How to Let Go of the Need to Control People and Life

Other than thats not actually how it works. Managing habits frequently backfires. In our attempts to guarantee that absolutely nothing agonizing takes place, we produce a great deal of pain, for ourselves and the people around us.

Challenging for you? I get it.

And in attempting to develop a specific vision of how things have to be, we restrict the future to just what we can think of– forgetting that a few of the very best things in life take us entirely by surprise. , if were willing ready open.

Fellow perfectionists, Im guessing you know what its like: the consistent requirement to manage life and other individuals to ensure whatever goes efficiently and everyones okay.

Or perhaps you attempt to control every element of your life, leaving absolutely nothing to chance, due to the fact that if whatevers predictable, youll never be captured off guard. Youll never ever struggle. Youll never ever fail. Youll never confirm your own (or another persons) belief that youre incompetent, inadequate, or fundamentally flawed.

Ive gotten stuck in ruts of familiarity, doing the exact same thing day after day due to the fact that it was predictable (and therefore controllable), although it was also unfulfilling.

“Anything you cant manage is teaching you how to let go.” ~ Jackson Kiddard

Perhaps you try to control your family, because you believe you know whats finest for them and dont trust them to make great options, and really follow through with them.

I understand what it feels like to tightly control life, and I understand the flexibility of releasing. Even if I do it inconsistently and imperfectly. Im a work in progress, and Im thinking you are too.


And Ive opened myself approximately brand-new possibilities– taken acting classes, composed a screenplay with a movie coach, and attempted my hand at a new organization I understand absolutely nothing about.

Its an infuriating, exhausting habit, because the only thing we can control is ourselves. But we do it anyways– because someplace along the line we learned this was the only way to keep ourselves safe.

Because I was connected to the concept of making them work– as if they had to work for me to be happy, Ive stayed in unhealthy relationships.

Perhaps you attempt to manage your work and your colleagues, since you think you have to in order to prosper and to guarantee your coworkers do the exact same quality work, particularly when it affects you.

Ive likewise opened myself up to a delighted relationship, after walking away from the wrong person for the very first time instead of waiting for him to leave me.

My fellow imperfect perfectionists, who want to manage less and delight in more, this is for you:

How to Let Go of the Need to Control People and Life

As other people feel judged, manipulated, restricted, or in the worst-case circumstance, abused, they might distance themselves from us for their own peace of mind and freedom.

Managing also enables me to feel more comfortable with the unknown– since its not as frightening if I can make it into what I believe it has to be.

As we take part in distorted thinking (which Ill enter into quickly), we might experience stress and anxiety and eventually sink into depression.

I know the indications all too well from personal experience. Just how much of this sounds familiar to you?

Trying to control life and other individuals can injure us …

Recognize the unfavorable consequences of your managing habits.

Do a self-inventory to evaluate your managing routine.



Identify the reward of your managing habits.

Controlling enables me to avoid sensations I dont want to feel.

We might feel physical symptoms of anxiety, like headaches, shortness of breath, and a racing heart, and might feel constant bodily stress (tight shoulders, clenched jaw, like our whole body is tightened into a fist that were trying to smash into the world to force our will on it). We might likewise have difficulty sleeping, as we depend on bed at night worrying about what we cant manage and worrying about all the bad things that might happen.

On the other side of the payoff, there are negative consequences.


There were many times in my past when individuals harm me, and I felt powerless and out of control. Managing my life is my way of attempting to ensure nobody and absolutely nothing can injure me once again.

You grew up in an unpredictable/unsafe environment and learned to control your surroundings and other individuals as a method to safeguard yourself.
Youre a perfectionist and feel stress and anxiety when things arent simply.
Since you think its totally your fault, you beat yourself up when things do not work out as you think they must.
You constantly need a plan, and for everything to be on your schedule, and you feel stressed when you dont understand whats going to occur when.
You frequently think of worst-case scenarios and put a great deal of effort and energy into avoiding them.
You have high expectations and standards, of yourself and others, and quickly feel dissatisfied.
You think in the old adage “if you want something done right, do it yourself,” and worry when entrusting somebody else to do something thats crucial to you.
You d rather do things yourself than become part of a team, considering that you can just control your own efforts.
You believe that you understand whats best– for you, and possibly for others as well.
You micromanage other individuals and try to make them follow your advice (frequently unsolicited).
You believe you require to make things occur or nothing will ever exercise for you.
You have a really stiff definition of what it suggests for things to “work out.”
You want to present a specific image to the world and trigger yourself stress trying to make sure thats how other individuals see you.
Youre firmly wound and have a difficult time relaxing since you regularly look for fires to put out to ensure nothing bad occurs.
Other individuals have communicated that they feel suffocated around you, like theyre constantly walking on eggshells, waiting on criticism or an attack.

In attempting to control individuals we work with and the outcomes of synergy, we might alienate ourselves from coworkers, or miss out on out on chances due to the fact that individuals dont wish to work with us.

If I can manage the outcome of my efforts, I do not have to feel insecure about any drawbacks that may have caused failure or conflicted about whether I made the “ideal” choice.

Recognize the thoughts, fears, and beliefs that drive your controlling habit.

I utilized to say Im a control freak, as if its just part of my nature, but managing isnt who I am, and I wasnt born that method. Its a discovered habits, and something I rely on in response to specific thoughts (cognitive distortions, as mentioned above), fears, and beliefs.

If I can control my sweethearts emotions, I dont need to feel the discomfort of taking on his sensations, as I often do as an empath. And I dont have to feel guilty for having actually caused them, as I frequently (incorrectly) assume I have.

