling situations or people provides a false sense of security, something which the ego yearns.
But it is unrealistic to believe that we can control everything in our lives, and when we lose control, we often berate ourselves with negative self-talk: “I couldn’t finish all of the tasks on my to-do list.
I’m not productive. I’m a failure.” “My kids are acting like rabid baboons. I’m a terrible parent.” Here are some tips to help you unclench your white-knuckled fists from around the throat of life.
Live in the Moment
Remember that when you are so narrowly focused on controlling everything in your life, you forget to experience the present world around you and all the opportunities it has to offer.
However, once you surrender your need to control, the world opens up to you.
For instance, if you’re walking on a path in the woods concentrating on keeping a fast pace and on finding all the short cuts so you’ll get to your destination by a certain time, you might miss enjoying the flowers on the side of that path.
Wildlife sighting will escape you. Relinquish control, be mindful of the present, and find the excitement in life’s opportunities.
Love yourself and your surroundings
How do you unclench those fists without feeling anxious or upset? It’s all about love. When you feel the need to take control, you are not accepting the world around you with love. Love accepts what is as it comes.
It allows you to be one with everything while control keeps you in that illusion of separation. Try to love yourself regardless of where your day takes you.
Love other people even if they don’t submit to your control and meet your expectations. Love your circumstances and every situation you encounter regardless of the outcomes.
Guide through Communication
The secret to relinquishing control while still feeling secure is to instead “guide,” because this comes with less of an expectation for a specific outcome. Guidance is about taking time for communication, something control has little or no patience for.
Instead, control involves ego-based actions.
The communication necessary for effective guidance is emotionally-driven. For example, if you have a child who won’t do his homework, find out the emotional cause.
“Why are you having such a hard time? You know you have to do this nearly every day.” The answer might surprise you. You may discover that a failing grade on a previous test crushed his self-confidence and shut him down.
Providing him with extra help, whether from you, a tutor or elsewhere might be what he needs to regain that confidence. If he doesn’t have an answer, talk to the teacher.
He might be struggling with an issue such as school bullying, or a learning disability such as an auditory processing disorder or a visual impairment.
Surrender to the Consequences
Guidance leads to surrendering to what is. Let the dominos fall in the way they must as a valuable teaching moment. An unexpected consequence, not under your command and interference, can be the cattle prod your child or another person needs to help them find their way.
For example, if your teenager gets a speeding ticket, it’s okay to have him earn the money to pay the fine. They’ll protest, but you can counter with, “I feel your pain, dude, but I wasn’t the one who broke the law.”
Practice these tips and you’ll find your fists unfurled from around life’s throat so that your hands can be ready to receive what life offers.
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