In Control

Am I Really in Control?

Do you feel stressed and anxious because your life seems out of your control? Believing that you are ever really in control of your life is a fantasy. There’s only ever one thing in life that can you control, that’s you and that’s enough.

We often measure wellbeing against how “in control” we feel. That’s fine as long as we remember that the only thing we can really control is ourselves.

When life is peaceful, predictable, and going along nicely it’s relatively easy to be in control of your thoughts and emotions. But it doesn’t take much for that control to jump right out the window. The pandemic is one of those things that has thrown many people off course. The impact of other people, illness, or maybe even your own ambitions can throw your control of yourself off course.

Your Time is so Precious

Your time is the most precious thing you have. Without time you have nothing else. So why would you waste any of it stressing out about things that you have no control over?

The idea that your stress levels and emotions are the direct result of your thoughts, is relatively new. It’s easy to blame situations and other people for your emotions. You may even think it’s justified. But by taking responsibility for your thoughts and the emotional results of those thoughts, you’ll have so much more control over your life.

Knowing that upsetting yourself with things outside of your control is unwise, is one thing. Being able to manage your thoughts so that you aren’t upset is another.

Take Responsibility for your Thoughts

Taking responsibility for your thoughts is the first step to increasing the control you have over yourself. The next step is even more challenging because it requires consistent work. Work that ultimately only you can do.

Decide which thoughts serve you and will get you where you want to go. Hang onto those thoughts tightly. Put them up on post-it notes around your workspace or on your fridge. This is evidence that you can use to create more positive thoughts.

You may be surprised when you start observing your thoughts. They’re likely to be far more negative and critical than you expected. Sometimes you’ll want to give into them. But what will help you take control of your life is to challenge them. Challenge them with thoughts that are believable. You probably won’t be able to believe that you’re amazing at something. And there will always be people that are better than you. But you can believe that you’re good enough.

What if I’m Not Good Enough?

This is the underlying thought that undoes so many people. Don’t let it undo you. It’s a thought that won’t serve you. Keep reminding yourself that you are good enough. Keep reading your post-it notes, with all your evidence displayed right where you’ll see it. But if the thought persists, at some point, you’ll need to confront it if you want to have as much control over your life as you can.

Of course you’re good enough, everybody is. And good enough for what anyway? This thought is probably coming up for you in just one or two areas of your life. Take some time to evaluate the thought. Imagine an old-fashioned set of scales. Put this thought on one side and all the evidence you have to the contrary on the other side.

If your scales continue to tilt towards the side of “I’m not good enough,” then re-evaluate what you’re trying to do. Ask people who you trust what they think to make sure that your perception is valid. Maybe there are things you could do that would increase your confidence in yourself? Ultimately there’s no point pushing ahead with something that you have a strong underlying belief can’t work.

Pushing Forward with your Best Thoughts

The scales are a great visual reminder of what’s true for you. Maybe with more information it will no longer be true. That doesn’t matter. That’s something for the future.

Right now, if your scales tilt towards the positive evidence that you are good enough to do or have what you want, then align with your thoughts and get going. You can re-evaluate later and maybe change course if necessary. But right now, use your evidence to create more thoughts that put you in control of whatever you’re trying to achieve. If not consider one of our life-changing courses.

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6 Comments

  1. I love this post. I love the idea that time is precious and why waste it stressing out over things? I tend to waste time being angry at people who have wronged me. But your post makes sense. The only thing I have control over is me and my thoughts and behavior. Thanks so much. 

    1. Thanks for your comment 🙂 I’m glad you understand the futility of eating energy on things you can’t control 👍🏻

  2. I very much believe in the power of positive thinking, so why waste time on being negative. Time is such a precious commodity, so why get upset about things that you have no control over. You cannot control somebody else’s thought and actions, whereas you can change and control your own thoughts and emotions, so concentrate on those things that you do have control over. 

    1. Exactly 👍🏻👍🏻

  3. This is such an inspirational post. I am feeling very down, frustrated and even depressed with the recent lockdown within my country. I feel so helpless and alone at times. I feel useless as I am less working out and more working in from home, which leads to slower productivity rate compared to being at the office. It’s harder to talk to people physically nowadays, and it is depressing. I am doing my best to improve myself, reduce some stress and have more social bonding sessions with my friends via online. 

    Thank you so much for your post and reminding me about time. That paragraph alone has waken me up, that time really is precious and shouldn’t be wasted on things that i can’t control. With the pandemic, it really made me so worked up that I find myself shifting the blame which really isn’t healthy! 

    Your article is great and will definitely help a lot of people in need. The programme that you offer sounds good for my situation and I will be sure to consider it seriously. Once again, thank you so much, you have helped wake me up, something that i should have done long ago. Keep this up and i hope that more people that needs this can find this just as how i did! 

    1. Thanks Joey I hope you can use some of the strategies I. This post and in others to get you feeling great again 😊👍🏻

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