Lack of control is a very common worst fear. People fear losing control of themselves or what they have. Sometimes, though, we dwell so much about what we can’t control that we don’t take advantage of how much we do control. We don’t have control over the minutes passing or the way people think about us, but I would argue there is more that we can control than things we don’t. At least, the things that matter.
I know that I have a need to control things around me; it becomes very overwhelming. It comes from expecting more of myself and attempting to push myself. I start to think, “If I can just control EVERYTHING, I can balance all of these things I’ve put on my plate and do all of it perfectly.” When that happens, I am setting myself up for disappointment if my exact schedule does not go as planned. I have come to the realization that I cannot be beating myself up and questioning why I do not have control over circumstances when I should instead question what I should be doing in the position that I am in.
You decide what you read, what you say, if you exercise, and what you put into your body. You control how you respond to people and who is in your life. You control how you present yourself and what you tolerate. You control how you influence people. You control how hard you try and if you will give up or try again. You control your Friday night and you control what is important to you. You control if you ask for help. You can’t control the obstacles, but you do control the big picture. You don’t control other people, and you don’t need to, because the things that truly matter are up to you.
We get carried away thinking we have to control ourselves and everything else too. Our brains cannot be in that many places at once. If we try too hard, we do burn out. By the time we catch our breath, we feel so out of control that giving up starts to sound easier. We set expectations for ourselves and our goals, and when we don’t meet them right away, we suddenly worry that we are not as good as we thought. We try so hard to control all of the positive things in our lives that eventually they are not even positive things anymore.
I feel like I’m overcomplicating it now.
Not everything is going to go as planned 100% of the time. We don’t have control over what happens when we walk outside. Sometimes bad things are going to happen; things go wrong every day. It’s okay if you don’t try to control it.
I think we just have to accept that there has to be a balance. We can set goals and take them in any direction we want, but we also have to accept the outcomes of our decisions. There are ripple effects to every decision we make; some may be expected or intentional, and others won’t be. There are some things we never will have control over, and those things are not as important as they seem.
Pay attention to how you’re feeling—it will tell you what you need to know. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you need to take a step back. If you’re feeling lazy and unmotivated, maybe you should reconsider your choices.