If I can manage other individualss perceptions of me, I dont need to feel the worry of not being great enough, or the pain of reliving my youth shame, when I was frequently called a “worthless slut.”


While managing can allow us to prevent some feelings, it also triggers stress and frustration (as we combat against truth), anger, frustration, and bitterness (as we attempt to require other individuals to fulfill our will), and possibly pity and self-loathing (as we evaluate ourselves for stopping working to manage things that we believe we must have had the ability to control).


We dont do anything unless theres an emotional reward. The biggest one for me is the illusion of security.

Here are a few of the cognitive distortions that often precede my managing habits, that may sound familiar to you:

Overgeneralization: forming an unfavorable conclusion based on one piece of proof; expecting something bad to occur over and over once again due to the fact that it took place when, then controlling as a way to avoid it.

Catrastrophizing: overemphasizing the negative in your current circumstance, expecting disaster to strike, and attempting to manage the future to avoid it. This is my specialty! “OH NO! Sales are down. Were gon na lose everything! I have to turn things around RIGHT NOW!”

Control fallacies (the obvious one): thinking we have more control than we do; for example, thinking were responsible for other individualss discomfort and happiness, and if theyre upset, theres something we did wrong– something we require to change or repair to manage how they feel.

Black-and-white/all-or-nothing thinking: thinking it needs to be by doing this, or everything will break down.

Shoulds: believing we understand how people need to act, including ourselves.

Fallacy of modification: thinking we d enjoy if other individuals would simply alter and pressing them to do so as an outcome.

Filtering: just seeing the unfavorable in a circumstance, and exerting control to combat it. You might see just the negative in your job and create a lot of stress around your task search as a result.

Here are some of the fears that typically sustain controlling behavior:

If X does not happen, everything will break down, or things will get worse than they are now.
If they do not do what I think they should, theyre going to get harmed (or hurt worse than they are now).
Im going to get injured if I cant make this take place.
If things do not occur as I think they should, Ill be abandoned or turned down.
If I cant manage the future, I may not have the ability to handle it.

And last but not least, here are some of the beliefs that frequently fuel controlling behavior:

And I likewise know Ive been acting upon the false belief that I understand whats best– that we get in there ASAP– and absolutely nothing else is satisfactory.

Or perhaps you attempt to control every element of your life, leaving definitely nothing to chance, due to the fact that if whatevers predictable, youll never ever be caught off guard. Controlling behavior typically backfires. I understand what it feels like to firmly manage life, and I know the freedom of letting go. Catrastrophizing: overemphasizing the unfavorable in your present situation, anticipating catastrophe to strike, and attempting to manage the future to prevent it. Is there somebody or something youre trying to manage now?

* This is the 3rd post in a five-part series on releasing, echoing the styles in my guided meditation/EFT tapping bundle ($ 99 worth)– now available as a FREE bonus offer with Tiny Buddhas Mindfulness Kit (which is now on sale for $39). You can discover the first post presenting the series here and the second post on letting go of approval here.

– Maybe I do not understand whats finest. Maybe we d take pleasure in the interim plan we choose. Perhaps something incredible will occur that would just have actually happened since of this change of strategies. I merely dont understand, so its safe to let go.

I know Ive engaged in black-and-white thinking and catastrophizing, informing myself, “We need to act quickly or I might not discover the right physician, or I might enter into labor in momentary real estate, or my boys poor sleep may get even worse because hes not in his own space yet …”.

I know Im afraid that it will be emotionally draining pipes if we remain in limbo a lot longer (paradoxical, because I have actually emotionally drained myself with worrying and managing!).

Practice self-awareness and challenge your beliefs, thoughts, and fears..

Letting go, for me at least, isnt a one-time choice. Every time I do it, I feel relief. I stop stressing the individuals around me.

As a result of all of this, I am causing myself stress and stress and anxiety, and likewise stressing out my sweetheart, who can just do so much.

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Is there someone or something youre attempting to control now? Whats behind it? What are you thinking, what are you scared of, what beliefs are you feeding into? What would you do in a different way if you believed in a different way? And what would change around you if you made this change within you– and acted on it?

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Heres an example from own current experience: I am currently waiting to move into a house thats not going to be offered as quickly as I believed it was due to the fact that the current renter is staying longer than anticipated.

– Even if we dont move in until after I offer birth, whatever will be alright, since we will have all our needs met, well all have each other, and were strong enough to manage an unanticipated plot twist and whatever that may entail.

– We do not have to do anything. There are always multiple options readily available, and accepting this is the essential to discovering them.

The objective is to be able to capture ourselves when were controlling and recognize the thoughts, worries, and beliefs that are driving us– and how this is adversely affecting us and the people around us. However I understand from personal experience how tough it is to catch ourselves in a moment, recognize our behavior, and make a various choice.

So for now, as practice, consider a recent time when you attempted to manage a circumstance or person and try to identify the thoughts, fears, and beliefs that were driving you.

I know whats best, for myself and others.
When they permit me to intervene or take the wheel, individuals are better off.
Other individuals cant be trusted to do the right thing or make great decisions on their own.
I am 100 percent in control of my success or failure.
Things need to go to plan or bad things will occur.

Challenging these beliefs, thoughts, and worries is the key to letting go. Which looks like this:.

I have actually tried repeatedly to press things to take place sooner than they might have otherwise since I am pregnant; and Im nervous to “nest,” to get my young child used to his brand-new environment prior to his bro comes, and to find my brand-new medical professional near our future home.