You know you need to let go of your need to be in complete control of everything and everyone in your life. Or maybe you don’t yet. Either way, something is going to happen to you that is going to challenge you and make you see that you don’t, as a matter of fact, have control over everything and everyone in your life.
Controlling is a Survival Skill
Controlling things, and overcontrolling things, is a survival coping skill you may have learned to deal with a situation that was chaotic, unpredictable, and where you probably didn’t have much power. And it’s an awesome coping skill when the matter before you requires “doing something” to make things better. It’s the “hammer” coping skill…do it, fix it, manage it.
Letting Go is a Thriving Skill
But as a thriving skill…a skill that empowers you to live a happy, healthy life… controlling and over-controlling just aren’t effective. Kind of like using a hammer when you really need a screwdriver..you are going to make a real mess of the job.
The truth is that control and overcontrol are skills that aren’t reality-based for many of the stressful situations in life. The reality is that you have very little control over most things in your life… not anything that happened in the past or will happen in the future, or any other people on this planet. Learning to let go of things you have no control over is a very empowering thriving skill.
One of my favorite movies is Finding Nemo. There was a worrying, well-intentioned, but over-controlling character in that movie who had to learn to let go the hard way… when there was literally no other choice. Remember Marlin, Nemo’s Dad? Stuck inside the whale with Dory, scared out of his wits, convinced she was looney, completely terrified he was going to die and believing in his heart that the situation was hopeless.
Marlin took the ultimate risk and let go. Remember that you can do this, too. And you’ll be okay. Really.
I can speak whale. 🙂
Dr. Anita Sanz, PhD, Psychologist
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