There is no worse feeling in the human experience than being out of control. Helpless and desperate, exhausted from trying, it’s a sense that events are swirling crazily around us, but we’re powerless to do anything about them.
I liken the feeling to being locked in a glass box on an old game show. Perhaps you can recall the scenes from long ago, those of frantic contestants trying to grab dollar bills in the air?
Feeling out of control is like reaching a hand into the abyss, trying to grab a bit of the chaos and tame it. It’s an urgent need to restore comfort, by controlling at least a little bit of something, but not being able to do even that. During those times when there’s nothing we can do, a terror often strikes from the futility of wanting to control what we ourselves cannot.
It’s at these times that we must surrender. Anything else is either counter-productive or insanity.
Surrender doesn’t mean giving up. It just means recognizing that things are going to happen how they’re going to happen anyway. No behavior from us will amount to anything. And no amount of worry will ever change the outcome.
Surrender doesn’t have mean gloom and doom, either. We can remind ourselves that things always work out as they should. Recognizing that life is here to support us, not the other way around, is enormously comforting. Though we may not like it, surrendering is the only way to stop fighting against the tide.
They’re Just Thoughts
When feeling out of control, it can help to recognize that feelings are just thoughts. Looking at them as thoughts, we can begin to dissect those feelings, look at their underlying parts, and change some of them. One of my most beloved mentors refers to this as rewriting the book of our lives. The clearest explanation I’ve heard so far, I find it one of the easiest to implement, too.
Thinking different thoughts provides a different way of looking at things. Repeating the newer, more sane understanding of a situation — rewriting the book if you will – interrupts the out-of control-pattern, and enables us to change it into something else.
Release the Need
When entirely unable to control a situation, there’s still one thing we can actually do. Releasing the need to control, or to even get involved, is in fact entirely within our control. Asking ourselves if we can — at the very least – release the need to have control can have a major impact on how we feel.
Questions to ask include, “Can I let go of my need to be in control?” and “Am I willing to allow myself to see that things won’t be like this forever?” Answering these in the affirmative can be life changing.
Surrendering and changing thinking aren’t just comforting, but can even turn situations into a game. Knowing that life is happening before our very eyes, we can build a sense of curiosity about what happens next, then sit back to watch events unfold. I realize, for many, this is a stretch. Still, reaching this level of acceptance may be something to strive for.
As a coach, writer, recovered over-doer and busyness addict, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle while the mind tries to sabotage your success. In my journey to vibrant health, I created a personalized health system of nutrition and supplementation, lifestyle changes, and I retrained my mind and the energy of my body. I view my success as the formula to my happy, healthy life. I now empower other women to create their own personalized formulas, including the tools and strategies just right for them! Amazing life shifts come from our relationships. I look forward to helping you, too!