If someone was to hear the word ‘control’, there is a chance that something negative will come to mind. They may begin to think about someone who is ‘controlling’, or they may think about a situation in their life that is stopping them from being themselves.
However, this might not take place, and it could cause one to think about how they feel when their life is going to plan. In this case, the word has had a positive influence on them, and it is not something that has caused them to have a negative reaction.
One may also start to think about how it can be used in the right way and how it can be used in the wrong way. Based on their outlook, they may say that it can all depend on what it relates to.
Clearly, controlling others is not a good thing, but the same can’t be said when it comes to having control over one’s own life. The first example could be described as win-lose, and the second as win-win.
While one’s personal experiences will shape the outlook they have when it comes to control, there is also going to be other sources. What they hear from the people they know and the media will also have an impact on what they believe.
If one is into self-development, for instance, this may mean that this is something they have read about. As a result of what they have gone through or what they have heard from others, they may have decided to give up control.
Just Let Go
What this will show is that they have come to the conclusion that control is a bad thing, and letting go of control is then a good thing. The need to experience control could be seen as something that will cause one to disconnect from the flow of life.
Letting go of this need is then a more ‘evolved’ approach, and they may also say that control is something that the ‘ego’ wants to experience. Therefore, in order for one to grow and to develop, it will be important for them to let go and to trust.
When one experiences trust, it would be easy to say that they have renounced their need to be in control. Yet, this is not the complete truth, and this is because they will still be able to experience a sense of control.
They may not know what is going to happen or receive what they expect to receive, but they will be able to have their needs fulfilled by opening up and letting go. In this case, letting go of their need to experience control will allow them to experience control.
Back To Reality
Having the need to control everything is going to cause one to experience problems, and this is partly because it is not possible for them to control everything. There are very few things that someone has control over and this is why it will set them up to suffer unnecessarily.
However, even though it is impossible to experience complete control, it doesn’t mean that letting go of control is the answer. If one was unable to experience control, they would also end up suffering in one way or another.
When one has a healthy sense of control, it will have a positive effect on their wellbeing. This is because they won’t feel like a victim, and as though they have no control over their life.
On one side, they will see that they are not in complete control, and on the other, they will realise that they are not powerless either. And through having this outlook, one will have a greater chance of achieving what they want to achieve
Yet, just because someone is unable to experience outer control, it doesn’t mean they have to feel powerless, and this is because they can make up for it through experiencing inner control. In this case, what is taking place externally is out of their hands, but what is taking place within them is in their hands.
If they were unable to experience inner control and they were only able to experience control through what is taking place externally, it will be harder for them to maintain a positive outlook. They will be in a position where they are completely dependent on what is taking place externally.
Alternatively, when someone feels as though they have no control, they are not going to end up feeling helpless. It will then be normal for them to feel like a victim, and as though they are unable to achieve what they want to achieve.
This could then set them up to be depressed, and as they feel they have no control over their life, this is to be expected. It will be challenge for them to enjoy their time on this earth, and they may look towards other people to save them.
However, even though one feels helpless and as though they have no control, it doesn’t mean that this outlook reflects reality. As a result of the experiences they have had, and how they have interpreted these experiences, one would have gradually learnt to be helpless.
This outlook may have been formed during their younger’s years, and while they were helpless then, this is no longer the case. Or it may relate to a situation that has occurred over and over again, and one then came to the conclusion that there is nothing they can do to change it.
So in order for someone to realise that they are not helpless, they will need to change their outlook. And although experiencing life in this way is having a negative effect on their life, there may be a secondary gain.
On one level, their outlook is sabotaging their life, but on another level, there may be a fear around moving forward. This is likely to be something that one is unaware off; however, it is still defining their life.
One may need to seek external assistance, and this can come about through working with a therapist or some kind of coach. And as they start to change their outlook and to deal with the reasons why they have stopped themselves from moving forward, their life will start to change.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.