Letting Go of Control During Crisis
As we continue this series on managing ourselves well during this pandemic. I want to discuss the concept of letting go of control. The overwhelming majority of life is beyond our control. And our inability to be certain about the future can lead to anxiety, which in turn, can lead us to attempting to control things to mitigate potential threats. The problem is that when we spend today trying to control tomorrow we miss out on what today has to offer. And if we miss out on today again and again, eventually we can miss out our entire life. In this episode, I discuss how letting go of control can help us have more internal peace and actually make better choices for our future.
Speaker 1 (00:06):
All right. Hey my friends and welcome to another episode of the restored mind show. My name is Matt Codde and thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. So on this episode today, um, I just wanted to talk about one simple word and that's the idea of control and the, the main topic that I really want to introduce today's this idea of letting go of control and, um, because, because in my, my opinion, you know, in many ways con the attempts to control something beyond our control are in many ways the, the cause for most of our anxieties, worries and problems in our life, right? You know, when we are attempting to control something that can't be controlled, what happens is, is that we expend a lot of effort attempting to do so. And um, when we realize we can't do that again, it kind of just, we feel diff, deflated, you know, defeated, overwhelmed.
Speaker 1 (00:57):
And so, um, I wanted to talk about this idea, and again, this can apply to really any aspect of anxiety, but just this idea of with, with anxiety as a whole, right? Um, in the anxiety is this idea of, you know, a future based fear or problem, right? Or threat, right? So, you know, if we look at the Corona virus, it's the idea of, you know, what if I get the Corona virus right? You know, what if my family gets the Corona virus or you know, or the secondary ramifications that a lot of us are worried about like, what's going to happen with the economy, um, or you know, or what's going to happen in my retirement or, um, you know, am I going to lose my job? Right? These are all, these are all aspects and, and you know, um, examples of the idea of like future-based fears that we get anxious about and because we get anxious about, then we attempt to try to control that one situation.
Speaker 1 (01:47):
And that's really, you know, the definition of, of an anxiety disorder, right? Is we're trying to control something that can't be controlled or we're trying to become certain about something that we can't be certain about. And we end up investing a lot of energy and time and effort into trying to be certain about that. And, and you know, and, and it's not that these aren't bad questions or anything like that, but the reality is, is that these, these are all things that are simply beyond most of our control, right? And, and so instead of assuming that we need to control it, I kind of want to take a step back from that one. One assumption right there and just ask this simple question, right? And, and when it comes to your life, whatever this is about, whatever you might be staying up late worrying about or worrying about while you're driving your car or taking a shower, right?
Speaker 1 (02:37):
You know, instead of being where you are in life, you know, if you find yourself in the future worrying about something or trying to control something, I want you to just ask yourself this question, why do I feel like I need to control this? And when we asked that question, right, it kind of forces us to look at it and look at some of maybe the underlying beliefs we have about that situation or about the future as a whole. Right? You know, many of us without even really realizing it carry around this belief that the future is going to be bad unless I do something about it unless I intervene, right? So we spend our days worrying and obsessing and engaging in all these different behaviors in an attempt to control the future. And the reality is, is that the idea of a control is an illusion, right?
Speaker 1 (03:30):
We don't have control over most of the things in this life, right? In this world, right? I mean, like we really don't, right? We can't control if we're going to get into a car accident or you know, or if someone's going to get sick. I mean like, um, you know, we can take actions to prevent and you know, do our best to protect ourselves. And I'm not saying we shouldn't do that. Of course we should. But when you get into this point of I need to control something, meaning I need to make, I need to make the world go a certain way, right? And if it doesn't go that way, then I'm not going to be okay. Instead of just defaulting and acting on that. Right. I'd encourage you to take a step back from that and kind of challenge that, that internal belief there that you need to control something.
Speaker 1 (04:14):
Or if you do need to control something, if you feel the need to control, like asking yourself, well, why do I need to control? Right? And then looking at that belief like, Hey, do I, what do I believe about the future? Do I just believe the future is going to be bad? Or maybe I can't handle it if it's going to be bad, right? Your ability to handle something if it does arise. Um, you know, cause these beliefs are what ultimately drive these pavers that we engage in right now, for myself, I know like this was a big part of my life, right? I needed to control and control and control and especially when I was really lost in that kind of lens of anxiety, right? It was, a lot of my behaviors came about controlling, right? Even controlling other people, right. Oh, don't say that because you can't trigger me.
Speaker 1 (04:57):
But if we, if we really look at control, right, what we're doing, all we're doing in many ways is we have an emotional disturbance within us, right? In many cases, this is in the form of anxiety, right? But I mean, it could come up in a variety of ways that an emotional disturbance happens. And by us trying to control our environment, what happens is, is we're actually trying to neutralize that, that feeling that we have within us. And we like to think that it's an environmental issue, right? We tell ourselves that, right? We even may, may justify it, right? But at the end of the day, what we're really doing is just trying to neutralize and control a feeling within us. And we're oftentimes using the environment to do that. The problem with that is, is that if you rely on your environment being a certain way for you to be okay, and here, the reality is, is that you're just, there's going to be many situations where you're not okay in here, right?
Speaker 1 (05:52):
You're just not going to be okay, right? So if it's like, I need to make sure that, you know, um, I never lose my job or that this and this and this. And if you, if you have those like definitive statements, and I'm not saying that's good, but the reality is losing a job. Um, you know, while painful, and I've gone through that and, and I know many other people have have as well. It sucks. But at the end of the day, when you go through these challenges, what happens is oftentimes other doors open that you never even fathom. Right? And, and it's, it might be a tough time in the temporary period, but it very often cases leads to better things in the longterm of your life. And the idea of you not being able to handle it. Well, you know, like if, if you're going to live life trying to control it because you're afraid you can't handle it, the reality is you're not going to grow.
