We all have an innate need to control things. How people see us. How we measure up or don’t measure up. We have no idea how to let go of control, nor do we even realise we do it. We try to control how we feel, what we think and of course what others think of us. All of us have felt vulnerable and weak before. We have all felt humiliated and shamed at some stage in our past. These feelings can be so hardcore and deeply devastating that we make a mental vow that we will never feel like that again. When we make this covenant something starts to happen. We start to hide. We stop showing up for ourselves. We have believed the narrative that we are not good enough, not strong or good enough. When we become believers we believe the story and try and close the book on putting ourselves out there. We take less risks and make less waves. We may not have realized that to avoid judgement and criticism we have paid the ultimate price. We have lost our authenticity and become a substitute for our real selves, a sheep in a giant flock. We try and control what people think by disappearing into the herd.
This makes other people feel safe. They don’t like vulnerability either. They despise competition and in their attempts to control you they stifle out anything that may compromise their agenda.
Unconsciously needing to be in control is compulsive. We are often unaware we have such a need, we don’t know how to get rid of it, and we are surprised when others point it out. We are quick to think of examples in which controlling others is reasonable.
Know that it is very easy for all of us to become victims of our own, and others, needs to control. Here is the news-flash. We are not in control of much. If we are going to get into the area of life and show up for ourselves, we will get judged and criticised. But, hey, that is perfectly in order. Yes, the fear of being ciritised and judged that you have subconsciously bowed down to was created in childhood. Not now. Today, you can probably handle the harshness of your critics, oftentimes your own family and friends, with much greater ease and grace than you may think. Your controlling insurgents that were created in childhood to defend you are today defending you. After-all what other people think about you is none of your business. Let go of your need to control. Daily and with practise you can begin to free yourself from the consequences that control brings. From this point, as you start to show up and grow up, you will start to attract more of what you want into your life. This is how the law of attraction works. Control closes us off. Letting go of control opens us up. We attract what we think, feel and do. How to let go of control is done by noticing the patterns you have created. Identify alternatives. Start to trust your won feelings and don’t listen to, nor be guided by the nay-sayers. They are just your audience, in your show. There will always be people trying to control you but don’t be one of them yourself. We learn how to let go of control by doing it for ourselves first.
How Can We Feel Powerful?
We try to control others precisely because we feel powerless in relationships. If we felt powerful, we wouldn’t need to control. How can we feel powerful?
When we feel powerless, we feel afraid. We fear abandonment; we fear rejection because we do not feel adequate. We are afraid of being found out. If we are less than perfect, who will love us? This truth is, we don’t love ourselves, and we don’t trust ourselves. Until we work on having self-respect, dignity and integrity, we will continue to look to others for validation. And we will continue fearing, expecting, and looking for signs of the worst: Others don’t think we’re worth much.
The way to break the pattern we’re in is to look inside for recognition, approval, support, encouragement, and praise- all the things we think we need from outside. By focusing energy on our own lives, our own behaviours, our own choices and goals, we immediately feel better about being ourselves. We can let go of trying to appear competent and instead work on improving skills so that we are competent. We can stop worrying about what others think and spend time deciding what we think. We can look for things to appreciate about ourselves instead of focusing on what’s wrong. We can work on accepting what we can’t change, changing what we can. We can give ourselves permission to feel, to be hurt or sad or angry. We can redirect our urges to protect and learn how to be truly caring toward ourselves and those we love. We have a finite amount of energy, and we need to learn how to use it productively.
When we feel the old fear rising- a panicky, tearful, desperate sort of feeling- we automatically reach out for someone to reassure us and make us feel more secure. We look for someone to blame or criticise, or we accuse others of not showing enough love, or we act dejected and hope for attention, or we create a crisis and demand help. This works as long as those around us are wiling to play the game- to feel guilty, or rise to the bait and fight or assure us that they care or do something to distract us from our own feelings.
But we’re caught in a circle. Needing to control prevents us from learning to love ourselves, and it also keeps us from getting what we long for in relationships- the feeling that we are loving and loveable. We expend enormous amounts of energy compulsively trying to get what we cannot give ourselves. What we get is signs of love, but still we do not feel loved. We are looking in the wrong place.
For more information on How to let go of Control get in touch, do our 6 week course, or come to our center. Start working on yourself. Your life work is not to be an accountant, or a banker or sculptor. No, your life work is to sculpt yourself.