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Letting Go of Control

August 8, 2013

“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”
— Deborah Reber
Letting go of those we love can be so difficult. Let’s face it: There are some things we can control and some things we can’t. Here are some examples:

  • Can Control: Your own behavior and responses, your thoughts and feelings, your willingness to stay open-minded, your commitment to your own personal growth, your ability to choose positive thinking over negative thinking
  • Can’t Control: The behavior and responses of others, the thoughts and feelings of others, the willingness of others to stay open-minded and committed to their own personal growth, other people’s choice to be negative or positive

Did you know that letting go of the illusion of control brings with it great relief? There was a time in my life when I really thought I could control the world from my living room. I knew what you needed to do, by gosh, and I was going to tell you just how to do it. This need for control created stress because I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.  Not only did I feel responsible for myself, but I felt responsible for everyone else as well.

Often, the expectations I had for others were not based on reality and the outcomes I projected did not happen, which set me up for constant disappointment. If only everyone did things my way, the world would be perfect! Wow! Talk about illusions.  It takes practice and patience to let go, to discontinue controlling, and to allow others just to be who they are and to do what they do without us trying to hurry and direct them, but here is the thing: Control is only an illusion anyway! People do what they want in the end.

Trying to control, giving unsolicited advice, and manipulating someone to do things your way may initially make it seem like things get done faster, better, and more efficiently because you are in charge, but who likes being told what to do and how to do it? Do you like it when someone tells you what you need to do and how you need to do it? Trying to control others causes resentment and repels people from you.

Practice letting others be who they are and go with the flow.  In the big picture what does it matter if he watches too much TV or if she is a little messy?  You will find you and the people around you are much more joyful when you let go of the steering wheel and let others drive for themselves and remember….Optimists Rock!

Copyright 2013  Robin O’Grady

Facebook: The Optimists Edge

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