Speaker 1 (06:39):
Right. And in, in these situations it's like, you know, I, I think the thing that I just want to, you know, come back to again and again is like, look, what are you trying to control in your life that is beyond your control? Cause of course you want to take, you want to take action and try to control and exert control over things you have control of, right? Should you, you know, get groceries and make sure you have food in the house. Yeah, of course all those things are in your control, right? But, but at the end of the day, like when you're trying to control something you can't control, what that's going to do is cause you to expend a lot of energy and, um, over something that is just useless. It is wasted time and energy in many ways because it's, it's, you're never going to get certain about that, right?
Speaker 1 (07:21):
Like you're never going to reach that point where you're like, okay, I got that under control now. Right. And even if you do think that oftentimes that's just like an illusion that we create to make ourselves feel better. And realizing that, look, you know what, and really adopting some, some different belief structures about the way life is and the way the world is is like, man, you know, like what if instead of always thinking the future is going to be horrible, like what if you said, Hey, you know what, maybe the future is going to be great, right? Instead of thinking that and you can't handle the future's like, Hey, you know what I'm going to, I'm going to figure out how to handle it if it, whenever that arises. And having that internal trust within yourself, right. Developing that competency. And, and again, that's all competency is right.
Speaker 1 (08:02):
Competency isn't the ability to handle anything. It's the internal trust to say, I'll figure out how to handle it when it happens. Right? And that's what real competent individuals do is they, it's not that they know how to handle everything cause they don't like, you know, life is in a toss stuff at you that's new all the time. Right? But what were the difference between a competent person in a incompetent person might be a certain level of skillset, but it's really the internal trust, you know, so, so I've seen anyway, that's to say, Hey, you know what? I'll be able to handle it. Like I'll be able to address it. Whatever it is, right? I'll figure out how in that trust within themselves to say, you know what, I'll figure it out. Right? And I have, and I can figure it out. I can learn new tricks.
Speaker 1 (08:46):
I can learn new skills, I can learn how to overcome it. And, um, you know, the, the idea of this week, you know, really when it comes to managing ourselves well during this crisis, the thing that I just wanted to bring up is just, you know, letting go of control in the places that you need to let go of control of. And that's, and that's something that maybe you can take a little inventory this week, a little journal. Um, it just says, Hey, look, like what am I trying to control that's beyond my control? And realize that that's actually causing you a lot of inner turmoil. So to free yourself, you know from this is just saying, you know what, I'm going to, I'm going to let that go. And it's not, it doesn't mean that you don't care about it or you're not like you don't think it's important.
Speaker 1 (09:27):
But what it's saying is, is like, look, that's something I don't have control over in me investing time right now. All that's doing is taking me out of my life right now and things I could be doing that could be really positive time you could be spending with your family. Um, you know, all the, all these things that we could be doing right now because I'm trying to control something that's beyond my control. What I'm doing is I'm taking myself out of my life, right? And, and again saying, Hey, you know what? I'm going to trust that this will unfold how it's going to unfold and I'll be able to handle whatever unfolds as a result of that and trusting, Hey, you know what, it will actually may work out for the best, you know, and if you go into that and just letting go of that need to control, you're going to find a lot more internal peace inside, right?
Speaker 1 (10:11):
Which again is going to help you manage yourself better, manage your relationships better and so on and so forth, right? Because again, the more internally you can be at ease, right? The clear choices you're going to make, you know, the, the better interactions you're going to have with people and the, the real difference is going to come, you know, through you during this time, right? Because if you're, if you're in the future freaking out about something and, and getting in a, um, you know, an internal chaos and then attempting to control everything to resolve that chaos again, the problem is not what you're trying to solve. The problem is that you're having this internal disruption and letting that go, meaning not getting involved with it. And not trying to control something to resolve it. I mean like, and once you can see that, um, you know, and again this is obviously talking about situations where you're anxious about something, but once you can really see that and start to let that go.
Speaker 1 (11:07):
And what I mean by that is, is just simply, you know what, I'm not going to get involved in that. I'm going to trust in God or you know, whatever, whatever you're going to put your faith in and say, Hey, you know what, that'll, that'll work itself out. Or I'll be able to handle it whenever it happens, if it does happen and just coming back to the present. Because when you can do that again, you're going to be internally much more balanced, much more at ease and um, and much more present in your life for the people that need you. And so those are just kind of the, the thoughts I wanted to share this week on this idea of control and letting go of control in this, uh, in this time of chaos and this time of chaos and pandemic. Because again, we just want to manage ourselves to the best of our ability.
Speaker 1 (11:47):
So hopefully that was helpful. And again, if you, uh, if you're struggling with anxiety, again, I'm a really encourage you to head over to restored mines.com where we have free assessments. We have, um, our overcoming anxiety program or doing weekly live calls with the community, um, where we do Q and A's and we just discuss, you know, the common struggles that we're all going through to support one another. So, um, if that's something you're struggling with, you know, at restored mines.com we have some free resources available for you assessments as well, um, that you can take. And, um, yeah, I just want to say thank you so much for, um, for tuning in today. Please be sure to subscribe and give us a like and a, and share this with someone if you found it helpful. And so thank you. Um, and I will see you guys next week. Hope you guys have a wonderful week and, uh, be safe. Take care.
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