Reminder: You Don’t Have To Be In Control Of Everything All The Time

It makes sense that we want to be in control of ourselves and everything around us, so that we can shape our world in the best possible way. Unfortunately, we can’t possibly dictate everything, and we shouldn’t actually want to. After all, you don’t need to be in control of everything all the time to live an amazing life.

  1. The world won’t fall apart without your guidance. Your opinions are super important, but they’re not any more important than anyone else’s. Things just don’t fall apart when you stop trying to control them, so let things progress as they’re meant to.
  2. You’ll free up some energy. If anything, backing off the control thing will just give you more energy to actually do things that you want, instead of spending too much time trying to prevent bad things from happening (which probably weren’t going to happen, anyway).
  3. You’ll be less demanding. Demanding people are kind of exhausting to be around. People will still be willing to give you things or help you out when you’re in their faces about it. In fact, most of the time they’ll be more happy to help you if you’re not forcing them into it.
  4. You’ll be a lot more fun to be around. Everyone likes to make their own decisions, so when you stop trying to make decisions for other people, they’ll enjoy being around you more.
  5. You can’t plan everything. Being controlling is sort of like strapping yourself into the driver’s seat but then everyone decides to walk to the location and passes you by. Some things just aren’t controllable, why put so much pressure on yourself hoping that they are?
  6. Letting go will take you where you want to be. The art of surrendering means letting go of what doesn’t need to be there and trusting that what does will stay. It’s a much more peaceful way of approaching life.
  7. You can’t control other people. Controlling other people very quickly goes into manipulation, which will come back to bite you in the ass, even if it seems to be working out for a while. Give people the freedom to choose if they want to be there, and you’ll have more time to hang out with the people who really do.
  8. You don’t want to limit yourself. If you’re too busy trying to control everything, then you aren’t going to give life any space to show you things that you haven’t seen before.
  9. You get to decide what kind of a world it is. Control is rooted in fear, but instead of assuming that danger lurks around each corner, you can choose to believe that the world is a great place… and then look for the proof that it is.
  10. Goal setting is totally different than being controlling. Don’t mistake giving up control for handing over the fate of your destiny to the next guy. You can set goals, make plans, and shout your intentions from the rooftops all you want, but then keep them in an open hand so you don’t smother them.
  11. You need to leave space for surprises. Another reason to keep an open hand approach as opposed to a closed fist with your plans is that you need to leave room for things you weren’t expecting. It won’t let in more bad things (because those get in regardless), but it will make room for the things to come in that are even better than you were imagining in the first place.
Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blog and magazine genres. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Look for article links, updates, (and the occasional joke) on Twitter @KateFerg or @WriterKateFerg, or check out her personal blog