Now that we have gone through all of the basics, it’s time finish this chapter up…
There is a lot of research that has been done on how we feel during our darkest moments. These can be moments of depression, anxiety, frustration, fear and so on… The interesting part of these studies is that most people feel a lack of control over their life during these times. And this is where I find our psychology very interesting. How is it that we can feel a lack of control when it is us and only us that is in control? At any time we can quit our job, leave our partner, tell our enemies to bugger off, eat, sleep, party, have fun, read, travel and so on and so forth. And yes, there may be consequences for our actions though at any moment we can make these decisions… Can’t we? So if this is the case, and we have so much control over ourselves, then why is it that so many people feel that they are not in control over their life?
If life is not our own then it must be controlled by others… Right? It must be our bosses, our landlords, our parents, our partners, the taxman, our dogs, our cats, the kids, the governments, the laws and everything else in society that dictates our life. We must have zero self-control and be walking around like ants, following in lines, ticking the boxes and taking orders. Well… Although life can feel like this sometimes, at any moment we can take that control back. And why can we take the control back so easily? Because other people never had it in the first place! The power has always been our own.
If you feel that a situation or another person has control over you it is because you have chosen to allow this to happen. Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t know that we are relinquishing our control to another most of the time, yet it is something that we do quite often. In fact, in many ways we have to do it to exist.
When we are young we have to rely on our parents, and as we get older we at times rely on our friends. When we enter into a relationship we have to have faith that our partners will be there for moral support, comfort and security. Though the rabbit whole does not finish there… Later on a relationship can become our everything and we can lose our identity, our self-love, and then we see the relationship as being something we can’t lose. When this happens we have now applied too much control onto another.
This lack of control can also be adapted to things. Our job becomes our security and we can’t think of living without it no matter how bad the work is. We fear losing our house, our possessions, our pride, our prestige and whatever status we believe we have obtained. It is easy to see how one can lose control when one is so reliant on so many things. And as these things become more intrusive into our life, we no longer own or possess these things, they own and possess us.
In situations such as this our focus becomes narrow. We now don’t look at taking the control back but instead to running the gantlet. The race is about maintaining what we ‘think’ we have and what we ‘think’ we need to be happy. Of cause this is combined with the local news startling you with fear every day about losing more freedom, and adds on TV and radio convincing you, that you need more possessions and security. And now, if the ground becomes a little shaky in any area of your life, your idea of power and control is shattered.
So how do we get the power back? Well, as stated before, we never lost it. We simply gave responsibilities of our lives to other people and other things. Much like a boss does when they have too much work and need to delegate. The idea that these people and things have power over us is nothing more than a perception. It is true that they can be emotionally manipulative, but at any moment we can chose our own direction. This gives us our power back. Therefore, the first step is to simply decide that you are in control.
Another technique for getting a hold of your own perception is to simply apply the brakes. That’s right! Stop for a second and breath. I will talk more about this in the next blog where we really ramp things up!