We know it isn’t reasonable or fair to inflict the need for absolute control over anything and everything we are involved in onto others, but being able to explain it away as a perfectly understandable character trait that everyone else is now going to have to put up with seems to suddenly make it ok. Whilst recognising it as not ideal, we declare it almost with pride. Some even protect and hold on to their ‘control freak’ status as if it explains why they are good at what they do; as if in some way it is a vital part of what makes them successful.
What we are really declaring is our inability to control our anxiety about the world around us.
We are actually announcing how helpless we feel when faced with life’s challenges.
We are really embracing that which causes us the most pain.
Here’s the thing, if we decide to be one of those people who needs everything just so. If we concern ourselves with what’s going on around us and feel the need to control our environment in all its minute detail, all we do is amplify our focus on things that we have no real control over.
These things include what other people are doing, what other people are thinking about us, what challenges life is going to throw at us tomorrow. All these things are beyond our control and as such effectively become a complete waste of our emotional energy to concern ourselves with.
When our life is spent putting lots of focus on a whole group of things out of our control our mind very quickly recognises that our efforts to control these things are futile and will ultimately fail.
It’s important to understand at this point that the the desire to feel in control is no bad thing. It’s how we stay safe and it’s how we direct our lives towards happiness.
Therefore as soon as we feel out of control we start to feel anxious.
A feeling of no control over our lives is a great source of anxiety because our natural desire to take action towards happiness seems impossible to fulfil.
However, if we choose to concern ourselves only with the things we are in direct control of (and this would include our own responses, our own thoughts and our own decisions in life) then our subconscious starts to recognise that any efforts we make towards influencing this stuff achieves something.
As soon as we recognise the ability to make changes and have our choices reap rewards we start to feel back in control of this life we’re living and our anxiety levels drop drastically.
So the next time you find yourself thinking, pondering or worrying about something ask yourself the question, “is this something that I am in control of?”
If it isn’t then the good news is that you can stop worrying about it. Your mind is only putting your focus on it because it is trying to have some influence over it and it would much rather think about something within your control.
If you’re going to be a control freak, then focus on controlling YOU. That, after all is the only thing you truly can control.
Take a look at the video:
If you’d like to find out how to get control of your anxiety levels then get Tim’s new book, ‘Clear Your Head’. Available July 17th 2017.
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