How To Let Go Of Control and Live Your Life More Fully

Posted by Olena Mytruk

Happy New Year, my favorite life designers! Did you set meaningful, valuable goals for the New Year?

If you have set your goals, I encourage you to read the last post on some common challenges that crop up with setting and sticking to New Year’s resolutions. 

If you haven’t, I highly recommend reading that blog post because it will give you a framework on how to set goals the right way and why New Year’s resolutions aren’t always the best way to go about setting goals.

In today’s blog post, I want to share about letting go of control. This is for all of the control freaks out there, myself included.

We’ll look at why we want control of things and how we can let go of control.

WHY WE FEEL THE NEED TO CONTROL

People often say, “Trust the process, journey, and universe…” But how do you actually do that?

First, let’s think about why we need control. Where does it come from? Why do we even have it in the first place?

Here’s what I think…

It gives us a sense or perception of safety.

Whatever we’re experiencing or whatever is happening in life doesn’t feel safe, or it feels like it will go sideways, and we try to regain a sense of safety.

We do this by trying to control what we think we can control. We start to plan things, create roadmaps, and try to determine when things need to happen.

Sometimes, it’s simple things like when our kids need to go to bed. My daughter might ask for five more minutes, but that goes against how I pictured things for myself: relaxing in bed and watching TV.

That change in expectation can be stressful. When things don’t go our way, we can feel angry, stressed, and in fight or flight.

My mode is usually fight mode, honestly.

We want things to be our way, and when they aren’t, we feel angry. We feel like something goes out of control, which triggers our sense of danger and fear.

We feel like nothing depends on us, so we try to reinstate that.

But, the truth is things will always go sideways. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.

With some little things, we can potentially control things here and there and make sure it goes our way. But we can’t control everything.

By trying to control the things we cannot control, we’re setting the stage for future stress.

The need for autonomy.

Another reason why we like to control things is our need for autonomy, especially for those of us who are strong-willed.

I consider myself to be a strong woman. I make my decisions, and I have a strong sense of and need for autonomy.

It took me several years to realize I needed to feel like I was in charge of my life when so much felt out of my control.

So, it’s not really about being in control of things. It’s more about feeling like you have a say in your own life.

What can we do to stop controlling things and still feel a sense of safety and belonging in our own lives?

TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE

In order to stop being a control freak and trying to control everything in our lives, we can start acting like we’re already in charge.

We can take charge of our actions, decisions, words, what we say, and what we do.

When I say taking charge, I mean acting in line with who we are, what we believe in, and what we show up for.

What is important to you?

Taking charge isn’t about planning and sticking to a plan and stressing out when things don’t go according to that plan.

It’s about flexibility and making decisions that align with your values when things inevitably happen that aren’t part of the plan.

In every situation, all you need to control is your own actions and reactions.

That’s it.

That’s what gives you freedom, and that’s what “trusting the process” really means.

It’s not about trying to foresee when something will happen or setting some deadline for yourself and stressing when those deadlines aren’t met or weren’t possible in the first place.

Instead of focusing on those schedules and plans, lists, and deadlines, let’s focus on taking aligned action in every moment, owning that action, and owning the result.

Because anything you do, you either get the results you want or the lesson you need.

Yes, we might have expectations of how things might turn out, but there are so many moving pieces and variables that it’s impossible to control them all.

The only variable we can control is ourselves. Everything else is out of our control.

The more confidence you have, the less fear that exists.

By taking actions we’re proud of, we start to build confidence. And the more confidence we build up, the less fear we have.

There will always be fear of the unknown. This is what life is about. It’s not about playing it safe or waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.

The sooner we learn how to dance in the rain, navigate life, and enjoy the process and more challenging experiences, the quicker we realize that we don’t need to control everything.

In every moment, there is a decision to be made that can either align with who you are or not. This is your choice.

The takeaway?

Ensure that every decision you make, and every action you take aligns with who you are. Only then will control lose its power. You won’t need it anymore.

So, let’s try that this year.

I still struggle with control in many cases, but I want to change it, so I’m committing to that this year.

If you feel the same way, I encourage you to join me on this journey, and let’s do it together.

Until next time,

Olena xx

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