In life, there are many things that are out of our control. The weather, traffic, and other people’s opinions and behaviors are just a few of the many things that we simply can’t control. However, there is plenty that we do have control over and today I am going to discuss this in much more detail.
But before I begin I have a quick question for you.
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Now let’s talk about what you have control over in your life and I’ll also discuss some areas of your life where you don’t have any control. Although it may be tough to hear, it is necessary to come to grips with this reality so that you can focus all of your energy on where your power lies.
So there are three areas that I want to talk about with you today that are super important for you to focus on from now on. And the reason why it’s so important to focus on these three areas is because you have complete control over them.
When we focus on what we can control in our lives, we are much more likely to manage our emotions better and improve our relationships with family members, friends and colleagues.
3 Things We Do Have Control Over
One of the most important things that we can control is our attitude. Our attitude encompasses our overall outlook on life and it influences our thoughts and our feelings. We can choose to have a positive attitude or we can choose to have a negative one. But know that either way, it truly is a choice. This may be hard to wrap your head around, especially if you have had a tough day, a tough week or even a tough year, but it truly is a choice. Remember this.
I love this quote by Viktor Frankel from the book A Man’s Search For Meaning which says “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Viktor Frankl was a Holocaust survivor and a psychiatrist who wrote about his experiences in the concentration camp and he discusses that although there are many things in life that may be beyond our control, such as our physical environment, our health, or other people’s actions, we always have the freedom to choose our own attitude towards these circumstances. He talks about how our attitude ultimately impacts the outcome of a situation and by choosing our own way and maintaining a positive attitude, we can find meaning and purpose even in the most difficult situations as he did in the concentration camp.
Another thing that we have control over is our behavior and how we react or respond to situations or circumstances. We can choose to react in a way that is positive and productive, or we can choose to react negatively which you and I both know how that most likely will turn out. When we focus on responding in a positive manner or stepping away to regroup before saying anything we may regret later, we are better able to maintain a sense of calm, while building our resilience muscle and increasing our ability to cope with difficult or stressful situations in the future.
We also have control over our thoughts. While it may be true that our thoughts can be influenced by external factors, such as our environment or past experiences, we ultimately have the power to shape our thoughts and beliefs. One way to do this is by practicing mindfulness and becoming more aware of our thoughts, which allows us to challenge negative or unhelpful thought loops and replace them with more positive and constructive ones.
Now that I have addressed what you do have control over, I think it’s important to talk for a minute about what you do not have control over .I have found over the years in working with my clients that this is an area of struggle for so many women. We tend to focus so much time and energy on things that are truly out of our control and we spend very little time focusing on what we have control over. So let’s dig into the 3 most common areas where we have absolutely no control.
3 Things We Don’t Have Any Control Over
Other people’s actions
As human beings, we have agency over our own actions, but we cannot control the actions of others. This means that we do not have control over how others respond to us, how they treat us or how they treat others, what they say, or the choices they make. Each person has their own set of values and priorities that guide their behavior, and while we can influence these factors to a certain extent, we cannot dictate or control them. It is important to acknowledge this and focus on our own actions and choices rather than trying to control others to behave a certain way. While we can set boundaries and communicate our needs and expectations, we cannot control how others will respond or behave in the future. Ultimately, we can only control our own actions and reactions to the world around us.
Other people’s beliefs
As individuals, we have the freedom to believe whatever we choose, and this extends to others as well. We do not have control over other people’s beliefs, as each person’s thoughts and convictions are shaped by their unique experiences, upbringing, and personal values. While we can engage in discussions and debates with others to share our perspectives and challenge their beliefs, ultimately it is up to them to decide what they choose to believe. Trying to control or force someone else to believe what we believe can lead to conflict and tension, and it is important to respect each person’s right to their own beliefs and opinions.
Other people’s feelings
Just as we do not have control over other people’s actions and beliefs, we also cannot control their feelings. Each person experiences emotions in their own unique way, and their feelings are influenced by a multitude of factors, including past experiences, personality, and current circumstances. While we can take actions that may influence how someone feels towards us or a situation, ultimately it is up to the individual to interpret and respond to their emotions. Trying to control someone else’s feelings can be harmful and can undermine the trust and respect in a relationship. Instead, it is important to listen to and validate others’ feelings while also setting healthy boundaries for ourselves.
This may seem like a lot but trust me when I tell you that once you are keenly aware of what you do not have control over, this will help you focus your energy on areas in your life that you can control.
Focusing on things that are out of our control can lead to feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and frustration. When we focus on things that we can’t control or change,we tend to feel powerless, which can cause us to become fixated on negative outcomes and potential problems. This can then lead to a cycle of rumination and worry that can negatively impact our mental and emotional well-being. Also, when we are so focused on the things that are out of our control, we may neglect the things that we do actually have control over. This can then cause us to miss opportunities to take action and may cause us to overlook the positive aspects of our lives and the things that we do have the ability to change.
So moving forward I encourage you to focus your time and your energy on what you DO have control over, rather than worrying about what you are unable to control. By doing this, you can cultivate a strong sense of agency which can help you to better manage stress and build resilience in the face of challenges.
I hope that you found this information helpful and I would love to hear from you in the comments below about what your biggest takeaway was! Have a great week ahead.