Lose Control

Have you ever noticed that whenever people feel mad, frustrated, sad, guilty, disappointed, and so on…that it seems to stem from something else that’s bothering them, maybe a deeper issue? It actually stems from their need to control something or someone. The need to Control is based in Fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the outcome, fear of failure, fear of letting someone down, fear of a missed opportunity, etc. Think back to the last time you felt one of these negative emotions. What was it all about? If you dig to the root of it all, it is because you were trying to control something or someone that you could not control. If you are frustrated about the traffic, it’s because you want everyone to move out of your way. If you are angry because your toddler isn’t minding you, it’s because you want her to act a certain way. If you are disappointed with your daughter’s progress report, it’s because you want her to do better in school.

Do you see the pattern here? All these negative emotions derive from our wanting to control something or someone. And guess what??? The only person you can control is yourself! That is a very freeing, yet scary, notion. I say this coming from an adult perspective…I know that as a child, we are all a product of our environment, and if we were raised in an unhealthily controlled environment, that was our “normal”…and we didn’t have the confidence or development to see it as control. Most people grew up in an environment with some level of control. They were controlled either by their parents, their teachers, their religious leaders, or another person of influence. Control is so very different and detrimental, compared to having healthy boundaries and rules set in place to lovingly guide and teach.

If you are someone who always needs to be in control, or who has to always dictate how things need to be, or who wants everyone to act and think and do just as you do…then you have a control problem. I’m not afraid to say it, you do! If you grew up under someone’s control, you will most likely be controlling now. It’s a natural sequence of events. The pattern continues…unless you can realize it and make a change.

Life is too grand and fabulous and diverse to need and want everything and everyone to do it the way you want it to be done. You need to loosen your grip and lose control! It is so unhealthy and tiring to try to be in control of other people and situations that you clearly can’t control anyhow. If you take a deep breath and relax, you will understand that trying to control everything and everyone feels like you are rowing upstream…it is impossible to do. You will never succeed at it. The result will be the same and your level of frustration will continue to rise.

This quote is so very true. When you stop trying to control the situations and the people who you can’t control, your life will start to change in incredible ways! When you “Go with the flow” you will see situations and people in a different and healthier light. Your stress level will automatically decrease. You will become less angry and more agreeable. You will be more pleasant to be around. Your relationships will become deeper and more meaningful. You will sleep better. Your physical and mental healthy will improve. You will begin to see things from a new perspective, and as a result you will be open to fresh ways of thinking and feeling. Your whole life will begin to change for the better!

Negative events in life will always make us feel mad, frustrated, sad, guilty, disappointed, and so on. But, events are just events. It’s how we choose to react to these events that determine whether we “Go with the flow” or “Row upstream”. Which choice seems the healthier choice? You decide!

Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s be aware of when we are trying to control something or someone that we can’t control. Let’s stop the frustrating upstream battle and start to breathe easier as we go with the flow of life. Feel the difference!

Because Together is Better,


  1. Sharri Collins says:

    Love this! Could not have come at a better time for me. Thanks Deanna

  2. Love this D~ how so very true!!!! Oh how great it is to be flexible and open minded~ great thoughts to keep in mind DAILY!!!!


  3. I love your quote, “The need to control is based on fear.” This is so very true…it is sad when people go through their lives in a constant power struggle to control when they simply need to confront their fears:)

  4. Great post. I had cancer last year, that really teaches you don’t have control & what to focus on.

  5. great post!

  6. Yep, the only one to control is oneself. This is a life practice. It is one that I am learning deeply right now — self control. The more I control myself in any situation, the better the situation actually gets… in other words, when I decide not to let what other people or situations are doing around me and control myself from my center, I can feel much calmer. Really… the other person has nothing to do with me anyway, they are simply coming from their own sense of control, behaving from their filtered experience of life. Learning how not to let others control me, or expect that I can control others, the healthier my relationships will be. Thanks for this article.

  7. OTR…

  8. Excellent article! It sure does take a long time to learn this one, but when you do, and you realize, and surrender to the reality that you can’t control anything or anyone other than yourself, and your reactions… it will surely set you free indeed 🙂

  9. My wife and I have had many great conversations about control. Great article, you are making people think.

  10. I am a control freak in my home, I hate wasting time because I can’t find something…so everything has it’s place.
    Outside of this I have learned to just let people be. I used to obsess about friends just not making sense, not being logical. Guess what, nothing I can do about…so let it go 😉

  11. Excellent post. I love the quote!! Think I’ll even share it!

  12. I feel the same way about guilt. One cannot make another person feel guilty. That, too, is a power thing.

  13. People can spend years of their lives trying to alter what is happening rather than letting things happen and appreciating the outcome. Great post about internal peace.

    Today I am flying back home to attend the funeral of a dear friend. Your post comes at a time I was fighting, instead of going with the flow. Thank you!

  14. good lesson. Control is something I am working on – and agree, it often comes from fear

  15. Great quote, something to think about

  16. This is so beautifully written. It’s something I address with my clients on a daily basis! It is true, when the focus shifts from controlling others to controlling ourselves, fear and anxiety cease! Sharing this one! Thanks!

  17. I really needed to hear this today as I am getting ready to enter a situation in which I am letting go of some responsibilities I have had and passing them on to others. The insecurity is creeping in. How will others treat me now that I am not part of the group? There are so many layers to this as it is an insecurity stemming from childhood. But I am going to have to just go with the flow……….

  18. Fear does not needs to be controlled, You have to be conscious of it and acknowledge it.
    Now, you can deal with it.

  19. That’s a great quote!! gives you something to think about!

  20. What a great post and full of such wisdom. You can’t control others or everything that happens to you, instead we can take control of the things we have power of that will enhance our lives. That’s my lesson for today! Thank you

Speak Your Mind