Let’s start things off with our favorite quote about control: “You are afraid to surrender because you don’t want to lose control. But you never had control in the first place – all you had was anxiety.” That’s right! You never had control in the first place – just a whole bunch of anxiety. Which is why it should make it a little easier to let go of control and embrace the uncertainty in your life.
But we all know it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Learning how to let go of control is a process, to put it lightly. Humans LOVE control. We want to white-knuckle-hold-on-for-dear-life to all of the control in our lives – but in reality, it’s all a facade. But we are trained to believe having control is the only way to prevent pain, heartache, struggle, and anything else we desperately want to avoid.
However, pain still weaves its way into our lives, no matter how straight laced and on top of things we may seem.
So our advice? Let go of control. Surrender yourself to the chaos that is life, and lean in hard on your ability to be flexible.
It’s one thing to say it – but it’s quite another to do it. Which is why we’ve laid out five tips to get you started. And, we also have a video of Coach Elise walking you through these tips as well. See below!
Write Down a “Fear List”
Part of learning how to let go of control is identifying what it is that you are trying to control in the first place. Chances are, you are probably trying to control your feelings – like for example, not wanting to experience pain.
That’s normal. Nobody likes to feel pain.
So for starters, it’s time to accept that you cannot avoid pain. It will find you, no matter how hard you try to hide.
Instead of playing the never-ending game of hide and seek, try writing down your fears. Get familiar with them. Understand what drives them, and why they arose. Is there a pattern? Can you identify what behaviors you’re unleashing in order to avoid these fears?
Once you can specifically identify your fears – they won’t seem as terrifying anymore. There’s something that happens in the brain when we are able to actively categorize something and put it down on paper. If we know what it is – perhaps the familiar isn’t as scary as the unknown.
One of the best ways to learn how to let go of control is to stay present. Stay in the moment. Don’t let your mind wander too far into the past (e.g. traumatic experiences you are now trying to avoid, painful memories, times you lost control before) or too far into the future (‘what ifs’ can be extremely triggering!).
Instead, try to ground yourself into the present moment by meditating, journaling, or practicing gratitude. Stay mindful by noticing what you are feeling right now, how your environment is affecting you, and what you are sensing in this exact moment.
The more you keep your mind focused on the situation at hand, the less opportunities there will be for your mind to wander and worry about things and situations that are completely out of your control. Stay in the present moment.
Create Structure and Predictability
The easiest formula for you to remember when it comes to letting go of control is….
Safety + Security = Predictability
If you are feeling completely out of control, then it’s time to find some things in your life you can control. And one of those things is going to be how to structure your day.
You can control what time you wake up in the morning with an alarm clock. You can control carving out five minutes in the morning to create a to-do list for your day. You can create timeblocks in your day to work, eat, relax, communicate, reflect, and unplug. You can control when you decide to wind down for the day, and you can control what time you attempt to fall asleep.
Even if it doesn’t feel as if these things are in your control – you have more control than you realize. And the more predictable your days become, the more you will convince yourself you have a handle on your life.
In a way, letting go of control is actually finding things that you can control.
So take some time to think about areas where you feel as if you have zero control, and apply some structure. If bedtime is a nightmare for you, create a routine for yourself that you practice every single night. It could look like putting your phone away at 8pm, dimming the lights shortly thereafter, a skincare routine, getting in bed by 9pm, meditating or journaling, followed by reading, and lights out!
Just an idea 🙂
Amber's Tips on Balancing Everyday Tasks So You Can Be More Productive!
When you feel out of control, it’s easy to spiral.
Take it from an expert spiraler.
Whenever I feel out of control – somehow my brain tries to make it even worse than it is. All of a sudden my brain creates worst-case-scenarios that I didn’t even realize existed before. It’s like this haunted house of horrible outcomes that sneak up on me whenever I’m already feeling stressed.
So instead of willingly walking into my brain’s haunted house of terror – I walk away, and tell myself positive affirmations that help settle the waves.
Affirmations such as, “I am just fine,” “I am safe,” “I can handle this,” “Everything will work out, give it time,” “I don’t need to know what’s going to happen in order to feel secure.”
Sometimes a simple, “It’s going to work out” is enough to calm the storm in my mind.
Try it out next time you’re feeling flooded. Let go of control by filling yourself with positive affirmations. Don’t let the spiral take hold of you. Think of any affirmations that help you feel safe, warm, secure, and cozy inside your extremely capable mind, and unleash them early and often.
Rely On Past Examples
You have overcome a lot in your life.
There have been plenty of times in your past where you have felt *completely* out of control. But guess what? You’re still standing. You got out of that funk and persevered. Somehow, you managed to let go of control.
Which is why reflecting back on those times could help you gain the courage, insight, knowledge, or confidence to push forward. What did you do last time that worked? What did it feel like? Can you reproduce those exact same steps that you took? Relying on what *worked* in our past could hold the answer to how to move forward in our future.
If you’re looking to let go of control in your life – you are in the right place.
Start work with your very own life coach today to find strategies and solutions to feel more grounded and secure in your life.